Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Meaning of Law – Concept , Nature, Characteristics, Classification and Sources | Business Law

Concept of Law

The law is a set of rules and regulations established by a government to regulate behavior within a society. Through the centuries, the concept of law has evolved, shaped by various legal systems and philosophical perspectives. It’s a framework that sets standards, resolves disputes, and maintains social order.

One of the key features of law is that it is generally created and enforced by the state or government, which has the authority to create and enforce laws. Depending on the legal system structure, laws are either enacted through legislative processes or promulgated by executive authorities.

The primary purpose of law is to regulate human conduct and promote justice. It sets boundaries for acceptable behavior, establishes rights and obligations, and describes the consequences of non-compliance. Law enhances social stability, facilitates cooperation, and facilitates economic transactions because it provides a predictable and consistent framework for conducting business.

Law is not static but evolves over time to reflect changing societal values, advancements in technology, and new legal challenges. A legal system adapts by implementing legislative reforms, interpreting court decisions, and developing legal doctrines. Additionally, international law aims to foster cooperation among nations and address global issues. As laws are influenced by social and political factors, critics of law argue that they can be used as tools of oppression or inequality.

For example, Afghanistan has banned girls from joining universities. However, Law can also be used to protect individual rights and promote social justice, as it can provide mechanisms to address injustices.

Law is a multifaceted concept that encompasses rules and regulations established by governing authorities to govern behavior within a society. Legal systems differ across countries and are shaped by cultural, historical, and philosophical influences, but they serve a vital role in maintaining social order, promoting justice, and resolving disputes.

In spite of its imperfections, law serves as a fundamental framework for organizing human conduct and upholding equity and fairness.

Nature and Characteristics of law

Nature and Characteristics of law

A law is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses a set of rules and regulations established by a governing authority to govern the behavior within a society. Providing a framework for social order, resolving disputes, and promoting justice are the main purpose of law. The nature and characteristics of law, as well as how they shape its function and purpose can be stated as follows:

1. Law consists of a rule

Law is made up of rules that prescribe certain behaviors or actions and prohibit others. The rules are formulated and enforced by governmental authorities, such as the state or government. The law can be written or unwritten, but it is generally codified in order to ensure accessibility and clarity. A law provides a clear and predictable framework for behavior, thereby contributing to society’s stability and order.

2. Law regulates only the external human actions

Law primarily regulates external human actions that have a direct effect on society. As a result, it promotes harmonious coexistence by ensuring individuals’ conduct is consistent with accepted standards and norms. However, law may also address certain internal states or mental elements if they are directly relevant to the external actions being regulated. For example, Criminal law, considers an individual’s intent and mental state when assessing his or her guilt.

3. Law regulates human action either by way of prohibitory or mandatory or promissory

It is possible for laws to take many forms and to have different effects on human behavior. Prohibitive laws specify what individuals must not do in order to comply with legal requirements by forbidding certain actions. On the other hand, mandatory laws specify specific actions people must perform. They force individuals to perform certain duties or obligations. A promissory law governs agreements or contracts between parties, defining each party’s rights and obligations.

4. Equality before law

Law is fundamentally characterized by the principle of equality before the law. As a result, all individuals, regardless of their social status, wealth, or other differentiating factors, are entitled to the same laws and treatment. In this way, justice is administered impartially and without discrimination, which promotes a just and fair legal system.

5. Law is recognized and issued by government

A governing authority issues law, typically a government or state. Laws are made and enforced by the government through legislative or executive processes. Laws are organized into a hierarchical structure where higher-level laws, such as constitutional provisions, serve as a foundation for lower-level laws, such as statutes and regulations.

6. Law is backed by sanctions or Punishments

It is the purpose of law to ensure compliance and deter violations. Depending on the severity of the offense, these penalties may include fines, imprisonment, community service, or other forms of punishment. As well as discouraging individuals from engaging in unlawful behavior, sanctions are a mechanism for maintaining social order as well.

7. Law is Persuasive in nature

In order to convince individuals of a law’s legitimacy and enforceability, it relies on reasoning and argumentation. Justifications and rationales support the purpose of laws, as well as the underlying principles they aim to protect. In order to reach fair and just outcomes, courts and legal professionals interpret and apply the law, using legal reasoning.

8. Law maintains peace by maintaining law and order situation

A primary function of the law is to maintain peace and order within society. Law provides a framework for peaceful coexistence by establishing rules, standards, and dispute resolution mechanisms. As a result, acceptable behavior is defined, potential conflicts are curtailed, and disputes are resolved fairly and orderly. In addition to contributing to stability, a robust legal system reduces the likelihood of vigilantism and promotes social harmony.

