Blog Post #3

by MaddyB on December 2, 2015 - 11:34pm

What is the benefit to studying law as a social science? How should we approach the study of law as an academic field?

                The benefit that comes from studying law as a social science allows for the social aspects that law touches to be seen. From historical events such as when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was put into effect to just everyday lives and how the law is used to shape peoples everyday lives. The law goes about this with the idea of social norms and how people conform to them, with social norms in place and actual laws in effect, the law holds a great power over society and how things get done. As an example, everything we do from driving to work in the morning or home at night, to waiting on an escalator on a curtain side because it is now a “social norm”, both are examples of how our daily life’s are effected. Studying law as a social science allows for these connections to be made and for us to expand on them in the sense that we can look into how the power over society is used on a daily basis, it allows for us to look into different cases that allowed for social change to come about. Such as with the Persons case and the famous five women that changed the idea that women were not seen as legal “persons” and they changed that. There is also the fact that it allows us to look into the changing of equality rights as social values change, it then effects laws and how they need to change to fit to people’s views on the subject.

It then allows for one to go into the history of law and how it brought about social change and the aspects of how Canada began to grow independent, with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also that the idea that this well be a constant change  with different views forming with new generations. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was a big change in our legal system, it introduced fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, language rights and equality rights. Without the effect of the Charter all the social changes that have happened would have not taken place, with the study of law as a social science one would not be able to look back at the changes that law had brought to form what we know today.

When approaching the study of law as an academic field it is a good thing to break it down and come at it in different angles. Law is such a broad topic to look at it as a social science, and then dividing law into different forms of law would simply and allow for one to understand the different parts of law. Look at common law and civil law, but than it can also be broken down even more into, criminal law, family law, contract law, tort law, corporate law, entertainment law, environment law…and so on. The ability to come at law in all these different angles gives one the ability to see law as not just the everyday laws that we are told to follow it lets one to see it in a broader sense to get an idea of how much law actually plays a part in everything we do.