What Is the Importance of Laws in Society?

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Laws are in place to protect people against harm, according to civil liberties expert Tom Head for About.com. Societal rules also prevent vulnerable people from being exploited, and laws safeguard personal property. Laws also exist for granting goods and services to citizens.

Head notes that laws protecting citizens fall under the Harm Principle. Parental Principle laws are meant to stop people from harming themselves. They include protecting children from harm and banning certain forms of drugs. Laws under the Statist Principle preserve the integrity and cohesion of the state to maintain order. These laws include penalties for espionage or treason. Certain groups or corporations can benefit from the Donation Principle, but these same laws also punish corporate actions.

Wanda Thibodeaux for the Houston Chronicle notes the importance of laws in the workplace. Workplace laws safeguard employees against abuse and discrimination by employers. Employees are also given a safe place to work and just compensation. Laws also secure an employer’s chances of making a profit and staying competitive. Labor laws benefit the economy by giving workers enough purchasing power to boost an economy. These laws also reflect the values of a given society. For example, child labor laws exist under the belief that kids should not be abused and overworked by employers. Laws against discrimination express a society’s view that everyone is entitled to equal opportunity.