Criminal Justice Paper on Importance of Law and Social Norms

Importance of Law and Social Norms

Social norms and laws play an important role in the society especially in regulating behavior. People respond to punishments and incentives differently. For example, some people fasten their safety belts to avoid penalties while others avoid drunk driving to avoid hefty fines and criminal records. Therefore, the absence of laws and social norms would leave the society without structures through which behavior can be regulated, leading to an increase in road accidents, murders, assaults, environmental mismanagement, police brutality, employee abuse among other injustices.

Without laws and social norms, there would be an increase in road accidents as individuals would be less compelled to follow road regulations. There would be aggravated crimes as people would carry on with their wrong deeds without fear of repercussion (Price, 2012). The absence of regulations means there will be no consequence for one’s actions, rendering people irresponsible. Individuals are compelled to use dust bins because littering the environment is against the law (Licht, 2010). In the absence of environmental laws, the environment would suffer from littering and other forms of pollution. Toxic emissions and toxic emissions into water bodies would become a common place.

The law also governs the law enforcers and in the absence of law and social norms, police brutality would increase. Consumers would be abused by business people in the absence of business laws. Monopolies would be created through mergers without any laws to regulate mergers. Additionally, employees would be abused by their employers in the absence of employment laws (Price, 2012). Bribes would become common place in such a society and there would be little or no protection for the honest citizens (Price, 2012).

In conclusion, social norms and laws are a key pillar to a peaceful and morally upright society, therefore, absence of laws and regulations would lead to a society full of chaos. As such laws guide our behavior on roads, environmental conservation, pollution, business practices and honesty; consequently forming the basis for justice, responsibility and accountability.





Licht, A.N. (2008). Why social norms and the law: why people obey the law. Retrieved from   

Price, A. (2012). Why the rule of law matters. Retrieved from