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FUNCTIONS/UTILITY/IMPORTANCE/SIGNIFICANCE/NEED OF

LAW

1.) Understanding the complexities and components of the


legal system for instance, the nature of the State and the
functioning of its organs.
2.) Preservation of the State and Statehood. Law ensures that
the State does not become tyrannical and acts strictly within
the framework provided for by the Constitution. It also
guarantees that the citizens do not exceed the limitations set
for them. Overall, the State functions in a smooth manner with
law at its place.
3.) Harmonizing conflicting interests/Balancing rights with
duties. It is the task of law to harmonize the various competing
interests prevalent in a society.
4.) It is a necessary evil for the maintenance of public order
and security.
5.) Enjoyment of rights which are vulnerable to infringement.
Law not only guarantees certain fundamental and legal rights,
but also provides for a stringent mechanism for their
enforcement.
6.) Regulate human activities/conduct/behaviour.
7.) Define what is permissible and what is not.
8.) It is a tool for the administration of justice.
9.) Act as an instrument of social change
 Law changed the society: e.g. Female foeticide, child
marriage, widow remarriage.
 Society changed the law: e.g. Homosexuality (S. 377 of
IPC), Live-in relationships, Anti-corruption campaign etc.

FEATURES/CHARACTERISTICS/ATTRIBUTES OF
LAW/ESSENTIALS OF A VALID LAW

1.) Consistency Laws should be consistent with each other.


Contradictions between the prevalent laws would lead to
unnecessary chaos and confusion.
2.) Backed by sanction that is a force (positive or negative) which
pressurizes the citizens to follow law.
3.) Law must satisfy the mandate of Constitution. All laws in a
country must conform to the Constitution therein. Every law
which is ultra-vires the Constitution would be null and void
and liable to be struck down.
4.) Law is social engineering. Thus, it must cater to the needs of
society.
5.) Law must be a perfect balance of permanence and
flexibility. If a law is too rigid, the society shall remain static
since it would not be able to incorporate/meet its dynamic
demands. On the other hand, an excessively flexible law would
lead to chaos and confusion in the society.
6.) It is a social science. The concept of law largely depends on
the social values, accepted norms and behavioural patterns of a
particular society at a given time. At the same time, it is
systematic and backed by proper research/planning. Thus, it is
often referred to as both, an art and a science.
7.) Voice of the “Volksgeist”. As propounded by Savigny, law
must draw influence the popular consciousness or the spirit of
the people.
8.) Cannot be defined with precision. Every person defines law
according to his own perception of it. For instance, an ordinary
citizen may think that it is something which he must obey, a
policeman or an administrator may define law in terms of
power-conferring rules and a lawyer may think that it is
something which is applied to settle the disputes.

NOTE: Please incorporate the additional points given in class notes for an
answer on “ESSENTIALS OF A VALID/GOOD LAW”