Defining Law - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
Defining Law

Undoubtedly, to be of use, most rules or systems of rules require a method of enforcement, whether the method be remedial in nature, such as a civil judgment, or a penal sanction imposed in a criminal matter. John Austin, a proponent of the social fact thesis of legal positivism, contends that the primary distinguishing feature of a legal system is whether its rules can be enforced (1995). Austin argues that a rule of law in society is legally valid if and only if that rule is commanded by the society's sovereign and is backed up with the threat of sanction, or enforcement (1995). As such, it is Austin's position that the essential element of a law is whether someone has the ability to sanction its noncompliance.
Austin's position seems tenable. Indeed, without enforcement, laws have no effect. To ensure compliance, and in the absence of any moral obligation to obey a law, an absence which we must presume, a law must impose a consequence for a violation. Even the rules that govern the application of law, such as rules of procedure, require some sort of sanction for a breach. A prominent philosopher of law, H.L.A. ...
Download paper


The Oxford English Dictionary defines "law" as "a rule or system of rules recognized by a country or community as governing the actions of its members" (2001). Indeed, for centuries philosophers have attempted to define, prioritize and characterize the essential elements of law and functional legal systems, discussing such conceptualities as the nature of law and the relationship, if any, between law and morality…
Author : kennawillms

Related Essays

International trade: Case of Dave Inc.
From the research it can be comprehended that Dave Inc. a New York company entered into a contract with a UK based company named Imperial UK Ltd for the purchase of an industrial generator for Dave’s US operations. Dave Inc. has never done business with Imperial UK and wants to ensure that the generators paid for are delivered. The delivery clause specified in the contract is “FOB The Kawasaki”. While the generators was being loaded on the ship, the doors of the container van flung open and the generator landed in water before it crossed the ship’s railings. Who then bears the risk of...
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
Defining Criminal Justice
Introduction Criminal justice refers to the structure of institutions and procedures aimed at promoting social control and moderating crime by enforcing penalties and rehabilitation efforts to those who violate laws. In American, criminal justice is administered through the criminal justice system that comprises three constituents, that is the legislative, which makes laws, adjudication, which represents the court system and corrections, which consists of jails, prisons, parole and probation systems. All these groups of persons work together to uphold the rule of law. However, the criminal...
5 pages (1255 words) Assignment
Throughout, the law treated the threat of physical injury as assault while battery was considered the complete contact to cause harm. This version of the distinction is no longer valid as compared to the physical contact hence null and void. For Hilder to be taken to the hospital after being hit by the husband with a chair leg by the husband Billy is a clear example of Assault or battery to mention. The act is worsened when Billy further exposes their violent acts to the public through putting a slap on the face of the nurse, which prompts the calling of the police to arrest Hilder’s...
8 pages (2008 words) Essay
Current law defining land creates 'a world of pure ideas from which everything physical or
Identification of Property As a rule, a thing, which is the object of "ownership", refers to property. Actually, one should know that property is not a thing but rather a relationship which is established in the result of property existence. For 'property' we can relate words, which describe a certain degree of power over some things and resources. In the legal context "usage property is not the land or thing, but is in the land or thing"2. We can illustrate the example of property with the word combination "a proper thing". When someone has particular resources at a particular time it means...
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
Byrne had been married in 1970 and separated early in the year 2007. 1 They were aged 57 and 60 years old respectively at the time of their marriage, but previously, both had been in other marriages and each had children from the retrospective unions. Martin Byrnes was one of Mr.’s Byrnes children from a previous marriage. Q.2 Whether a deed in which a Mr. Byrne acknowledged holding a half undivided in the realty purchased and registered exclusively in his name as the sole proprietor in Brighton, South Australia in 1984, or for Mrs Byrnes it amounted to the creation of valid trust? Whether...
14 pages (3514 words) Essay
One of the iconic pioneers of law in health issues was Dr. John Snow (Goodman, et al 3). This came after an outbreak of cholera and thus states had to enact proper rules to regulate the spread of this contagious disease. The practice of Medicine is entwined to the practice of Law (Corfield, et al 1). Thus, medical practitioners at one point or another are required to give either written or oral evidence in courts of law. This study relates to the application of law in medical situations over a period of time. There are four sources of law. These are: the Constitution, Statutes, Decisions and...
7 pages (1757 words) Case Study
Current law defining land creates a world of pure ideas from which everything physical or
Further on in this paper we will try to identify the concept of "property", relate it to land ownership and consider these issues in the existent legal paradigm of Britain and America.
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!