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A date with a difficult question – What is law?

November 20, 2012

Philosophers and legal theorists all seem to have different opinions on what the law  and purpose of it actually is and this question gets even more annoying when the definition of ‘law’ isn’t clear – talk about headache.

I won’t mention names because this is a very short post just to express my annoyance at this issue.

The law is complicated. The law is contradictory, hypocritical, frustrating and also one of the best things Humans have created in the world.
It might not succeed and it might be biased or corrupt but just think – what would it be like without it?

Equality would be far more difficult and justice would be a concept reserved for those with the best shot.

Now, I understand that the law can do bad, but doesn’t the ability to do good outweigh that of the bad? Or is that an old tale that has been long forgotten in modern society.

Part of me wants  not to care for the definition of law, but then I so want to be able to say HERE. THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE.

For me, law is about understanding and tolerance as is everything that is successful in our society.

It is full of variety and color, not this dull repetition of rules people wish us to believe.

Law isn’t something that can be understood or studied like education, the family or even crime because of how much it influences;  From that banana being fair trade to being able to believe in what we want to. It is the invisible thread that runs through our society shaping our lives and giving us something to believe in.

Law is not believing in justice, in punishment, in rules or order. Law, in its truest form – to help people, to protect people and to function in the best interests of society is about hope.


We hope everyday that we do things the right way, morality is complicated and also based on instinct. So much is based on instinct but we back it up with facts and principles because this is what we think we need to do.

There is no definition of what law is  (but you will find one in a dictionary…) and surely this begs the question should there be one? Why chain something so vibrant and fast changing down to a rigid definition that will not satisfy everyone, will cause academic conflict, not affect society and take the progressive element away completely.

I feel better now. When I have more time I might sit down and try and put in words what I think law is and try and disprove a couple of theorists, but for now, I need a brew! Aristotle would be proud…And Holmes and Dworkin would probably think I’ve missed the point of the debate completely – Bring it.

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