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Chapter 3: Purposes and Functions of Law

The law serves many purposes and functions in society. Four principal purposes and functions
are establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights.

3.1 Establishing Standards

The law is a guidepost for minimally acceptable behavior in society. Some activities, for instance, are
crimes because society (through a legislative body) has determined that it will not tolerate certain
behaviors that injure or damage persons or their property. For example, under a typical state law, it is a
crime to cause physical injury to another person without justification—doing so generally constitutes
the crime of assault.

3.2 Maintaining Order

This is an offshoot of establishing standards. Some semblance of order is necessary in a civil society and
is therefore reflected in the law. The law—when enforced—provides order consistent with society’s

3.3 Resolving Disputes

Disputes are unavoidable in a society made of persons with different needs, wants, values, and views.
The law provides a formal means for resolving disputes—the court system. There is a federal court
system and each state has its own separate court system.

3.4 Protecting Liberties and Rights

The constitutions and statutes of the United States and its constituent states (see chapter 5) provide for
various liberties and rights. A purpose and function of the law is to protect these various liberties and
rights from violations or unreasonable intrusions by persons, organizations, or government.
You have probably realized that laws may serve more than one principal function and there are
obviously more principal functions than the four that we have identified.


Why Do We Need the Law?

Almost everything we do is governed by some set of rules. There are rules for games, for social clubs, for
sports and for adults in the workplace. There are also rules imposed by morality and custom that play an
important role in telling us what we should and should not do. However, some rules -- those made by
the state or the courts -- are called "laws". Laws resemble morality because they are designed to control
or alter our behaviour. But unlike rules of morality, laws are enforced by the courts; if you break a law --
whether you like that law or not -- you may be forced to pay a fine, pay damages, or go to prison.

Why are some rules so special that they are made into laws? Why do we need rules that everyonemust
obey? In short, what is the purpose of law?

If we did not live in a structured society with other people, laws would not be necessary. We would
simply do as we please, with little regard for others. But ever since individuals began to associate with
other people -- to live in society --laws have been the glue that has kept society together.

Even in a well-ordered society, people have disagreements and conflicts arise. The law must provide a
way to resolve these disputes peacefully. If two people claim to own the same piece of property, we do
not want the matter settled by a duel: we turn to the law and to institutions like the courts to decide
who is the real owner and to make sure that the real owner's rights are respected.

We need law, then, to ensure a safe and peaceful society in which individuals' rights are respected. But
we expect even more from our law. Some totalitarian governments have cruel and arbitrary laws,
enforced by police forces free to arrest and punish people without trial. Strong-arm tactics may provide
a great deal of order, but we reject this form of control.

Goals of the Law

In our society, laws are not only designed to govern our conduct: they are also intended to give effect to
social policies. For example, some laws provide for benefits when workers are injured on the job, for
health care, as well as for loans to students who otherwise might not be able to go to university.

Another goal of the law is fairness. This means that the law should recognize and protect certain basic
individual rights and freedoms, such as liberty and equality. The law also serves to ensure that strong
groups and individuals do not use their powerful positions in society to take unfair advantage of weaker

However, despite the best intentions, laws are sometimes created that people later recognize as being
unjust or unfair. In a democratic society like Canada, laws are not carved in stone, but must reflect the
changing needs of society. In a democracy, anyone who feels that a particular law is flawed has the right
to speak out publicly and to seek to change the law by lawful means.

The System of Law and Justice

The law is a set of rules for society, designed to protect basic rights and freedoms, and to treat everyone
fairly. These rules can be divided into two basic categories: public law and private law.

Public Law

Public law deals with matters that affect society as a whole. It includes areas of the law that are known
as criminal, constitutional and administrative law. These are the laws that deal with the relationship
between the individual and the state, or among jurisdictions. For example, if someone breaks a criminal
law, it is regarded as a wrong against society as a whole, and the state takes steps to prosecute the

Private Law
Private law, on the other hand, deals with the relationships between individuals in society and is used
primarily to settle private disputes. Private law deals with such matters as contracts, property
ownership, the rights and obligations of family members, and damage to one's person or property
caused by others. When one individual sues another over some private dispute, this is a matter for
private law. Private suits are also called "civil" suits.


The law is important for a society for it serves as a norm of conduct for citizens. It was also made to
provide for proper guidelines and order upon the behaviour for all citizens and to sustain the equity on
the three branches of the government. It keeps the society running. Without law there would be chaos
and it would be survival of the fittest and everyman for himself. Not an ideal lifestyle for most part.

