Our system of societal life could not exist without a set of rules that govern human behavior or business interactions. Black’s Law Dictionary defines these rules, called “law,” as “the body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having legal binding force” (Melvin, p. 4, 2011). The most important aspects of law is that it creates duties, obligations, and rights that reflect point of views that are accepted by society, and provide a mechanism to resolve disputes that arise from these duties and obligations (Melvin, 2011). American law, which is the body of law that governs this country, can be broken down into three broad categories according to the role they have in society:
1. Criminal Law versus Civil Law.
2. Substantive versus Procedural Law. 3. Public Law versus Private Law. Criminal law is used to protect society. Violation of a criminal law could result in fines, imprisonment, or even death sentence in some states. Civil laws give compensation to individuals or businesses for losses incurred by the actions or conduct of another party. Substantive law refers to the legal relationship between people or the people and the state, while Procedural law is the set of rules tat governs the proceedings of the court in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding ("Procedural Law Vs Substantive Law," 2012). Public law refers to the laws that govern the relationship between an individual and the government; private law regulates the relationship between parties.
The most common example for a private law is the one that regulates a contract for services ("Private Law vs Public Law," 2012). The function of law is to protect the parties involved through a set of rules, carried out by a governing entity. The main functions of law are ("Now You Can Know The Functions Of Law," 2013): 1. Creates order in society.
2. Provides resolutions to conflicts. 3. Protects individuals and businesses, and their assets. 4. Promotes social justice. 5. Protects civil liberties as set in the Constitution.
When two businesses want to perform a transaction between them, laws govern the entire lifecycle of the transaction. There is a contract between them that stipulates responsibilities, deliverables, warranties, and dispute resolution mechanisms. Private law oversees this process. State laws and federal law regulates the financial exchange for the products or services delivered. If there is a dispute, Procedural law will govern the courts. The purpose of all these roles and functions for the parties interacting in society is to have equal, measurable rights during their interaction. If the business interaction is an international transaction, the parties will conduct their business regulated by international laws, and one country will be agreed to be the territory where disputes are resolved.
The international transaction is more complex because usually the laws of one country are not valid in the other country. As an employee, there exist labor laws that regulate the interaction between employer and employee. There is also a contract between the parties, and other provisions may be included in that contract like privacy agreements, intellectual property clauses, rules of conduct or dress code, and compensation clauses. The roles and functions of law impacts daily life – at home, at work, between businesses, and with the government. The system of law regulates our behavior and provides the means to protect individuals and organizations from others that violate this set of rules.
References: Procedural Law vs Substantive Law. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.diffen.com/difference/Procedural_Law_vs_Substantive_Law Now You Can Know the Functions of Law. (2013). Retrieved from http://paralegal.laws.com/functions-sources-law/functions-of-law Melvin, S. P. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial Approach: Theory to Practice, 1e. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.