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The problems the human society is facing today are numerous and diverse. They сan bе solved with greater success and no doubt in а shorter time if we manage to unite our efforts and promote cooperation worldwide

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The problems the human society is facing today are numerous and diverse. They сan bе solved with greater success and no doubt in а shorter time if we manage to unite our efforts and promote cooperation worldwide.


Study the texts given below, use additional information resources and deliver a report on your special field of knowledge.


The Nature of Law

The law affects us all from the moment we are born. We may not like it, but for better or for worse, we live in a society that is bound by rules.

Society, by one means or another, has developed a formal system of rules which are designed to be both observed and enforced. If an individual breaks a legal rule he or she will be penalised in some way. That is what the law is about: it consists of minimum standards of conduct which all members of society are expected to follow.

The concept of justice lies deep in the conscience of all civilized peoples. What that justice is, however, a reflection of the customs and laws of that civilization, and derives from the morality of the people as expounded by their law makers.

All civilized societies have had their codes of law, at least from the time of Hammurabi, the founder of the Babylonian Empire in the third millenium BC. Law is the latticework of civilization and throughout history a few outstanding law makers have shone forth like stars, to illumine the course of justice, some like Solomon as judges, others such as Justinian as great codifiers.

Yet the thought that there can be a theory of law, that is a set of systematically related true propositions about the nature of law, has been challenged, and from several directions. None of the challenges is entirely successful.

A theory of law in a narrow sense refers to

an explanation of the nature of law.

It is a sense central to philosophical reflection about the law throughout its history.

A theory of law is successful if it meets two criteria: first, it consists of propositions about the law which are necessarily true, and, second, they explain what the law is.

Naturally, the essential properties of the law are universal characteristics of law. They are to be found in law wherever and whenever it exists. Moreover, these properties are universal properties of the law not accidentally, and not because of any prevailing economic or social circumstances, but because there is no law without them.

The most usual meaning of the phrase 'the law' is that of a legal rule. Legal rules influence many different aspects of life. Secondly, “the law” is the complete body of all those individual rules that bind society together. Thirdly, the phrase may also mean the process by which rules are made and applied. The development, the content and the application of those rules add up to a legal system, complete with judges, courts, solicitors, barristers, police and indeed politicians in their role as law-makers (legislators).

The understanding (not definition) of such concepts as responsibility, liberty, authority, scientific knowledge, justice, right/wrong, etc. is a necessary prerequisite for answering some crucial questions about the regulation of social conduct and the conflicts derived from it:


  • What are the principles and standards we should agree upon so that social life can unfold harmoniously on both local and planetary levels?

  • Why are these principles and standards valid?

  • What does each individual owe to the other individuals with whom he shares the social praxis?

  • What is it that I, as an individual who interacts socially, can believe, or say or do?

  • Which social ills could law attempt to lessen?

  • How could this be achieved?

  • For which social ills is each individual responsible and to what degree?

  • Why am I responsible for the social consequences of my conduct?

At the end of the twentieth century we are forced to recognize:

  • That law is in itself a culturally specific discursive form.

  • That there is no pre-existent uniformity of values that explains a culture; there is cultural heterogeneity and multiplicity. Consequently,

  • The authority of law based on a metanorm hierarchically superior to and underlying positive law, or on a social purpose legitimated by one culture only, has become increasingly problematic.

English law divides principally into two categories - criminal or public and civil or private. Criminal law concerns matters deemed by society to be so serious that in the event of a person transgressing a legal rule it is society itself which must punish the wrong-doer.

Civil law is concerned with disputes between individuals or indeed groups of individuals such as public companies and corporations. Society will lay down the framework of legal rules within which such disputes must be settled. But society itself is not a party to any legal proceedings; it acts more as a referee. Indeed the object of civil law is to compensate the injured party, rather than to punish the 'wrong-doer'. One individual sues another.

All that appears to imply that in terms of society's morality and values civil matters are less serious or less weighty than criminal issues.

It is possible to speak in terms of three branches of the law, the third being constitutional and administrative law. This area of legal rules covers such matters as the powers of Parliament and the Government, the powers of the police and the administration of justice, personal freedoms including race relations and immigration, and the freedoms of expression and assembly. The greater part of such administrative law will fall under civil law in the broadest sense and the rest under criminal law. Other countries take a different approach, however.