The law is important because it acts as a guideline as to what is accepted in society. Without it there
would be conflicts between social groups and communities. It is pivotal that we follow them. The law
allows for easy adoption to changes that occur in the society.

Society is a ‘web-relationship’ and social change obviously means a change in the system of social
relationship where a social relationship is understood in terms of social processes and social interactions
and social organizations. Thus, the term, ‘social change’ is used to indicate desirable variations in social
institution, social processes and social organization. It includes alterations in the structure and functions
of the society. Closer analysis of the role of law vis-à-vis social change leads us to distinguish between
the direct and the indirect aspects of the role of law.

1. Law plays an important indirect role in regard to social change by shaping a direct impact on society.
For example: A law setting up a compulsory educational system.

2. On the other hand, law interacts in many cases indirectly with basic social institutions in a manner
constituting a direct relationship between law and social change. For example, a law designed to
prohibit polygamy.

Law plays an agent of modernization and social change. It is also an indicator of the nature of societal
complexity and its attendant problems of integration. Further, the reinforcement of our belief in the
age-old panchayat system, the abolition of the abhorable practices of untouchability, child marriage,
sati, dowry etc are typical illustrations of social change being brought about in the country trough laws.

Law is an effective medium or agency, instrumental in bringing about social change in the country or in
any region in particular. Therefore, we rejuvenate our belief that law has been pivotal in introducing
changes in the societal structure and relationships and continues to be so.

Law certainly has acted as a catalyst in the process of social transformation of people wherein the
dilution of caste inequalities, protective measures for the weak and vulnerable sections, providing for
the dignified existence of those living under unwholesome conditions etc. are the illustrious examples in
this regard. Social change involves an alteration of society; its economic structure, values and beliefs,
and its economic, political and social dimensions also undergo modification. However, social change
does not affect all aspects of society in the same manner.
While much of social change is brought about by material changes such as technology, new patterns of
production, etc., other conditions are also necessary. For example, as we have discussed it before, legal
prohibition of untouchability in free India has not succeeded because of inadequate social support.

Nonetheless, when law cannot bring about change without social support, it still can create certain
preconditions for social change. Moreover, after independence, the Constitution of India provided far-
reaching guidelines for change. Its directive principle suggested a blueprint for a new nation. The de-
recognition of the caste system, equality before the law and equal opportunities for all in economic,
political and social spheres were some of the high points of the Indian Constitution.

The Relationship between Law and Society

The social rules are made by the members of the society. Disobedience of the social rules is followed by
punishment of social disapproval. There is no positive penalty associated with the violation of rules
except excommunication or ostracism. On the other hand, law is enforced by the state. The objective of
law is to bring order in the society so the members of society can progress and develop with some sort
of security regarding the future. The state makes laws. Disobedience of state laws invites penalty, which
is enforced by the government by the power of the state. What is not enforceable is not Law.


Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern
behaviour, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as
a social mediator of relations between people.

If the harm is criminalized in legislation, criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the
perpetrator. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human
rights and the election of political representatives.

Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies, while international law
governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or
military action. The legal response to a given social or technological problem is therefore in itself a major
social action which may aggravate a given problem or alleviate and help to solve it.


Chapter 4: Classifications of Law

There are many ways to classify laws. We will discuss two of them. To classify means to put types of law
into distinct categories (or buckets). Envision two buckets side by side. A law may be the type that goes
in the first bucket or the second. Let’s look at some classification buckets.

4.1 Substantive Law or Procedural Law

Substantive or Procedural
The first way to classify law is substantive or procedural. That is, a law belongs in the substantive bucket
(because it is a substantive law) or in the procedural bucket (because it is a procedural law).
A substantive law is a law that creates and controls the rights and duties of parties. General examples
include the laws regarding torts (see chapter 15), contracts (see chapter 18), and real property (see
chapter 25). A specific example of a substantive law is a law prohibiting trespassing on another’s
property. Why? Because such a law creates and defines trespassing and puts would-be trespassers on
notice regarding the liability (if it is civil trespassing) or punishment (if it is criminal trespassing) that they
face for violating the law.