9. The aim of law is justice

The goal of law is to achieve justice. Justice entails fairness, equity, and the protection of rights. As a result of law, individuals are treated fairly, their rights are respected, and disputes are resolved in an impartial and just manner. It aims to strike a balance between societal needs and the interests of individuals. In legal systems, pursuit of justice is a guiding principle, even though perfect justice is a complex and ongoing challenge.

Classification of Law

Law is classified into different groups based on the point of view because human actions are different from the purpose of law. This classification is not done because of the difference in law, but because of the area of involvement. Several jurists have made different classifications, so for our convenience we can classify laws into the following categories.

Classification of Law

On the basis of Territorial Limits of operation

On this basis of territorial limits of operation law can be further classified into two divisions.

A. National Law

It refers to the body of laws which govern the conduct of individuals and organizations within a specific country or jurisdiction, also known as domestic law or municipal law. National laws are enacted and enforced by the government of each nation. They include statutes, regulations, case law, and constitutional provisions.

It regulates both public and private life, including criminal behavior, contracts, property rights, family law, and administrative procedures. National laws apply to everyone within a country’s borders, regardless of their nationality.

B. International Law

The international law system consists of rules and principles that govern the relations between sovereign states, international organizations, and individuals around the world. By regulating interactions between different nations, it promotes cooperation, peaceful resolution of disputes, and the protection of human rights. Treaties, conventions, customary practices, and decisions of international courts and tribunals are all part of international law.

For example, convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women (1979) .

Diplomatic relations, trade, armed conflicts, environmental protection, and human rights are among the issues addressed in the international law. In contrast to national law, international law does not have a centralized enforcement mechanism, and compliance is determined by nations participation and cooperation.

On the basis of Nature of Law

On the basis of nature of the law it can be further classified into two divisions

A. Substantive Law

Laws governing rights, duties, and obligations of individuals and entities are known as substantive law. Individuals are granted various rights and responsibilities in various areas of life, such as property, contracts, torts, criminal offenses, and family law. As well as the consequences for violating these standards, substantive law sets the standards and principles governing behaviors and interactions between people.

The law provides individuals with a legal framework for asserting and protecting their rights. For example, a person has the right to use the property that belongs to him lawfully.

B. Procedural Law

It establishes the rules and procedures that courts and other legal institutions must follow when resolving disputes and conducting legal proceedings under substantive law. A procedural law ensures that legal actions are conducted fairly, efficiently, and in compliance with established principles of justice. We rely on procedural law to provide remedies when rights or duties are violated, it guides us:

• Where we can get remedies
• When and how to proceed
• How to collect and present evidence in support of our claim

A procedural law is concerned with issues such as jurisdiction, evidence, burden of proof, appeals, and the rights of parties involved in legal proceedings. It aims to protect individual rights and maintain the integrity of the legal process.

On the basis of Subject Matter of Law

Law can be further classified into two categories based on the subject matter of law

A. Public Law

It establishes the legal framework for exercising government authority and protecting public interests in society. It deals with the relationship between the government and individuals or entities within a society. It is composed of constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, and international law.

In addition to defining the structure and powers of government, constitutional law protects fundamental rights and outlines the relationship between the state and its citizens. In administrative law, decisions and actions of administrative bodies are governed by legal principles and procedures. In criminal law, offenses against society are punished, while in international law, states and other international factors are governed by international law.

B. Private Law

The private law governs the relationships between individuals and entities. A contract, property ownership, tort (civil wrong), family law matters, and commercial transactions are among the responsibilities of this law. Disputes between private parties are resolved under private law, which seeks to ensure fairness and protect individual rights.

A private law differs from public law in that it primarily affects the rights and obligations of individuals rather than the authority of the state. Agency law, contract law, and partnership law are some of the examples of private law.

On the basis of Individual’s Duty towards the Society

Law can be further divided into two categories based on individual’s duty towards the society

A. Criminal Law

Criminal law deals with crimes committed against society as a whole. It defines criminal acts and prescribes penalties for those who violate them. Criminal laws serve to maintain social order, protect public safety, and discourage individuals from acting in harmful or antisocial ways. It is usually the government that initiates prosecution, and if found guilty, the offender may face fines, imprisonment, probation, or community service.

B. Civil Law

Civil law deals with disputes between individuals and organizations. Non-criminal legal matters include contracts, property disputes, personal injury claims, family law, and commercial transactions. As opposed to punishing wrongdoers, civil law provides remedies to injured parties to resolve conflicts and disputes. In civil cases, individuals or entities seek compensation, and they may seek monetary damages, injunctions, or specific performance.