Law, far from being a complete and static system, is a dynamic system continually being created and modified. This condition of dynamism is already a commonplace in legal theory.

The law does not stand still. The public's attitudes and habits do change, human nature being an odd mixture of both the rational and the irrational, of both conservatism and radicalism. The legal system - including judicial outlook - has to accommodate itself to such shifts in the climate of opinions. Nonetheless the law may move slowly: change, whether societal or legal, is not necessarily rapid.

Economics

The term economics was coined around 1870 and popularized by Alfred Marshall, as a substitute for the earlier term political economy which has been used through the 18th-19th centuries, with Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx as its main thinkers and which today is frequently referred to as the "classical" economic theory. Economic thought may be roughly divided into three phases: Premodern (Greek, Roman, Arab), Early modern (mercantilist, physiocrats) and Modern (since Adam Smith in the late 18th century). Systematic economic theory has been developed mainly since the birth of the modern era.

E

conomics has been recognized as a special area of study for over a century. The term

Economics

derived from the Greek words οίκω [okos], 'house', and νέμω [nemo], 'rules' hence it means household management. There is no unanimous consensus upon its definition. Various definitions describe different aspects of this social science. We may mention some of them. Economics is:

  • the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. This involves analyzing the production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services, and their management;

  • the study of choice and decision-making in a world of limited resources;

  • the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth, and with the various related problems of labor, finance, taxation, etc.

  • research on such factors as interest rates, gross national product, inflation, unemployment, and inventories, as tools to predict the direction of the economy.

Economics is said to be normative when it recommends one choice over another, or when a subjective value judgment is made. Conversely, economics is said to be positive when it tries objectively to predict and explain consequences of choices, given a set of assumptions and/or a set of observations.

Economics is the study of how society chooses to allocate its scarce resources to the production of goods and services in order to satisfy unlimited wants. Society makes two kinds of choices: economy-wide, or macro, choices and individual, or micro, choices. The prefixes macro and micro come from the Greek words meaning “large” and “small,” respectively. Reflecting the macro and micro perspectives, economics consists of two main branches: macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Microeconomics (literally, very small economics) is the study of the economic behaviour of individual consumers, firms, and industries and the distribution of production and income among them. It considers individuals both as suppliers of labour and capital and as the ultimate consumers of the final product. It analyzes firms both as suppliers of products and as consumers of labour and capital. It deals with individual agents, such as households and businesses,

Microeconomics seeks to analyze the market form or other types of mechanisms that establish relative prices amongst goods and services and/or allocates society's resources amongst their many alternative uses.

Macroeconomics considers the economy as a whole, in which case it considers aggregate supply and demand for money, capital and commodities. Aspects receiving particular attention in economics are resource allocation, production, distribution, trade, and competition. Economic logic is increasingly applied to any problem that involves choice under scarcity or determining economic value.

There appear to be three

methods

by which economic phenomena may be investigated. The first consists mainly in deductive analysis. Proceeding from a few simple premises based upon general observation a researcher makes broad generalizations. The second is the historical method, which seeks an understanding of existing institutions by tracing their evolutions from their origins in the past. The third is statistical induction, which endeavours, by the analysis of numerical data, to develop quantitative knowledge of economic phenomena. Anyway, it is now coming to be recognized that these methods are complementary rather than mutually exclusive.

A successful theory provides insights into the physical or social relationships it studies. Economic theories are developed to explain such important observable quantities as the production, prices and consumption of goods and services, the employment of workers, and levels of saving and investment.

Economic variables are quantities that can have more than one value. For example, the price of an item is an economic variable representing what we must give up in exchange for each unit of that item. Price is an economic variable because it can go up or down as changes occur in the economy. An economic theory of price seeks to determine the causes for changes in the price of an item.

An economic model is a simplified way of expressing how some sector of the economy functions. An economic model contains assumptions that establish relationships among economic variables. We use logic, graphs, or mathematics to determine the consequences of the assumptions. In this way we can use the model to make predictions about how a change in economic conditions results in changes in decisions affecting economic variables. Economists often use the term “model” as a synonym for theory.


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