Blog Post #1
by GillianMaskell on October 2, 2015 - 10:19pm
JURI 1106 BLOG POST
Oct 2, 2015
Do you have an example of ways that you encounter the law on a regular basis?
There are various examples of ways that I encounter the law on a regular basis. The first thing that I can think of are traffic laws. Traffic laws are probably the most common law that all people deal with every single day. Whether you drive, ride, or walk to where you are going, the traffic laws still affect everyone in one way or another. A traffic law that I encounter would be the law of wearing a seat belt since I do not drive, so I am only a passenger. These various traffic laws seem to have become second nature to most people or so we hope. These laws are in place ensure efficiency, but most importantly the safety of all who use the roads, in which ever way they do. An example of how traffic law have become second nature by encountering it on a regular basis to us is when drivers see a speed limit sign of sixty kilometres, they know that they must slowdown from the speed they were already traveling at and adjust to the change, but the same is for things like slowing down on a yellow light, stopping on a red light, letting pedestrians cross before making a right turn, etc. These things are all done without any other thought or question of it. Though how do traffic laws effect people who are not even driving? Well a cyclist has specific traffic laws to obey, they must wear proper protection equipment like passengers in vehicles must wear seat belts, in a cyclist’s case it would be a helmet, and this law does vary from age 0-15 years. Cyclists, like people driving vehicles are required to use certain lanes, and hand signals (like car signals) to notify others around them what they are doing to keep others safe. Also people walking have things they must do in order to obey the law and keep everyone else safe on the roads. A pedestrians must be aware of the traffic around them, to know when they can and cannot cross, and the proper spots to cross in traffic, which is at a set of lights, not in the middle of the road which is illegal and, known as jaywalking. All, of these laws ensure efficiency and safety, they do this through offering everyone a fair chance to drive at a reasonable speed to get to where they need to go, if people did not obey traffic lights and people just went as they pleased there would be total chaos, with cars crashing into each other, and even pedestrians being hurt because they are able to cross to certain parts of the roads when other sections are stopped by red lights.
Is the law an invisible or visible presence in your daily life?
I think that a majority of the time, law is an invisible presence, not just in my own life but for everyone in society. Law effects everyone, and it subconsciously effects our decisions. Though there is much difference between rules that are learned as children that shape our behaviour and actual formal law, but both are very much alike. People are taught from a young age that if you do not follow the rules, you will face consequences, which vary depending on how serve a rule is broken. Though as we age these punishments become more severe. There are a variety of reasons why people obey this invisible presence in our lives,
As Sasha Bagley explains,
"Most of the time, people follow legal rules. Why is this so? Is it because they are afraid of being caught or punished? Or because they believe that disobeying the law is morally wrong? Or they just do it out of habit […] from a young age, we are socialized into law-abiding conduct. Thus, we can say that some behaviours are attributed to a habit and our internalized understanding of proper conduct. Perhaps most importantly, many feel that we have a moral duty to obey the law. Is it part of being a good citizen. Obeying the law contributes to the overall public good: order and safety in society (Bagley, pp. 9-10). "
The quote from Bagley explains in perfect detail why people choose to obey the laws placed upon them by government and legislations from young ages. There are so many reasons why most people in the world do choose to follow law, but for whatever reason they may obey, this invisible presence is put in place to keep order, wellbeing and peace within communities and the world, without this silent protector the world may be a very different place to as we know it now . How would Canada be different? If we did not have the structured law we have now, combined from Civic, Civil and Indigedious law, we may be a country more similar to a war torn country, where the people of the country may not speak freely in fear of being harmed or even killed, we may not have access to things such as a fair trial. This is because certain laws are put in place to limit the power of those in higher standings, and makes it so everyone is equal under the law.
Law is not always a good force, the system of law is not and will never be a perfect system, it has flaws, that cause things like wrongful convictions to happen, but unlike some countries, again, Canadians have access to a fair trial they are innocent until proven guilty, as well as proper justice is usually served for the victim or party suing. Law maintains structures and support through the existing hierarchy by maintaining order for a fair trial, it regulates offenders according to the charge, and allows the accused to appeal the charge if they feel the trial was not fair.
 Bagley, S. (2015). Introduction to Law. In Introduction To The Canadian Legal System. Toronto, Ontario: Pearson.