There are many important reasons why laws are important. Laws keep people safe, keep order in society, and protect the rights of individuals. Without laws, life would be chaotic and there would be no way to settle disputes or disagreements. It’s important that all people understand the basics of law so that they can abide by it and contribute to a peaceful society.
We Have Laws in Place to Help Us Live Together Peacefully, Safely, and Happily
Here are some examples of how laws help us:
- Laws help us live together peacefully: Laws help avoid conflict by clearly stating what’s right and wrong. Laws can also help settle disputes when conflicts arise.
- Laws protect us: laws protect our individual and collective freedoms and ensure that we live in a safe, free, and democratic society. They also protect us from others who might try to harm us or otherwise take unfair advantage of us.
- Laws keep us safe: for example, rules such as speed limits and traffic signs on the roads make sure we drive safely. They keep pedestrians safe by making sure cars stop at crosswalks.
- Laws regulate how animals should be treated to protect them from abuse or neglect.
- Laws enable us to live happily together: Without police, fire departments and hospitals, without public places like parks and libraries, without an education system or other support systems in our community, life would be very difficult – and not very happy!
Laws Can Protect People
Laws are there to protect people from harm, whether that harm comes from other people, a government or a corporation, or even from themselves.
It’s not uncommon for people to try to hurt themselves and others. Laws can help prevent this by setting rules for things that could be harmful.
For example, there’s a law that says you can’t drive a car while under the influence of alcohol. This law helps keep people safe because it prevents dangerous behavior and prevents accidents caused by drunk drivers.
If a driver breaks the law and drives drunk, they may have to pay money for breaking the law. There’s also the risk that the driver will injure themselves or someone else because it’s so dangerous to drive drunk. These consequences help the driver not to do it in the future.
Laws exist both formally, when they’re created through legislation, and informally when they’re standards of behavior modeled by society.
Laws may exist to:
- Protect citizens from physical harm (e.g., murder)
- Protect citizens from harming themselves (e.g., laws regulating drug use)
- Protect citizens from each other (e.g., laws against theft)
- Protect citizens from their government (e.g., laws protecting freedom of speech)
- Protect countries from foreign threats (e.g., counter-terrorism law)
- Protect a business via business law
Without laws, it would be impossible to have a stable society where people could trust others to do the right thing.
Since laws are there to protect our freedoms and provide order within a nation or community, it’s important that they be followed.
If we didn’t have laws to protect us from harm by ensuring that crimes such as murder or assault didn’t go unpunished, anyone could kill another at any time without fear of consequences for their actions. There would no longer be a sense of safety in society because there would be nothing to stop people from hurting each other.
That’s why it’s important that we’ve laws that punish those who commit crimes against others, so as not to create an environment in which crime can flourish. We also need laws to enforce property rights and ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need to survive or succeed.
Laws Can Even Out Unfair Advantages
In most cases, laws serve to ensure that all people are treated fairly – that minorities aren’t discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, political views, or physical or mental status.
Laws also ensure that people have equal opportunities in education and employment. This includes ensuring that people with disabilities have access to services so that they don’t face additional barriers simply because they have a different disability. In the US, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that students with a disability are provided a free public education tailored to their individual needs.
For example, it’s important to ensure that all public buildings have wheelchair-accessible entrances and restrooms.
Laws can also help ensure that everyone gets a fair trial if they’re accused of a crime. Everyone has the right to know what he or she’s accused of and why (this is called due process).
Everyone Is Treated the Same Way
Laws create a sense of fairness by ensuring that everyone is treated equally before the law. That’s, even if a law doesn’t seem fair to one person, it still applies to that person because it applies to everyone else. Laws can be changed to be more fair and just.
No one should be above or outside the law. In that way, laws promote a sense of equality – that everyone should be treated equally regardless of his or her gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, color, or background.
Laws Provide Structure for Society
Laws give structure to society. They’re a set of rules that we all must follow. These rules help us achieve stability and create a system that works and is just.
Laws are needed to show people what’s acceptable in society, its norms, such as not killing or stealing from your neighbor. Without laws, there would be chaos! That would mean that no one could live together safely and fairly.
A country with many laws may seem restrictive, but that’s actually a good thing because it gives people the freedom to live their lives without fear of violent crime.
Some may say that laws don’t prevent crime, but if everyone knew there were no consequences, crime rates would increase dramatically!
- Many crimes are committed in haste and when the criminal knows there will be no repercussions to their crime, they are likely to commit the crime again or possibly even commit more dangerous crimes because they will not be afraid or concerned about being caught or punished for their crimes when there are no consequences for their actions.
- Having laws in place that punish criminals for their actions helps keep crime to a minimum and prevents criminals from committing more serious acts of violence against others because they feel that they can get away with it.
Laws Are a Force That Can Be Used to Create Social Change
Laws are a tool that can be used for social change, and protect valuable civil rights.
Here’s an example of a law in the United States that was used for social change:
In the past, it was difficult for women to vote because the United States Constitution didn’t include them as voters. Women fought for their right to vote and then Congress passed a law (the 19th Amendment) in 1919 that guaranteed them that right.
The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This is an example of how laws can be used to help people achieve and ratify social change.
If a Law Is Broken, There Will Be Consequences
Everyone is expected to behave in such a way as to uphold the law. If a person violates a law, they face punishment, which may include fines or imprisonment. They may also be subject to a court order, such as an educational order or a probation order.
