Q: Critically analyze the relationship between law and society based on the theoretical discussions in the field? Discuss these developments in relation to varied legal systems with specific attention on either China/ Russia/ any of the Islamic states
The relationship between law and society is a deeply discussed and closely examined subject. The law governs both modern and traditional societies. Oliver Wendell Holmes said that, “The law embodies the story of a nation’s development through many centuries”. The legal culture of each nation is distinct for this reason. The past of a nation plays a highly detrimental role in the legal structure of the society. Therefore, the law governing the English and that governing Indians will be miles apart for the simple reason that the issues that need to be addressed at that level are different and since the law governs the basic existence of the nation, it is essential that it is molded according to the citizens and the culture of the society.
The interest in law by sociologist was technically an accident during the Second World War when the sociologists aimed to look into the relevance of law in the racial problems. The interest was further deepened during incidents like the Vietnam War or the World Trade Centre tragedy . However, the outlook of each incident varies from the nationalities of the sociologist. For instance, a sociologist from Russia would have a very different opinion regarding the Crimea issue than one from Ukraine. The background and context of the research is very crucial to determine which way the sociologist will interpret the solution simply because sociology is a study with scope for interpretation.
The only difference lies in the degree of utilization of the formal legal systems. For instance, the trend in 3rd world countries would be to have a system based more on traditions and customs rather than referring to formal authorities. In rural India, most of the disputes are still resolved by the village headmen and the verdicts are several times unlawful but still are accepted by the community. Taking the popular example of the Manoj-Babli case where the Khap Panchayat had given a verdict along the lines of ‘honor killing’ as the couple had gotten married against the societal norms. This verdict was accepted by the village community yet once taken to the official legal authorities, a lawful judgment was given.
The relationship between law and society is complex yet highly interdependent. Looking into the legal system of Russia while using theories such as the Functionalist approach and the Marxist approach, with emphasis on the system of organized crimes that is dominant in Russia, helps create a clearer picture of this relationship.
Socialist law has its core based on legislation. The role assigned to the court was application of law and not creation or interpretation of it. They declined the concept of ‘separation of powers’. The Soviet Union was governed by this law. The...