What do we mean when we say that the primary purpose of law is the maintenance of order?

What do we mean when we say that the primary purpose of law is the maintenance of order? Why is public order necessary? What would be life without it?

The concept of the creation of law is order and preservation of human rights. The purpose of law and its constitution is to require people to follow existing accepted rules and guidelines based from shared norms, social values, and customs aimed to protect the lives and liberties of citizens (Drobak 2006).

Law and justice are man-made conventions subjecting human behavior to the governance of rules and regulate the use of power that it may not be misused. In a free society law preserves both freedom and moral agency and bounds everyone including the government. With this perspective, law has effectively fostered a smoothly functioning social order in terms of existing general rules and not from perceived desirability of particular outcome. The function of which is to ascertain, articulate and serve as a reference to maintain order in society.

Public order is necessary to uphold minimum standards of decency and civility to improve the quality of life with legislation of morality. It presents inherent social control issues on matters of law and order against crime and punishment. In its absence crimes against public order and morals will rise like prostitution, drug offenses, engaging in gang activities, vagrancy and loitering etc. hese crimes and street violence victimization is seen a threat to individual personal security and is a potential source of state instability.

This enhances fear which may lead some segments of society to support and act on extreme measures to protect self and property and in the process may violate rights. A predictable demobilization of military or rebel group, social dislocation, abuse and corruption is seen to compound the problem by then rising rule of force.


Drobak, J. N. (2006). Norms and the law. UK: Cambridge University Press.