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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Kingsley 'kingsville' Udofa on Apr 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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December 2010
For centuries law and its inherent values to any group of people has been studiedand commented on severally. Several scholars have undergone the study of law inorder to be able to explain the operation and indeed the meaning of law to societies. Itis now settled that there is always some kind of system, or codes of cohabitation thatregulate the conduct and relations between individuals within any given communityof people. A society consists of individuals who as of necessity have to interact forthe purposes of achieving individual aspiration within the society as well as thesociety’s commonly shared values and aspirations. The consequence of suchinteraction also means and implies the emergence and existence of rights andbenefits, as well as duties and obligations.That been said, what then is law? It is agreed that law is a phenomenon that existsin every human society but an attempt to define law would merely be an academicexercise in futility. There have been several schools of thought which have all tried toproffer an acceptable definition to law. This means that law is capable of severaldefinitions which may vary according to the orientation and ideals of he who tries toso define. For instance, every society may have very totally different meaning toascribe to law based on her history and cultures.The different theories of law clearly shows that no single concept of law has allthe answers to the questions of the underlying basis of law, the source of law etc.none of the ideas put forward by the several theories and schools of though can besaid to be completely right, or completely wrong. These divergent views areilluminating and call attention to various dimensions of legal problems. The function
of the law maker is to distil what is good in each point of view and to join them intoan amalgam for the good of society. However to have a grasp of the meaning of lawin society, it is my view that it is only the functions of law and indeed its operationwithin any society that really reveals such meaning.The law as an instrument of social control performs some indispensible functionsin society. Some of these functions are discussed below.
Law is the foundation of social order.
Law is normative in character in that itserves, and is meant to serve as a guide for human behaviour and obedience to law isultimately secured by the use of force. Deviant behaviour is suppressed through thelaw; right and not might, become the true basis of society and disputes are settled onthe basis of legal right. “Without this institutionalized means of settling disputethrough the judiciary, citizens who have grievances against fellow citizens will haveto resort to brute force to settle them; villages will rise against villages; communitiesagainst communities; towns against towns; tribes against tribes and mayhem willhave free reign and rule the day. It will be anarchy and brute force par excellence.”
 In other words, the institution of law represents a channel through which the citizenswho have grievances can ventilate such grievance and hope on getting some form of restitution.
Amucheazi E., The Judiciary and Democracy in Nigeria, Abuja: National Orientation Agency, 1998) p.13

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