Society is the collection of individuals united by certain relations and mode of behaviors. It is a mutual relationships between individuals which bounds them to live in a group. Law is necessary to regulate the human behavior and maintain peace and order in society. Law plays important roles to change and development society according to changing time. The followings are the roles of law in society:
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Law is an instrument of regulating human behavior
Law is made for regulating human behaviors and conduct. Austin says that Law is the command of sovereign backed by sanctions. He also says that law is a rule laid down by an intelligent human being for the guidance of another human being. Law controls the activities of people and maintain peace and security in the society. e.g. criminal law prevents crime and illegal activities in the society by regulating human behavior by charging punishment to criminals. Human beings have to conduct their activities according to law otherwise they may be punished.
Law is an instrument of social control
Law is the most powerful instrument of social control because it controls all the activities of society. Everyone must follow rules and regulations created by authority and if anyone disobey laws then he/she will be punished. Law controls the human behaviors of society and create the sense of living in society with mutual understanding.
Law is and instrument of social change
Law and society keep on changing as per the time and situations. Law changes the society and society also changes the law. The society can changed only through the powerful instrumentality of law. In past there were many bad customs like sati paths, slavery system but now law has abolished such systems. Many law has been made to change society according to time and situations like Gender Equality Act, 2064 etc.
Law is an instrument of environmental protection
Law also helps to protect environment of society. Like environmental law is a law relating to environment. It deals with the management of environment and strategies for tackling the problems affecting environment. Law prohibits unnecessary and unwanted activities that affects environment and keep environment secure. Article 30 of the constitution of Nepal states that everyone has right to live in clean environment and any activities which harms environment are punishable. And Nepal government has also made Environment Protection Act, 2076 to protect and maintain environmental stability.
Law is an instrument of social welfare
Social welfare is the main objective of welfare state and every states trying to provide more social welfare to it’s citizen. Law provides every individuals with an equal opportunity to improve themselves. According to Bentham, the main aim of law is to achieve maximum happiness of maximum number of people. For example, free education, old pensions and free health insurance etc.
Law is an instrument of justice
Justice is the main aim of making law. Justice is the end of law. Law is only the means to achieve justice. Article 20 of the constitution provides rights relating to justice. Justice is the way in which people are treated equally and fairly. Law gives justice to victims and punishment to wrong doers. Justice must be fair, right and reasonable. There is a popular saying that Justice delayed is justice denied. According to Salmond, law is the body of principles recognized and applied by the state in the enforcement of justice. The significance of law can be ensured only through justice.
Law is an instrument of social engineering
Roscoe Pound says law is social engineering. Social engineering means balancing the conflicting interests of society i.e. individuals interest, social interest and national interest. When there is conflict between various interests then balance is made between them by mediation and conciliation which is called social engineering.
Law is an instrument of development
Development is the need of current society and law helps the society to be developed by making plans and policies relating to development. Development is possible only with the help of law and we can’t imagine development without any effective law and regulations. So law is the most important instrument which plays the most important role in social development.
In conclusion, we can say that law and society is the two sides of same coin because law is made for society and if there is no society then there is no use of making law. Law is important element and law is necessary to regulate different sectors of society and lead the society towards way of development. Therefore, we can say that there are many important roles law of in society. Day by day the importance and roles of law in society us increasing.