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Contemporary Law Role and Functions

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Role and Functions of Law Paper

LAW/421

Abstract
The principle objective of this paper is to define the functions and role of law in business and society. Society thrives when introduced to structure and organization; the function of law is executing a level of control with supreme authority. Laws are in place to protect the rights of citizens, residents, employees, and employers alike; compliance with laws and regulations ensure continuous business performance and reduce the likelihood of workplace incidents and lawsuits. The aim of the government is to establish and enforce laws that protect the people within the country from crimes that cause harm or attack civil liberties, enforce rules that maintain safe and productive social order, and to ultimately protect and serve the people and businesses within the nation so they are allowed the opportunity to thrive.

Role and Functions of Law Paper
Law is defined as, “a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having legal binding force.” (Melvin, 2011) Laws are the essential group of rules and regulations to which every society is bound. Individuals and businesses alike must abide by these laws or suffer the consequences of conducting any type of business or behavior outside of them. Many individuals believe laws to be restrictive and unjust; those who think this way must take a deeper look into a society attempting to function without the structure of laws. “To see man without law – or what "society" would be like without law - one has to look no farther than the animal kingdom.” (Duhaime, 2007) Without laws acting as guidelines that shape behaviors and actions, society would certainly spiral out of control and render it impossible to conduct business relations in a single country…let alone across the globe.

Function and Role of Law in Society and Business The foundation of law is built upon the idea that society requires structure and organization in order to thrive. Laws are passed to maintain the hierarchy of authority, the integrity of our economy, and foster ethics and consistency in the relationships formed between individuals and businesses. The essential functions of law are to outline and enforce and order of conduct in social and business relations, to promote fairness and equality, to facilitate conflict resolution, and to safeguard the civil liberties of our constitution. For society, laws provide a path of socially acceptable behavior that builds productive character; encouraging appropriate social interaction to blossom into sustainable relationships. Perhaps the most critical function of law is to ensure that each member of society is able to exercise their rights in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. For a business, laws provide protection from criminal behavior, ethical discrimination, and promote success by ensuring legally binding documents and contracts are upheld in order to sustain business operations both domestically and internationally. In order to understand the functions and roles of law effectively, it is important to understand that laws are structured into classifications; these include Federal law, State law, Constitutional law, Civil law, and Criminal law. Federal laws are applicable to the entire country and serve as the ultimate law of the land as governed by the U.S. Constitution; the president signs bills passed by congress into law and it is immediately applied to all citizens, residents, and businesses residing and operating within the United States. State laws are applicable to issues solely within that particular state versus the entire country. “Constitutional law exists at both the federal and state level because each state has its own constitution that is the highest source of law within the state’s borders (so long as it is not inconsistent with federal law).” (Melvin, 2011) Civil law comes into play with circumstances surrounding domestic disputes such as divorce, breach of contract, accident/injury cases, and any property/ownership disputes. Criminal law shares a common link with civil law as they are both reviewed and processed in the judicial system, but criminal law involves cases surrounding crimes committed in which individuals or businesses are prosecuted and ordered to serve time in a jail or penitentiary if found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers.
Function and Role of Law in the Work Environment In my present work environment, the function and role of law is critical to the hiring of employees and on-boarding training process within the facility. Both Federal and state laws are in place to regulate conditions of employment as well as termination in the workplace; laws are in place to safeguard an individual’s right to equal opportunity employment and freedom from discrimination based on age, race, religion, or gender. An agreement and complete understanding of employee and employer rights at the onset of employment should be common practice in order to establish and maintain a peaceful and ethical work environment for everyone involved. Likewise, laws are also in place to protect a business from lawsuits such as environmental compliance. My workplace manufactures powder paint and our obligation to comply with federal laws and regulations ensure that our business can continue to operate safely and effectively within the surrounding community without concern. The most common Federal laws present in the workplace involve unions, wages, and equal pay. Union workers are protected from discrimination based on activities of the union. Wages are regulated by law as employers are required to pay employees a minimum wage that is established by the Secretary of Labor; the equal pay act also requires that employers give male and female workers that perform the same essential job functions equal pay. My company is currently in over 127 countries and expanding everyday; because of this international presence it is critical that commerce between various states and countries is allowed to flourish with regulations that protect both parties involved. “Congress’s broadest power is derived from the Commerce Clause whereby Congress is given the power to “regulate Commerce among the several states.” (Melvin, 2011) The most common commerce channels used by my company are roadways and airways; both of these methods of transport are regulated by congress under the commerce clause. Restrictions on activity under the commerce clause do not have to stretch from one country to another or even from one state to another; if a method of transport vehicle is restricted in a certain area that does not go outside of a state border it may still be enforced by Federal law. Individuals involved and/or employed to carry out commerce are also subject to the regulations of the commerce clause as they are labeled instrumentalities of interstate commerce.
Conclusion
A balance between protecting those who are innocent and prosecuting those who are guilty is achieved through the function and role of law. The three branches of Government are a guide to the judicial, legislative, and executive functions of law that influence social and business operations and interactions. On the executive level, individuals and businesses are encouraged to abide by laws or be exposed to the punishment for disorderly conduct; the national enforcement agencies ensure that these behaviors are reviewed in a judicial setting. Order must be maintained on the judicial level through adequate resolution of conflict and enforcement of consequences; the legislative level establishes the rules that shape the way conflict is resolved and ensures social awareness of the process.

Reference
Duhaime, L. (2007, June 29). Origin of Law. Duhaime.org. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www.duhaime.org/LawMuseum/LawArticle-133/Origin-of-Law.aspx
Melvin, S. P. (2011). of the Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial Approach: Theory to Practice, 1e. In The Legal Environment of Business (pp. 4-32).McGraw-Hill…...

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