1. What is Law
The term “Law” in its widest sense means “a rele of action”, i.e., any standard or principle according to which certain acts in certain circumstances must operate. Thus, if a stone was to be dropped it must fall, i.e, the stone must obey the law of gravitation.
a. Various definitions
Various schools of law have defined law from different angles. Some have defined it on the basis of its nature. Some concentrate mainly on its sources. Some define it in terms of its effect on society. There are others who define law in terms of the end or purpose of law. A definition which does not cover various aspects of law is bound to the imperfect. Moreover, law is social science and grows and develops with the growth and development of society. New developments in society create new problems and law is required to deal with those problems. In order to keep pace with society, the definition and scope of law must continue to change. The result is that a definition of law given at a particular time cannot remain valid for all time to come.
“Law in its most general and comprehensive sense signifies a rule of action and is applied indiscriminately to all kinds of actions, whether animate or inanimate, rational or irrational. Thus, we say the laws or gravitation, or optics or mechanics, as well as the laws of nature and of nations.
“ Law is the aggregate of rules set by men as politically superior, or sovereign, to men as politically subject”.
2. Advantages of Law
Law has got the following advantages
a. Law avoids the dangers of arbitrary, biased and dishonest decisions
The existence of fixed principles of law avoids the dangers of arbitrary, biased and dishonest decisions. Law is certain and known. Therefore, a departure from a rule of law by a judge is visible to all. It is not enough that justice should be done, but it is also necessary that it should be seen, to be done. If the administration of justice is left completely to the individual discretion of a judge, improper motives and dishonest opinions could affect the distribution of justice.
b. Administration of Justice
The fixed principles of alw protect the administration of justice from the errors of individual judgment. In most cases, the law on the subject is clear and judges are not expected to twist the same. They are not expected to substitute their own opinion for the law of the country. Experience shows that people have lived happier lives when they are ruled by the fixed principles of law than when there are no laws as such.
Another advantage of law is that it is more reliable than individual judgment. Human mind is fallible and judges are no exception. The wisdom of the legislature which represents the wisdom of the people is a safer and more reliable mean of protection than the momentary fancy of the individual judge.
3. Disadvantages of Law
a. Rigidity of law
One disadvantage is the rigidity of law. An ideal legal system keeps on changing according to the changing needs of the people. Law must adjust itself to the needs of the people and cannot isolate itself from them. However, law is not usually changed to adjust itself to the needs of the people.
b. conservative nature
Both the lawyer and judges favour the continuation of the existing law. The result is that very often law is static. This is not desirable for a progressive society.
More emphasis is put on the form of law than its substance. A lot of time is wasted in raising technical objections of law which have nothing to do with the merits of the case in dispute.
It is true that every effort is made to make law as simple as possible but it is not possible to make every law simple. That is due to the complex nature of modern society. Lawyers also insist on drawing fine distinctions on the various points of law.