A procedural law, on the other hand, is a law that creates and controls the process of enforcing the
rights and duties under substantive law. General examples include the rules of evidence, jurisdiction,
and pleading and practice (which are referred to as either civil procedure or criminal procedure,
depending on the type of proceeding). We will discuss civil procedure (i.e., steps in a civil case) in
chapter 9. A specific example of a procedural law is a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a
statute (see chapter 5) that creates a time limit for bringing a civil case (i.e., filing a lawsuit) or a criminal
case (i.e., initiating a prosecution); typically, the time limit is measured from the date of the event giving
rise to the lawsuit or prosecution. This means that in personal injury cases, for instance, a lawsuit must
be brought within a certain period of time after the injury occurred; otherwise, it will be time-barred.
The case could be very strong substantively; but that is immaterial because a court will dismiss the case
on procedural grounds.

4.2 Civil Law or Criminal Law

Civil or Criminal

A second way to classify law is civil or criminal. That is, a law belongs in the civil bucket (because it is a
civil law) or in the criminal bucket (because it is a criminal law). Civil law is the law of private rights and
duties. As with substantive law, general examples include the laws regarding torts (see chapter 15),
contracts (see chapter 18), and real property (see chapter 25). A specific example of a civil law is a law
providing that all contracts for the sale of real property must be in writing. Why is it a civil law? Because
it deals with duties between private parties; and any violation of it is a wrong between the parties, not a
wrong against the whole community.

Criminal law, on the other hand, is the law of public rights and duties; put another way, it is the law that
creates and controls wrongs committed against the whole community. Criminal law violations are called
crimes. Specific examples include laws against assault, burglary, and robbery (see chapter 14).

There are many differences between civil law and criminal law, including concerns, party bringing the
case, burdens of proof, and goals. We will spend a lot of space discussing these differences, in part
because it is easy to confuse aspects of the civil law and criminal law. And by gaining a firm grasp of the
differences, we will be in a better position to understand fully later material in this text. After discussing
the differences, we will then cover theoverlap between civil law and criminal law.

Concerns. Civil law is concerned with private rights and remedies, that is, the duties that exist among
and between persons, organizations, and governments (other than, of course, the duty not to commit
crimes). Conversely, criminal law is concerned with public rights and remedies, that is, with wrongs
committed against the public or whole community.

Party bringing the case. In a civil case, the party bringing the case (i.e., suing) is the plaintiff. The plaintiff
is a party who claims to have been injured by the wrongful conduct of the defendant. The plaintiff can
be a person, a business or other artificial entity, or a federal, state, or local government entity or agency.
The case appears in court documents with the heading Plaintiff v. Defendant; the heading is referred to
as a “caption.”

In a criminal case, the party bringing the case (i.e., prosecuting), is the government—local, state or
commonwealth, or federal. In a state or commonwealth prosecution, the case is normally
captioned State (or Commonwealth) v. Defendant; in a federal prosecution, the case is captioned United
States v. Defendant.[1]

Burdens of proof. The burdens of proof are also different for civil law and criminal law. A burden of
proof is a party’s duty to prove a claim or defense to a certain standard. In a typical civil case, the
burden of proof that the plaintiff must satisfy is “preponderance of the evidence.” There are other ways
of expressing this standard, including “more likely than not,” “by greater than 50% weight,” and “by the
greater weight of the evidence.”[2] If the plaintiff does not satisfy its burden during trial, the fact-finder
(i.e., the judge or jury, depending on the case) will decide the case in favor of the defendant.

In a criminal case, the burden of proof that the prosecution must satisfy is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The defendant is presumed to be not guilty unless the prosecution proves the defendant’s guilt to the
reasonable doubt standard. While this standard is impossible to quantify in mathematical terms (unlike
in civil law), it does not require the absence of doubt in the minds of the judge or jury. But the judge or
jury should find the defendant guilty only if firmly persuaded of the defendant’s guilt based on a fair and
full consideration of the evidence presented; there is no reasonable doubt if this is the case.[3]

A good way to remember the burdens of proof for civil law and criminal law is by envisioning the scales
of justice—

In a civil case, the plaintiff will satisfy the “preponderance of the evidence” burden by placing just
enough weight—that is, evidence or proof—on an arm of the scale to tip the scale slightly in the
plaintiff’s favor; that is all the weight needed to obtain a civil judgment against a defendant. In a criminal
case, however, the government will need to place enough weight on the arm of the scale to make that
arm almost touch bottom—that is, enough to satisfy “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Therefore, much
more evidentiary weight is needed to obtain a criminal conviction against a defendant.
Goals. The goals of civil law and criminal law differ greatly. In civil law, the primary goal is to make an
injured party whole, or compensate him for the damage done to him. This is accomplished by awarding
either a legal remedy or equitable remedy.

