Law, Social Order, and Individual Rights


Differences betweenindividual rights and social order

Individual rightsdenote the rights or liberties of each person or refer to rights heldby an individual to pursue life, expectations, and goals withoutintrusion from the government or other individuals. Social orderdenotes a specific set of associated social institutions, values,relations, practices, and structures that maintain and enforce orconserve patterns of behaving. In this regards, a social orderdenotes the entirety of human interrelations configuration in thesociety. It is worth noting that individual rights give peoplefreedom of expressions, personal liberties, and other rights asgranted by the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights acts as thebackbone for the rights as well as ensures that the government cannotinfringe on the rights or legislate laws that can inhibit or limitthe rights. On the other hand, social order entails laws appliedwithin the structures of the society. The laws act as means ofcontrolling and regulating individuals’ behaviors to maintainsocial order (Brinks &amp Gauri, 2014). As such, the law acts asboth a restraining and a protection aspect to maintain social orderand protect the rights of people.

Champion, Hartley,and Rabe (2012) note that in examining the implications of socialorder and individual rights on the legal structures or systems, onemight perceive the implications as oppressive or liberating,providing the opportunities and means to challenge the present socialorder, or preserving the status quo. Within the legal system,individual rights ensure that an individual obtains the support ofthe law to prove his or her innocence or depiction of justice. Assuch, individual rights ensure the protection of individuals inregards to their rights during legal proceedings while social orderensures that individuals who interfere with the order or peace of thesociety are brought to justice and punished for their crimes.

The Most Protective Social Control

Between the informal and formal social controls, the later amendmentoffers the most protection. First, the legal, social control involvescomponents of the society structured for re-socialization of thepeople who break the set formal rules (Brinks &amp Gauri, 2014Champion et al., 2012). While the informal social control tends toimpose a punishment on the society and through the elderly, theformal control reprimands offenders by secluding them from thesociety to prisons or other correction facilities. Secondly, theexercise of statutes, laws, rules and regulations in countries havemore power on individual behavior to ensure formal social controls.Every individual becomes equal in the face of law in spite of thedifference that may exist. Prosecution, sentencing or arrestingindividuals who go against the rules is the most visible socialcontrol sufficient to protect the society from the effects ofviolations.

Additionally, the formal social control comprises of the federal lawenforcement organizations or agencies that employ people such aspolice officers whose regular work is to maintain the citizen’sorder and protection. In this form of control, there is a systematicorder of the parties who write and enforce the law. This control,therefore, functions independently to ensure the fairness inadministering wrongdoing. Independent resolution of deviance and fairdirect punishment makes the formal social control the most certainand protective amendment. For instance, the First Amendment to theConstitution subject to certain expectations rules out the governmentfrom instituting a law that hinders the freedom of speech (Championet al., 2012). An individual who deems that there is a prohibition onthe rights of freedom of expression by the governing body may followa procedure to bring the case before the court.

The amendment acts as a mechanism of protection that ensures thesecurity of the civilians’ rights and liberties and a provision ofa frame to facilitate citizen/regulatory interactions. The presenceof documented Constitution gives an individual the standardrequirements of acting within the law. The formal social controlsupports the positions of all forms of crimes, social regulations,and enforcements. It also states all the misconducts or violationsalong with the repercussions functions and thereby functions as thetool that makes certain of the citizens privileges and freedom safety(Castro, 2012). Everyone knows the law expectation and theconsequences of going against the law. The citizens live withoutintimidation because the centralization and specific order of theformal social control. For instance, the threats of sanction toimprisonment or hefty fines included in the formal social controlsdeter many individuals from taking part in crimes.

The formal social control supports citizen/regulatory interactions bymandating the administrative body to advance the general publicsocietal standards. This amendment stipulates the procedure in whichthe law enforcers should mingle with the society members during thedaily operations to maintain order (Thomas, 2010). In this amendment,maintaining order is both the citizens and the governing bodyresponsibility. The established rules of the procedure, therefore,require respect, condemn the bad use of the power, and creates a linkbetween the government, organization, and individuals to worktogether (Champion et al., 2012). For instance, citizens can reportan individual who seems to cause harm to the police who will respondby resolving the dispute by applying the respective law. If the levelof crime threats the citizens live, government separates him from thesociety to the correctional facility. In this way, the formal socialcontrol offers a structure to progress citizen/governmentinteractions.

How law makes social change in the American society

The law makes social changes in the American society in the course ofjudicial activism through the internalization of the final decisionsreached in legal cases. For example, in the Topeka Brown v. Board ofEducation case in the year 1954, the Court declared separation ofblack and white schools unconstitutional (Castro, 2012). Thejudiciary incorporated the certain value law that upheld fairness toall. Without the reforms during the Civil rights Movement and thisjudgment, probably schooling would have been very different to thepresent day. This case serves proof that law affects social changethrough court judicial activism because desegregation laws kicked ofdiscrimination that existed then in the America.

