The law is nothing but written guidelines for maintaining discipline in a general society. It is a set of rules which is either enacted or customary, which the Government or community recognised as binding to the members of community or to the people of the country. It is set of rules which are enforceable in court of law.
Imagine if drivers have autonomy to choose which side of the street to drive on. Imagine trying to buy and sell goods when no individual has responsibility to keep promise or fulfil contracts. Imagine trying to protect your properties, families, or even yourself if there were no law against theft, assault, robbery, rape, murder, etc. Imagine having unregulated and unchecked powers. Imagine everyone is free to act on their whims and fancies. What do you foresee? Just chaos, nothing more or nothing less. Therefore, Plato said, “mankind must either give themselves a law and regulate their lives by it or live no better than the wildest of the wild beasts.”
In any civilised society, law becomes necessary to avoid any or at least minimise the chances of conflicts and disputes. It is necessary to maintain order in society and to ensure that disputes can be settled in an orderly and peaceful manner. Similarly, same law applies to everybody, including Parliament, Government, public official, who must carryout their public duties according to the law. That way, law ensures that our society operates in an orderly manner.
Laws by protecting people’s rights help in ensuring safe and peaceful society. Therefore, without law, justice is impossible. That is because, in lawless society, order is not possible; instead we may witness numerous disagreements and conflicts. The powerful individual will crave for more power, and richer will become richest, powerless will be ripped of their rights, and poor will be exploited to their death. Therefore, having society is impossible without law forget about the justice.
Therefore, we must not forget that ever since people began to live together in society, laws have been necessary to hold that society together. It shapes our private relationships through various private laws such as property, family and inheritance laws as well as our public relationship with the State through public laws such as criminal, constitutional and administrative laws.
It shapes politics, economics, society and individual in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relation between the people. Law is the only means that can allow us to coexist peacefully. Therefore, it is rightly said by Roscoe Pound that the law is social engineering.