If someone breaks criminal law, he or she’ll be arrested and taken to court, where he or she’ll be sentenced by a judge. If he or she’s found guilty, the judge imposes a sentence, such as a fine or jail time (also called “imprisonment”).
In civil law cases, an order to desist might be issued.
If someone breaks the law and you want him or her to stop, you can report him or her to the police or another responsible authority (such as your community).
Making reports on behalf of others is called “whistleblowing.”
Laws Provide a Framework for Society to Function and Interact With Each Other Peacefully
Laws provide a framework for the functioning of society and peaceful interaction.
For example, laws prevent someone from murdering another person or stealing their property; they require drivers to obey traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs and not speeding on highways.
The law requires employers not to discriminate against job applicants on the basis of race, gender or age. It also ensures that consumers aren’t ripped off when buying products such as food or clothing in stores by requiring them to list accurate prices for items sold in their stores (or online).
Laws Are an Important Part of Protecting Human Rights
Human rights are fundamental. They come before the laws of any country. Human rights include the right to life, to education, to work and to justice.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides a list of human rights. These rights apply to all people regardless of gender, age, race or ethnicity. They aim to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of living and prospering in society.
Laws Can Be Changed to Reflect the Changing Needs of Society, Which Is Why They Are So Important
It’s no secret that the world around us is in constant flux. The needs, desires, and changing beliefs of individuals and groups are constantly evolving, and as a result, laws must be changed to reflect these new priorities.
Laws that don’t change with society can be harmful.
That’s why it’s important for legislators to keep an eye on the various changes in their communities and respond with the necessary legislative action. This might mean updating a specific law or drafting a new one that better reflects societal values.
So, by all means, if a friend of yours expresses his or her strong opinion against any type of law change, just gently explain to him or her that laws are important and necessary and that some changes are necessary from time to time as society evolves and changes.
What Is the Difference Between Rules and Laws and Why Are You Important?
Laws are made by governments and enforced by the police. They apply to everyone within the country’s borders.
Rules and regulations are made by individuals or groups of people (such as teachers or parents) and also enforced by them. These rules can apply to a school, a family, a workplace, and so on.
A rule could say that students cannot have pets in the classroom, but a rule only applies to students in the classroom and not to teachers and other students outside the classroom.
Rules are an important way to give children a sense of structure and to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully. Without rules to follow, children might feel out of control and act out in self-destructive ways or try to take charge of the situation by bending the rules in their favor.
By making rules clear to everyone and sticking to them consistently, schools provide a safe environment where students can learn and cooperate with each other while also developing important life skills like problem-solving and decision-making.
Where Do Laws Come From?
Laws are created by many different bodies and organizations in many different ways, depending on what type of law it’s.
Federal law (national law), for example, comes from:
- Congress: federal statutes are usually enacted through bills passed by both houses of Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) and then signed by the President. If the President vetoes a bill, Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote.
- State legislatures: some states may pass state statutes that contradict federal legislation – for example, laws that legalize marijuana for recreational purposes even though it’s illegal at the federal level. This creates tension between states and the federal government over how to enforce these laws, often leading to litigation in court.
- Local governments: These local governments include cities, counties, townships, special districts such as school boards or transit authorities, and other local governments (e.g., Indian tribes) that have the right to self-government. Local governments enact laws, called ordinances, which can regulate issues such as land use and zoning regulations.
Laws are also enacted by international organizations, such as treaties negotiated between the United States (and other countries) at summits to address climate change, and international treaties signed by several countries to protect or promote common interests.
Federal regulations are also issued through executive orders of the President. However, unlike executive orders dealing with national security issues or defense matters involving wartime military operations (which cannot be rescinded), they can be revoked by a subsequent presidential administration.
State and local laws originate from a variety of sources, such as the state legislature, county courts, municipalities, police departments, and other government agencies that make regulations for their jurisdictions.
Common law is established by precedent. That means that a judge must rely on previous court decisions – case law – to reach a conclusion in a case. The judge cannot craft his own verdict based on personal preference or feelings about what the law should be in a case because his decision must be consistent with previously decided cases. Judges also cannot overturn laws “on principle” or “on the spot” to create a new result because the law is already established.
The Supreme Court of the United States also reviews laws passed by state legislatures for consistency with the federal constitution’s Bill of Rights and the laws enacted by Congress. It may declare a law to be unconstitutional and order its removal from the statute books if it violates the federal constitution. The Supreme Court functions as a court of last resort.
Other countries have similar sources of law as the United States, although some have separate systems of civil law and common law.
Without Law, What Would We Have?
- Chaos: You should look both ways before crossing the street because no one else will!
- No rules: There’s no code of conduct, so anything goes.
- No Rights: With no laws to protect you, you’re lucky to make it if different from everyone else.
- No Justice: If the jury doesn’t know if the law has even been broken, there’s no justice to be had.
- No order: get ready for anarchy – nothing stops us from doing what we want!
- No protection: there’s no one to watch over us or ensure our safety, so beware of robbers and thieves.
- No freedom: without laws to guide us and provide justice, we’re limited in our lives.
In short, without laws and a legal framework in society, we’d have chaos, anarchy … and absolutely no rights, no civil society.