Institutionalization is another essential way in which the law makeschange through judicial activism. Sometimes they implant personalconceptions such as social roles, norms, and beliefs to change theconstitution and laws consequently effecting modification of thesociety view. For example, the federal judge Walker R. Vaughnoverturned the California’s constitutional adjustment to outlawsame-sex marriage in the Hollingsworth v. Perry – 2013 (Brinks &ampGauri, 2014). Same-sex marriage remains the hottest globallegislative debate leaving people to remain divided on the issue. Thejudgment possibly drawing from ancient tradition social roles andreligious belief continues to change the American society perceptionon homosexuality.

Statutory interpretation is also another essential way in which thelaw makes changes through judicial activism. In some instances, thejudges fail to confine themselves to logical interpretations of thelaw leading to the creation of new legislation. The way in which thejudiciary interprets and applies law influences social changesthrough opposition and agreements that become functional to lawmaking. Judicial activism may directly favor absolute values becauseof the societal values attached to them. For example, Holy TrinityChurch v. the United States in 1892, the judiciary agreed that aminister is not a foreigner laborer under the statute as much as heis an outsider.

Importance of substantive and procedural law

First, the substantive and procedural laws function together in acomplimentary manner to make sure that there is an appropriateapplication of the rules and proper procedures while bringing a caseto a trial in a civil or criminal litigation. Secondly, both types oflaws safeguard individual liberties from the unreasonable intrusionsor violations by the government, persons and organizations. Thirdly,substantive and procedural laws offer the formal platforms and firmorder in resolving disputes in the court system (Champion et al.,2012). Fourthly, both substantive and the procedural law providemeans of upholding substantive civil rights among each other. Besidesboth of these laws play an overall role in maintaining social order,practical justice, reflecting and promoting social changes.

The laws can safeguard both individual liberties and social order ina three-way: jury selection, witness protection, and conviction.While the substantive law defines the rights and duties, theprocedural law, on the other hand, defines the procedures to enforcethe privileges and responsibly. The substantive law defines or statesthe requirements of legislative members who comprise the jury, andthe procedural law states the manner in which the courts conduct theprocess to pick the jury. The individual rights and social order,therefore, become safe from a bias of any kind as demanded by thelaws given that both laws complement each other. Similarly, the lawsprovide for witness confrontation and self-incriminating acts thatsafeguard individual from false accusations that may result from theimplication of the law. The laws implicate witnesses whointentionally admit guilt for the sake of defending an entity therebyprotecting the accused from getting natural justice. Also, the lawsprotect individuals from exploitation by enforcing agencies via thejoint account that holds them liable for any unlawful activity. Bothsubstantive and procedural offer individual rights and social orderby guaranteeing fair and consistently follow of due processes.

Criminal and civil laws

The key primary distinction between criminal law and civil law is theissue of punishment. Criminal law deals with crime and the lawfulpunishment of unlawful offenses (Champion et al., 2012). The mainpurpose of this body of law is to ensure the stability of the societyand state through punishing wrongdoers and preventing them and otherfrom committing a crime. On the other hand, civil law is a body oflaw, which handles disputes between organizations, individuals orbetween the two parties, and eventually proposes damages to theinjured party. The main aim of this law is to handle the disputebetween two distinct parties. While, the administrative law, allowsindividuals or give them the right to defy government decision makingvia merits assessment proceedings or bringing judicial assessment(Beeman, 2010).

The moment administrative and civil law interconnects in the hearingproceedings, it mainly happens when a lawful dispute between agovernment agency and an individual is to be resolved. For such ascenario to arise, 50 % of the preponderance of proof, it isnecessary to be shown by the plaintive in which the organization orthe person was negligent. Mainly in a civil case, the litigators arelooking forward to compensation. The civil law plays a part incompensating the plaintive when the act of negligence is proven.

These three body of law guard human rights and maintain the socialorder in the community through freedom of speech and right to ownproperty. Freedom of speech allows every citizen to express his ideaswithout fear of restraint, any disciplinary action by the governmentagencies or interferences (Thomas, 2010). In this regard, civil rightallows an individual or an organization to seek damages fromdefamatory statements or words. The administrative law comes in byenabling every person the right to challenge governments’ actionsthrough judicial reviews or expressing ideas towards action taken bythe government. It is the task of the government to ensure that thelaw protects all the citizen and prosecute any person or organizationin criminal courts who attempts to undermine the rights of otherpeople through any means such as threats and physical injury. Hence,through freedom of speech these laws protect humans’ rights andmaintain social order. Property rights are individuals only economicright (Brinks &amp Gauri, 2014). Rights are social principles thatprotect and define man’s freedom but do not oblige on other people. Private Citizen and government agencies are not a threat to oneproperty. A person or government agency that violates and resort tophysical force is a criminal, and criminal action should be takenagainst responsible person.

