The Role And Functions Of Law

911 words - 4 pages

The Role and Functions of Law
Since the beginning of recorded history, laws have played a significant role in the way society has chosen to govern itself. From Jewish and Roman law in biblical days to the constitution-bound laws of modern democracies, law has established rights and responsibilities for individual citizens and businesses that reflect the accepted ethics of society. Law is a “body of rules of actions or conducts prescribed by a controlling authority and having legal binding force” (Melvin, 2011). It serves to unite a diverse population of people under a common set of rules that regulate behavior and protect individuals and businesses from others who violate those rules. Laws ...view middle of the document...

An example of this was Cipollone v. Ligget Group Inc. in 1992. Cipollone sued cigarette manufacturer Ligget Group for liable, claiming his mother’s death was caused by the misrepresentation of the dangers of smoking on the part of the defendant. The Supreme Court ruled against Cipollone, stating protection under two specific Federal laws, which preempted conflicting state laws (Melvin, 2011).
Statutory law begins as a bill voted on by both houses of Congress. It is then passed on to the President for approval. The President can either sign the bill into law or veto the bill, sending Congress back to the drawing board. A two-thirds majority vote by Congress can override a presidential veto. Statutory law is intended to be representative of the will of the people. Members of Congress theoretically vote in the best interests of both the individuals and businesses in their respective districts. Our democratic system assures that if the laws passed do not satisfy these interests, members of Congress will be voted out of office and replaced by more accommodating legislators.
Common Law is made by courts and is based on similar previous cases. This concept is known as precedent. The main role of common law is to attempt to find a fair and just resolution to a dispute. Common Law judges base their decisions on law reports containing information on how cases with similar facts were decided in the past. The main reason we have common law is to maintain consistency in how the law is interpreted and enforced across a geographic region. Contract law is an example of Common Law. A contract is a promise enforceable by law. Working in loss control for a rental car company, this author had direct experience with common law when holding clients responsible for contract violations. In most cases, the law specified that the signed contract was binding and that the company had the right to pursue the individual for...

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