HOW SOCIETY CAN BE INFLUENTIAL IN
DEVELOPMENT OF LAWS.
about a society without laws in this modern world today seems very impossible
or doesn’t make sense since law and society can’t be separated. Society can’t
live without laws, neither can laws exist without society. The oxford English
dictionary defines Law as “a system of rules that is recognised by a country or
area as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the
imposition of penalty”1.
Society however, is said to be “a group of people with a common territory,
interaction and culture”2.
Both law and society have the tendency of impacting and influencing each other.
Another name for the influential ability of society on law making can be called
democracy. This piece, is going to analyse how society can be influential in
the development of law be it direct or indirect.
are so many ways by which society can be influential in the development of law.
Some are general whilst others vary all over the world based on the type of
culture that is adopted by a certain society. These laws are developed based on
the wellbeing of the society in order to promote peace and stability in
societies all over the world. The following are some of the ways by which the
society can be influential in the development of laws.
major way by which the society can be influential in the development of law is
by voting. This is because, the society is given the right to vote into power any
political group that they want. This political party that is voted into power
is then going to enact the laws that it promised the society through its electoral
campaigns and manifestos. In Ghana for instance, the people of the country
voted for a political party that was going to make senior high school education
free over other political parties with promises. It was the same in the UK
where the society voted for Theresa May’s conservative party over Jeremy
Corbyn’s Labour party. This was based on the promises made by both parties
through their political campaigns.
society is influential in the development of laws since the law facilitates and
protects the society. Raymond Wacks said that, “to comprehend and explain the
concept of law requires a societal analysis that is rooted in the societal
conditions in which the law and legal ideas are employed”3.
Which means, the benefit, happiness and wellbeing of the society is taken into
consideration by the political leaders who make the laws. Laws like the” Human
Rights Acts 1998″4
are laws that were enacted to protect the rights of the people of the UK society
from the state and from fellow humans as well, as seen in the “Ghaidan v
case which was a case about a homosexual taken to court for “claiming to have
succeeded the statutory tenancy as spouse of his deceased gay partner”6
even though “same sex marriage was not equivalent to a spousal relationship”7.
society can be influential in the development of laws through protesting or
demonstrations. If a society is not happy with a particular law because its
affecting them in a negative way, a protest can be made against that law. This
is very common in countries all over the world especially African countries. In
countries like Nigeria and UK, there have been instances where people have
protested against gay rights and for equal pay rights respectively. As a
result, there is now a law against homosexuality in Nigeria and there is the “Equal
Pay Act 1970” in the UK which made men and women to paid equally for doing the
Another example is how the Zimbabwe society recently made demonstrations for
their ruling president, Robert Mugabe to step down the seat because, some of
the laws that were passed by his parliament during his era were overly strict
and not helping them as a society. In a nutshell, he was more or less exercising
dictatorship instead of democracy. Which means, they want another political
leader is going to develop laws that is going to benefit the country as a whole.
conclusion, the society always have a say in the laws that are developed since
these laws are passed with the motive of protecting and developing the society.
this has by far become the order of the day because, by this means, society is
able live by the laws that they themselves have agreed to abide by.
No author, ‘definition of law’, (English oxford living dictionaries), https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/law,
accessed 9th November 2017.
No author, ‘Society and Culture’, (Spark Notes), http://www.sparknotes.com/sociology/society-and-culture/section1.rhtml,
accessed 9th November 2017.
Wacks: Understanding Jurisprudence (1st supp, 4th edn,
Oxford university press 2015) pg 187.
Human Rights Act 1998.
UKHL 30, 2004 2AC 557.
No Author, ‘Human Rights Law Cases’, (Law Teacher), https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/ghaidan-v-godin-mendoza.php,
accessed 11th November 2017.
Equal Pay Act 1970.