Functions of the law

The key objective of the lawful system of justice is to give anorderly, predictable and systematic mechanism for dealing withdisputes. To achieve the mentioned goal, every system undertakesthree closely related, but nevertheless different functions thatinclude execution, legislation and adjudication (Beeman, 2010). Thelaw ensures the attainment of these goals through the judicialsystem.

The judicial role is paramount to any lawful system. In its judicialrole, a lawful system adjudicates disagreements and making a decisionon how the dispute is supposed to be resolved. The other two rolesare simply adjuncts to this main role. The agenda of the legislativerole is to evaluate the guidelines that will govern the proceedingsof adjudication. Legislation informs judicial function on how toadjudicate. The position of the executive role is to make sure,first, that the disagreeing parties tender to the adjudication first.Secondly, that the disputing parties, in fact, adhere to settlementwhen the decision is made through the judicial process. The adequateorder is depicted by the absence of political violence and widespreadcriminal such as murder, intimidation against targeted individuals orgroups, kidnapping, and riots among many others. In such as a case,these activities are minimized to an acceptable level (Thomas, 2010).This is done by ensuring that perpetrators are arrested, persuadedand detained and the every member of the society no matter which sideof the conflict they belong are in a position to move freely withoutfear. The general law ensures that all these manners of activitiesare reduced as much as possible and ensure there is adequate publicorder.

The existence of law provides justice to the injured party and mannerof resolving the disagreement. Courts are used to resolve legaldisputes via the civil justice. Litigation process can be applied tocompel the opposing person or organization to take part in seekingthe solution. Through the application of law, people must adhere toparticular guidelines of procedures, presentation and discovery toresolve the issue at hand. If the two parties cannot conclude on howto settles the dispute, either a jury or the judge will make adecision through a trial. Inclusive of law in resolving dispute allowcomplete determination and examination of all the matters between theparties with every party presenting its facts to the judge. Thedecision is reached through application of the facts of the case tothe relevant law. That verdict terminates the litigation process, andthe loser has the right to appeal the verdict to a higher court(Thomas, 2010).

The United State Constitution gives human rights and freedom. Theright to life is the foundation of all others rights, and the rightto own property is the implementation of these rights. Violation ofright to own property other rights is not possible (Castro, 2012Thomas, 2010). This is because man has to maintain his life throughhis effort. The man who has no right to own property of his efforthas no ways to maintain his life. An individual or organization thatproduces while others violate or dispose of her/his products issimply a slave and she/he is not entitled to civil liberty (Beeman,2010). It is the work of the constitution and all body of laws tomake sure that every person is entitled to civil liberty byprotecting rights and freedom.

Social controls and development of law

Social controls play a crucial and fundamental positive role in theenhancement of modern American law as they ensure that restrictionsdo not exist in the manner in which people behave towards other andthe community. In addition, it guarantees the development andcontinuation of the public by guaranteeing safe environments andsituations especially in supporting the young talents. The importanceof the social controls suffices from the fact that there exists anegative correlation between delinquency and parental attachment. Infact, Brinks and Gauri (2014) argue that a greater attachment toparents lowers the likelihood of delinquency. As such, socialcontrols ensure that individuals stay within their social standardsas well as shield people who cultivate distresses. In its presentstate, the American law has established a fundamental context for therights of individuals, often giving care and protecting the rights ofindividuals. The law endeavors to provide security and protection tothe people without undermining their liberties. Castro (2012) assertsthat the contemporary American law has always endeavored to assist inthe enhancement of societies as well as the provision of a cohesiveenvironment where all individuals feel safe to carry on their legalbusiness. In addition, the law provides social order, structures, andcontrols, which ensures that criminals do not interfere with thedevelopment agenda of the country or undermine the liberties of theAmerican people. However, America cannot achieve these contextswithout imposing strict social controls. The imposition of strictsocial controls ensures that the society has focused people whoexercise their businesses legally and insist on the protection ofpeople’s rights.


Beeman, R. (2010). The Penguin guide to the United StatesConstitution: A Fully annotated Declaration of Independence, U.S.Constitution and Amendments, and selections from the Federalistpapers. Penguin Publishing Group.

Brinks, D. M., &amp Gauri, V. (2014). The law’s majestic equality?The distributive impact of judicializing social and economicrights.&nbspPerspectives on Politics,&nbsp12(02),375-393.

Castro, P. (2012). Legal innovation for social change: Exploringchange and resistance to different types of sustainabilitylaws.&nbspPolitical Psychology, 33(1), 105-121.

Champion, D. J., Hartley, R. D., &amp Rabe, G.A. (2012). Chapter 1Law: The Legal Battlefield. In Criminal courts: Structure,process, and issues (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: PearsonEducation, Inc.

Thomas, K. R. (2010). The Constitution of the United States ofAmerica: Analysis and Interpretation : 2010 Supplement : Analysis ofCases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 29,2010. New York: Government Printing Office.