Blog Post #3
by AUStudent on December 4, 2015 - 11:36am
Over the course of the semester we have examined the relationship between law and society, drawing on the approaches from a number of academic fields. What is the benefit to studying law as a social science?
“Law is governmental social control… the normative life of a state and its citizens.” – Donald Black. This quote was pulled from our lecture in our first class on the role of law in society, it is based on five major principles; social control, force and power, community, morality, and what is created or decided . We very briefly discussed these topics and how they relate to society, but as we went on into the course during the semester we went in depth about the different principles and their relationship in society. In our last official class we discussed the relationship between law and society and the roles the law plays in society. This is called socio-legal studies, it is important to study because rules and regulations are not the only factors in law, socio-legal studies deals with the politics, history, and social context of the law. Politics is demonstrated in S. 3 of the charter, it gives Canadian’s our voting rights and this is important in law because it gives the society the opportunity to choose their elected officials who make the law. The social concept is shown through the consequences of the law, it is what effects people and society, the law isn’t just about rules but social control. The last part we study in the class is history, this outlines how the law was created and make us think about why the law was applied, how it was done and how it affected society and made it into what it is now. This class was about studying everything but the rules, it’s about the civil law, civil liberties, politics, history, sociology and much more, it investigates theories from external sources and examines them from the views of the philosophers. Studying law as a social science helps understand a broader concept of the law and why it formed rather than just the law itself and its facts. Gives us a better understanding of why certain laws and regulations were put in place and the alternatives, broaden our horizons and make use look at the laws in a different way rather than just the black letter, and all around why the law is set out, what it would be like without it and how it protects our well-being.
How should we approach the study of law as an academic field?
When studying law it is important to cover all components of the subject. As I said above the rules and regulations isn’t the only portion of law that is important but everything else that the law involves. Knowing the socio-legal part of the law gives students a better understanding of the laws and why they were created. By looking at past cases that were the reason for law creation or major cases that effected certain laws gave me a different view or more consideration for the fact of why it was created.