The Definition of Law and Its Impact on Society and Politics


Law is a political system that establishes rights, obligations, and freedoms. It is the foundation for the executive branches of government, and it provides people with access to justice. There are various theories of law. These theories focus on the principles of inner morality of law, the forms and procedures of law, and the impact of law on society and politics.

Principles of the inner morality of law

Fuller’s eight principles of the internal morality of law became an important contribution to rule of law theory and legal philosophy. His claims provoked the ‘natural law versus legal positivism’ debate. In recent years, Fuller’s scholarly agenda has seen a renewed interest, and his argument merits reconsideration.

Fuller argued that the relationship between law and morality is not causal. Rather, the connection between the two is conceptual, rather than physical. As a consequence, a moral principle is not directly inherent in a law, but is built into the legal system itself. Likewise, a legal system cannot function effectively if it does not satisfy any of the eight principles.

Forms and procedures of law

Law has a very complex internal structure, involving many distinct elements with specific interrelations. Many requests for a definition of law stem from this desire to obtain a coherent view of the structure and to understand the unity of the elements. The structure of law has a great deal to do with the problems associated with it.

Laws may be perfectly framed in terms of content, but if they fail to meet procedural requirements, they may inadvertently cause injustice or misery. These principles relate to the generality and clarity of the rules of law, as well as the time and manner of their enactment and judicial application.

Impact of law on society

Laws have a significant impact on society, the economy, and business. They protect individual rights, reduce the risk of corruption, and ensure a fair society. Laws also protect the environment. Without laws, society would not function as smoothly as it should. If there was no law, society would be chaotic, with everyman for himself and survival of the fittest.

Laws play a significant role in shaping our lives, and they can also shape our health. Sometimes these laws create social conditions that can have terrible physical and mental consequences. One such example is the “separate but equal” principle of the U.S. constitution. In the past, women were excluded from certain professions, such as law. Moreover, they could not vote in the federal or Quebec elections until the mid-1920s.

Impact of law on politics

While there is a certain amount of misunderstanding around the relationship between law and politics, there is little doubt that the two play a significant role in our society. According to the systems theory developed by Niklas Luhmann, society is an interrelated system of communication that can be separated into different subsystems. These subsystems are characterized by an ultimate binary code, such as legal/illegal or government/opposition. The legal and political systems both operate within this binary code, and the Supreme Court has a role in both.

This course explores the relationship between law and politics from a critical perspective. It examines the role of law in democratic systems and the role of courts in transitioning democracies. It also considers the role of law and the legal system in addressing concrete political challenges. The course combines theoretical insights with practical aspects to illuminate the interplay between law and politics.

Impact of law on economics

The impact of law on economics is often discussed in two ways. In one view, the law promotes economic efficiency by encouraging efficient transactions and avoiding market failure. Market failure occurs when certain companies or individuals have too much power and can extract more profit than a healthy market would allow. The law can help prevent such situations and ensure that contracts are binding.

In the other view, economic analysis of law treats subjects where law and economics are interdependent. This is an interdisciplinary endeavor, drawing on the strengths of both the Economics Department and Law School and the entire Sciences Po community.