A legal system can be classified according to its territorial distinctions (national and international law), its nature (substantive and procedural law), its subject matter (public and private law), and its duty to society (criminal and civil law). By understanding these classifications, we can better comprehend how the legal system functions and serves society.

Sources of law

The sources of law refer to the sources or authorities that give legal rules and principles their validity and binding force. A legal system is constructed on the basis of laws that are definite, interpretable, and applicable. These sources can be divided into two categories: binding and persuasive.

In this detailed explanation, we will explore each category and its various components, emphasizing their significance and role in shaping the legal framework.

Sources of law

Binding Sources of Law

The primary binding sources of law are those that have definite, mandatory, uniform, and authoritative provisions requiring individuals and institutions to adhere to them. They include:

1. Legislation

Legislation refers to laws enacted by a legislative body, such as a parliament, as statutes, acts, codes, or ordinances. Creating, amending, and repealing laws becomes the responsibility of legislative bodies. The legislative process establishes the general rules and principles that govern various aspects of society and is a fundamental source of law.

In a country, there are two kinds of legislation: supreme legislation and subordinate legislation. The supreme legislation is enacted by the state’s sovereign power. It is enacted by its highest law making authority. Nepal’s parliament is an example. All forms of legislation recognized by law other than the parliament are considered subordinate legislation in any democratic country.

Criminal laws, civil rights, administrative procedures, and taxation are among the areas covered by legislation.

2. Precedent

Precedent is a source of law derived from previous court decisions, also known as case law or judicial precedent. By interpreting and applying the law to specific cases, courts play an important part in common law systems in shaping and developing legal principles.

Lower courts within the same jurisdiction are bound by the reasoning and legal principles of a court’s judgment. Precedent provides guidance and consistency in interpreting and applying the law, ensuring predictability and fairness.

3. Customs or Usages

Customs and usages refer to practices and traditions that have gained legal significance within a particular community or society over time. These are the habits, traditions, and norms that are widely accepted and followed by members of that community.

If formal legislation is scarce or absent in an area, customary law is particularly relevant. For customs or usages to be recognized as binding sources of law, they must meet certain conditions, including that they are widespread, consistent, reasonable, and accepted by the community as legally binding agreement.

4. Agreements or conventions

Typically, treaties, contracts, or other formal agreements between states, international organizations, and private parties constitute binding sources of law. It is common knowledge that international treaties and conventions establish legal obligations and rights between parties and are generally enforceable under international law.

Additionally, national agreements, such as contracts or collective bargaining agreement, create legal obligations and can be enforced by the law. A binding agreement regulates international relations, trade, human rights, and other aspects of global cooperation.

Persuasive Source of Law

In legal decision-making, persuasive sources of law are those that do not carry a direct binding authority but carry persuasive weight and influence. Although they are not legally enforceable on their own, they are important in shaping how the law is interpreted and applied. The main persuasive sources include:

1. Decision of Foreign Courts

Decisions of foreign courts, especially those from jurisdictions with similar legal systems, may be persuasive in interpreting the law if they are persuasive. When dealing with legal issues that have not been directly addressed in their own jurisdiction, courts may consider foreign court decisions as persuasive authority.

It promotes consistency and facilitates the resolution of complex or novel legal questions by utilizing the reasoning and analysis of foreign courts.

2. The Principles of Foreign Law

A principle of foreign law, also known as comparative law, involves analyzing and comparing legal principles and systems from diverse jurisdictions. The study of comparative law provides legal professionals with insight into how other countries have approached and solved legal issues. In order to adapt and refine their legal framework to better meet the needs of their society, courts and legislators can examine the principles and practices of foreign laws.

3. Opinion of experts or Jurists

Opinions and writings of legal experts, scholars, and jurists can be persuasive in legal reasoning and interpretations. As a result of their expertise and knowledge, these experts provide analysis, commentary, and interpretation of legal issues. When courts, lawyers, and lawmakers face complex legal questions or seek guidance on matters requiring specialized knowledge, they often seek their opinions.

4. Text books, journals

Textbooks, legal treatises, and academic journals play an important role in shaping legal discourse and providing analysis and commentary on legal principles and developments. These written sources provide in-depth explanations, interpretations, and scholarly perspectives on various aspects of the law. They contribute to legal education, research, and the development of legal theories and doctrines.

5. Rules of morality and religious books

A legal decision-making process may be influenced by moral principles and principles derived from religious texts in some legal systems. In matters involving ethics, family law, and religious freedom, courts and lawmakers may take into account moral principles or religious doctrines, even though they do not have direct legal binding force.

Related Posts:


Leave a Comment