POLICE WATCH INDIA (Regd. NGO)
It is possible to describe law as the body of official rules and regulations, generally found in constitutions, legislation, judicial opinions, and the like, that is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members, so Law is a formal mechanism of social control & Legal systems are particular ways of establishing and maintaining social order.
According to John Austin (English jurist born 1790) law is :-“A body of rules fixed and enforced by a sovereign political authority.”
According to Karl Marx :-“Law is a tool of oppression used by capitalists to control the proletariat”.
According to Plato & Aristotle law is :-“An embodiment of Reason”, whether in the individual or the community’.
St Thomas Aquinas (Italian philosopher) defined law as :-“Nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated”.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (American judge and jurist) said :-“The prophecies of what the courts will do … is what I mean by the law.”
According to Lord Browne-Wilkinson (Senior Law Lord) law is :-“The sum of the influences that determine decisions in courts of justice.”
Max Weber (German Sociologist) said :-“Law…exists if it is externally guaranteed by the probability of coercion (physical or psychological) to bring about conformity or avenge violation, and is applied by a staff of people holding themselves specially ready for that purpose.”
Hobbes said of the role and function of law in his polemic work ‘Leviathan’ that :-“Law is the formal glue that holds fundamentally disorganised societies together.”
Glanville Williams in his treatise “Learning the law” said :-“Law is the cement of society and also an essential medium of change. Knowledge of law increases one’s understanding of public affairs. Its study promotes accuracy of expression, facility in argument and skill in interpreting the written word, as well as some understanding of social values”.
According to legal positivists, law is man-made, or “posited,” by the legislature. Where natural law theorists may say that if a law is not moral there is no obligation to obey it, by appealing to moral or religious principles, but positivists hold that until a duly enacted law is changed, it remains law, and should be obeyed.
According to legal realist Oliver Wendell Holmes who wrote “The Common Law” in 1923 :-“If the law were merely a system of rules, we would not need lawyers conducting adversarial proceedings, because judges could just apply the rules. In fact, judges have discretion with which they can decide a case in a number of ways, and factors such as the judge’s temperament, or social class, or social &political ideology, may determine the outcome”.
Unfortunately according to Honoré de Balzac :-“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.”
Sir Edward Coke said that :-“Reason is the life of the law, nay the common law is nothing else but reason”.
Edmund Burke’s view is that :-“There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity — the law of nature and of nations”.
George Chapman said that :-“Who to himself is law; no law doth need, offends no law, and is a king indeed”.
Lydia Maria Child said that :-“Law is not law, if it violates the principles of eternal justice”.
According to Martin Luther King Jr :-“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress”.
Whilst Cicero, Marcus T said that :-“The magistrates are the ministers for the laws, the judges their interpreters, the rest of us are servants of the law, that we all may be free.”
However according to Henry Ward Beecher :-“Laws and institutions, like clocks, must occasionally be cleaned, wound up, and set to true time.”
Calvin Coolidge’s opinion is that :-“I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis on the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.”
WE GENUINELY FEEL THAT IF THE WISH OF “CALVIN COOLIDGE” PROVES TO BE TRUE, WHENEVER SO, HUMANITY & SOCIETY WOULD BE MUCH NEARER TO ACHIEVING THE ELUSIVE UTOPIAN CONCEPT OF CIVILISED LIVING.