The Functions and Role of Law in Business

Essay by samantha71University, Bachelor'sA, February 2007

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Law performs many functions and plays a central role in business and society. Law is a small word that can be defined in many ways. According to the dictionary, the first definition of law is "a rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority". Law is comprised of statutes and precedents, leading to rules that tell how to act in business and society. Law continues to grow and expand. Law is open to reason and interpretation. The word is small but the implications of the word are vast.

There are several types of law: constitutions, statutes, common law, equity, administrative regulations and decisions, treaties, ordinances, and executive orders. Constitution is the fundamental law of a nation, state, or society that establishes the authority and responsibility of the government and assures the people's rights. A statute is a law enacted by government. Common law is law not covered by statutes and is set by judges on a case-by-case basis.

Equity is a jurisprudence modifying common law for unfair consequence. Administrative regulations and decisions are laws established by an administrative agency, which is an unelected government. Treaties are agreements made between governments that overrule statutes. Ordinances are local laws enacted by subordinate units of government, such as counties or municipalities. Executive orders are laws issued by executive government officials. These types of law cover many classifications but range in power. Treaties override statutes. Statutes override administrative regulations and decisions. Administrative regulations and decisions override common law. Constitutions override all laws within their sphere of influence (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers, & Langvardt, 2003).

Law is more deeply explained through classification. There are three common classifications of law: criminal and civil, substantive and procedural, and public and private (Mallor, et al., 2003). Criminal law is used when a...