The main legal remedy is compensatory damages, which is money. Most plaintiffs bring civil cases
seeking money to compensate them for the injury and damage caused by a defendant. For example, in
an ordinary auto accident case, an injured driver with a damaged vehicle will sue the other driver who
caused the accident. Why? The reason is because the injured driver wants to be made whole. How can
the injured driver be made whole? The answer is by obtaining the monies necessary to repair or replace
his vehicle, pay his medical bills, and compensate him for lost wages and pain and suffering.

In some states, punitive damages are available in rare cases to punish a defendant (which is an
occasional goal of civil law). But even in states that allow punitive damages, they are usually limited to
certain types of cases or for conduct that involves fraud or malice, or is willful and wanton.

There are occasions, however, where the legal remedy of compensatory damages is considered
inadequate under the law. In such a case, a plaintiff may instead obtain an equitable remedy. The
general rule is that legal remedies are inadequate when a case involves unique or rare personal property
or if it involves real property. In simple terms, personal property is every type of property other than
real estate; and real property is real estate, which consists of land and things attached to or growing
upon the land (e.g., buildings and plants). Because no two pieces of real estate are exactly the same, the
law considers real estate unique. We will discuss real property further in chapter 25.

So if the legal remedy of monetary damages is inadequate under the law, is an equitable remedy
available to a plaintiff? An equitable remedy is a non-monetary remedy based (not surprisingly) on the
doctrine of equity, which is the principle of crafting a fair and just outcome when a legal remedy is
unavailable, inadequate, or where the strict application of the law would produce an unconscionable
result. While there are many equitable remedies, two of the more common types
are injunction and specific performance. An injunction is a court order requiring a party to do, or not to
do, an act. For example, after finding a corporation liable for patent infringement (see chapter 24), a
judge may issue an order enjoining the corporation from further infringing of the patent. Specific
performance is a court order requiring a party to perform a contractual duty. For example, a purchaser
who paid money for real property may sue the seller seeking the equitable remedy of specific
performance if the seller refuses to deliver the deed. The reason is because the purchaser wants the real
property and deed, not a refund of monies paid.

In nearly every state today, courts of law and equity have merged. This allows plaintiffs to obtain a legal
remedy or equitable remedy in the same court. One notable exception is Delaware, where the Superior
Court is the general court of law (with judges) and the Court of Chancery is the general court of equity
(with chancellors). One reason that numerous corporations are incorporated in Delaware is because of
the Court of Chancery and its well-deserved reputation as the pre-eminent court in the world for the
resolution of corporate and other fiduciary matters. The Court of Chancery guards vigilantly its limited
equity jurisdiction. It will dismiss or transfer cases where a plaintiff uses “‘magic words’ to dress its
complaint in the garb of equity”; in dismissing a case in 2008, the Court stated that “one cannot parade
a duck around and call it a swan.”[4]

Unlike civil law, the primary goal of criminal law is to punish the wrongdoer, that is, the defendant.
Depending obviously on the level and severity of the crime, this may be accomplished by the death
penalty, imprisonment, probation, or fines. Other goals of criminal law include retribution (i.e., to get-
even or payback), deterrence, and rehabilitation. These goals also may be accomplished by the same
punishments; in addition, the court may order a convicted defendant to pay restitution (i.e., to pay the
victim for the injury or damage caused by the defendant) or place the defendant under a restraining
order. A restraining order is a type of injunction; in criminal law, it ordinarily is in the nature of
precluding a defendant from coming within a certain distance of or attempting to contact or
communicate with the victim.

Overlap between civil law and criminal law. You have likely recognized that there is overlap between
civil law and criminal law. That is, sometimes a wrongful act can be a violation of civil law and criminal


She is Amor de Jesus. She was so ladylike one that some dudes turned out to be attracted because of
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she settled her vengeance to the Buenavistas. Tested by fate and hardened by suffering, Amor vows
to return and destroy the lives of those who caused her tragic loss. When her day of reckoning
comes.She’s now named as Amor powers,a new amo de Jesus that is so bold,valiant,fearless and
will do anything to have her Payback to the Buemavistas.

She is a Dynamic character.because base on the teleserye Pangako sayo (2015 tv series) at first
she is womanly and was petrified to some people that has powers to manipulate over them. but
change herself when a tragic loss happened.and that made her so sturdier.the way she dress is so
completely mind blogging that in some points she had a stunning beauty,and that make sense,even
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same thing her vengeance is already planned all through out she wanted to give all the hurts she felt
to the cruel Family,Buenavistas.Its really a big change that was happene.