Laws generally are made for the purpose of achieving some particular objectives in the society. For instance, if you look at the Criminal Code, it was enacted so as to regulate crime in the Nigerian society, another law, such as, the Company and Allied Matters Act was enacted so that, it could regulate the formation of companies in the country and many other laws.
Law in essence, has served several purposes in ensuring that, peace and order are maintained within the Nigerian society.
Laws have been made to serve some important purposes within the society, and its function in the society cannot be underestimated hence, in this article, I am going to list and explain some important functions of the Nigerian law.
1. The Nigerian Law Defines and Regulates Social Relationship
The truth is that, members of the society are interrelated in some ways thus, the law has a way of helping in defining this type of relationship between and among members of Nigerian society, and the law recognized these relationships.
Take for example, in the case of marriage, under the Marriage Act, a proper marriage is a Union, where two persons, in this case, man and woman come together and become couple. In other way round, marriage between same sex is not a recognized marriage by the Nigerian law or legal system.
More so, the Nigerian law make provision for freedom of association among members of the Nigerian society. Again, in the case of the Company and Allied Matters Act, there is provision, where steps to be taken are given in order to get a company registered, and the company registered, is recognized by the law as an individual or a legal person.
Therefore, in the real sense, what the Nigerian law does is to regulate these relationships between and among society members with a view to stop any relationship that could infringe the right of the other members of the society.
2. The Nigerian Law Identifies and Allocates official Authority
One of the functions of the Nigerian law is to identify and allocates authority. How? Some members of the society could be chosen by their fellow society members.
Such choice could be either indirect or express, whatever the case, it is the function of the Nigerian law to grant or give authority to those members of the society that were chosen.
Take for instance, the Nigerian constitution has made provision for, and establishes the legislature, the executive. the judiciary. Apart from establishing these offices by the law, their responsibilities, or what i may called their specific duties are clearly spelled out by law.
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3. The Nigerian Law Disputes Settlement and Remedies
Another function of the Nigerian law is in the area of dispute settlement and remedies. As human, living together in a society, there is bound to be strife, why? It is because, while interacting with a fellow member of the society, there is possibility of stepping on the toes of the other hence, strife.
This is where the law comes in. The law would always come into a situation, such as this to proffer ways or procedures so as to settle the strife between and among members of the society. In some cases, the law would provide remedies for any breach of another person’s right. Most of these disputes are settled in the court of law.
The way by which disputes are settled, as adopted by the society depends on how simple or complex the issue is. Where the society is small, in a simple society, dispute could be settled in such a way that, it will give room for continuous relationship that had existed between and among members of the society.
But in a complex society, where individuals involved in the dispute have not seen any need to continue in their relationship, dispute could be settled in such a way that, blame would be apportioned, while remedies would be granted accordingly.
4. The Nigerian Law Allows For Change of Law
This is another function of the Nigerian law, and in this case, the law would make provision for the modification of law, so as to solve the current threatening issue at hand or so that, it could meet the need of the moment. It is, in the place of law to provide methods that can help modify Nigerian law.
Going by this function of law, there is a provision in the Nigerian constitution, that has empowered the legislature to make laws for Nigerian society.
In other words, the legislature can re-enact Nigerian law, as well as, change or correct some mistakes and/or issues that may have made Nigerian law ineffective or irrelevant. The method to go about these changes is provided by the Nigerian constitution.
More so, content of the law can be emended thus, the Nigerian constitution has made provision for, and procedures to follow, while attempting to amend the laws.
This aspect of the legislature’s duty really help in minimizing ambiguity, and make simple law amendment to meet the society’s need.
5. The Nigerian Law Establishes Standards
As we know, law is a kind of guide, which causes individuals to exhibit good and acceptable attitude and behaviour in the society in which he lives.
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Some of the activities of the members of the society are considered crimes, this is because, the society has refused to condone criminal activities by fellow members of the society, since the legislature has made law prohibiting such activities that can injure or inflict pains on a person, as well as, damage their property.
For instance, it is criminal offense to injured another person physically, when there is no justification. Such offense can be called, public assault.
6. The Nigerian Law Helps in the Maintenance of Order
Maintaining order in any society is very important and Paramount, if such society is to advance in every ramification. And to achieve this standard, the instrument of law must ,and should be used. To maintain order in the society is however, an offshoot of establishing standards.
Like I said earlier, order is very important and compulsory to every society, that dreams to grow, and such order is always a reflection of the law. This law, when enforced, would make provision for consistent of order, which will go in line with the guideline of the society.
7. The Nigerian Law Protects Rights and Liberties
The Nigerian constitution has made provision l for several liberties and individual rights. what the law does at this point is to protect these human liberties and rights from being violated.
The law also prevent unreasonable intrusions by persons, and organizations, and/or government.
For instance, according to some exceptions, the Constitution has prohibited the government from enacting a law that attempt to prohibit freedom of speech.
That is why, anyone who thinks that, he is being denied such freedom by whoever, or organization, and by the government can take legal action to remedy such act of injustice by surmounting the intruder in the courts of law.
It is true that law can serve much more than a single principal purposes, and there are more principal purposes than those ones I have explained in this article.