Laws is the collection of principles and judgments developed over time by individuals or institutions to govern behavior. A law may be a civil, ethical, political, legal, aesthetic or religious law. It can be general, specific or personal in nature. The goal of a society is to lay down laws to govern behavior so that it should be assumed by all parties to a relationship that their actions are legal.
Justice is the pursuit of just and equitable outcomes through the application of laws, principles and judgments of society. Justice is an act or a course of action, the effects of which are accessible to everyone either directly or indirectly. For example, the right of a person to seek justice is inherent in the human justice system. For the benefit of the society as a whole, it is imposed by law through the application of socially-wide decision-making procedures.
A concept of morality is used to refer to the norms of behavior that human beings have accepted as being right or wrong. Morality is the sum total of human conduct established by laws and moral beliefs and values. For example, it is a fact that murder is morally wrong. But if we start to apply the concept of morality to individual instances then we would end up with some interesting results. For instance, while it is correct that a murderer’s acts are morally wrong, the act itself is not wrong per se, unless we also believe that other people deserve to be killed.
Therefore, laws must provide people with guidance on what is right and wrong and prevent them from acting contrary to these moral values. There can be no justice in the world without morals. However, when the government gets involved, the process of judging and sanctioning the law becomes cumbersome. Within a society, therefore, there is need for laws to protect those who may be vulnerable and in need of protection. The concept of morality, therefore, finds its place within society, even though the term may be controversial.
When the government passes laws which are controlled by the will of the controlling authority, this often means that the controlling authority has acted in accordance with the wishes of society. For instance, when the government passes a law banning all marriages, the controlling authority cannot legally restrict the freedom of any person to marry. However, if the controlling authority cannot prevent a married couple from remarrying, then this action is taken according to societal feelings. Therefore, society plays an important role in controlling the implementation of laws. In the case of the execution of laws, the courts sometimes find it difficult to function properly, since it is not always known who is actually enforcing the law.
If we want to look at a more ideal situation, then perhaps a social contract theory would be more relevant. Here, the government would simply attempt to ensure that the basic moral and legal requirements of society are fulfilled. The idea is that by means of laws and social contracts, justice is promoted, and this process will also reduce conflicts and violence within society. Therefore, in order to promote justice and social responsibility, society needs to enforce some form of social contract, for the benefit of all, including those who are unable to participate in such markets. A proper justice system might help to ensure that people can enjoy the fruits of social cooperation and, at the same time, ensure that these markets provide the basics of social justice.