Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

The Essence of Law

Law defined by the Webster dictionary is a 'binding custom or practice of a community'. It is 'a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority'. Each land has its own law but the sole purpose of law is to integrate people and ensure a cohesive bond amongst different strata of the society. Breaking law, thus, is synonymous to threatening the integrity of the land.

From the ages of lawless lands of jungle where nature ruled man's lives to the modern-day courts – the journey of law, irrespective of its land of practice, is as rich and enduring as the journey of the mankind. Just as mankind is still growing, progressing and breaking new boundaries, the law that binds the mankind is also evolving continuously. Old rules are challenged; new laws are born ensuring the well-being of the land and the people who live off and on it.

The concept of law has been debated for ages – from the 1500s amongst the greats like Francis Bacon, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu to David Hue to the modern day judges and lawyers, law has been argued and reargued again and again so that all points of time – it is the victory of the mankind, what is good and just and not the victory of an individual. This law may vary from land to land but the basic human sense of justice and truth prevails irrespective of geographical boundaries. So in essence laws of all lands are more or less similar.

Law is symbolized by the blind-folded lady – the reason being law does not see who is in front of it, but practices it equally for all. Law can be categorized under many categories – Civil law for example laws related to land, property, families and societies, Constitutional law related to the constitution of the land, Criminal laws involving the laws to curb the criminal activities in the society, Human Rights, Environment, Administrative law, International law and so on and so forth. Based on the country, the judiciary system of law differs, the structure and the power assigned to the judiciary system also varies accordingly. In countries ruled by military power or under some monarchies, often the judiciary lies with the governing power and is not considered as an independent body as in many democracies.

Practicing law is very interesting. The best part of practicing law is that one can pick up law at any point of their lives. Unlike most professions, where you need to start very young, law gives you the flexibility to study and practice law at a later stage in life as well. The practicing lawyers generally specialize in one of the categories of law. How one practices law and how the law is upheld in a society depends upon people's values of ethics and moral. The more law-abiding the citizens are, the better are the chances of prosperity for that land. However as St. Augustine had famously said 'An unjust law is not a law at all', while a law-abiding citizen must follow the laws of the land, he/she must also stand against the law that is unjust and immoral.

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