There are too many laws! Laws are too controlling on our lives! I wish we could just live how we want to…
These thoughts and opinions on our legal system are incredibly common in our society. People want to live freely, and for many, the legal system plays no role in their life other than stopping them from doing certain acts. This has led many to question the importance and value of the law, and question why we even have laws.
Well, this is why the law is so important and the consequences if we choose to abandon the guidelines that set boundaries on our choices.
- LAWS lessen uncertainty
The purpose of legislation and common law (law made by judges) is to either restrict or promote a set of habits within society. The legislative and judiciary branches are created so that trained professionals can interpret, discuss, and resolve issues or debates. Without these mechanisms, life would be confusing, uncertain and arguably terrifying.
Life without laws is a life where any contentious issues would be unable to be resolved. There would be no objective standards to reference when it comes to settling social issues. There would be no mechanism for the resolution of problems and efficiency of solving problems would also rapidly decrease due to courts being unable to utilise precedent.
Laws are vital to ensuring that everyone in society understands what is acceptable. If rules are removed, no one is right or wrong, and it would be a crazy mess which would take decades to untangle.
2. LAWS protect society
Have you ever been injured at work or through violence? Or, do you know anyone who has been injured or assaulted? Well, without the law, justice is unattainable.
The law, specifically criminal law, enables justice not only for a victim but also for the community at large. It allows for a perpetrator to be incapacitated for a severe crime which promotes justice for the victim but also protects the community from further harm.
You are walking through your local park, and as you begin to walk down a dirt trail, an unidentifiable young man approaches you with his outreached hand holding a knife. You freeze in fear, and while you attempt to turn around, the man stabs you in your side. There are two people on the other side of the park who see the crime take place, but as they arrive to administer first aid, the criminal has already run away.
If you were the victim, would you want justice? Would you want compensation for your loss?
Moreover, if you heard about the crime on the news and you lived in the same suburb, would you want to see this man off the street?
Without the law, the perpetrator remains free to go about his life. There is no punishment and no compensation for the victim. The suburb would be full of fear. We must have laws because the law ensures our safety.
3. LAWS promote equality and fairness
There are no exceptions. Laws aren’t made for a specific group of people and are unapplicable to another group. When was the last time you heard about murder only being a crime for people who lived in Chatswood, Epping and Ryde? But, if you live in Carlingford, murder is acceptable!
This is not the case because the law promotes equality. Everyone is treated the same under the law, no matter what! This is a foundational aspect of the rule of law which states that everyone is equal under the law.
This is further illustrated in common law where people are treated equally for equal actions. If the actions of an employer cause an employee a significant loss, and a judge provides subsequent compensation to an employee. If a similar case arises, that employee will also receive compensation as the law promotes equality and fairness.
If there were no law, there would be no fairness and no equality. People with money or power would be able to do what they please, and those with no social status would be severely targeted and mistreated merely due to their position in society.
So, do you still really think we do not need laws?