Law is found in all modern societies, and is usually regarded as the bedrock of civilized existence. Law commands citizens, telling them what they must do; it lays down prohibitions indicating what citizens cannot do; and it allocates entitlements defining what citizens have the right to do. Although it is widely accepted that law is a necessary feature of any healthy and stable society, there is considerable debate about the nature and role of law. Opinions, for instance, conflict about the origins and purpose of law. Does law liberate or oppress? Do laws exist to safeguard all individuals and promote the common good, or do they merely serve the interests of the propertied and privileged few? Moreover, there is controversy about the relationship between law and morality. Does law enforce moral standards; should it try to? How much freedom should the law allow the individual, and over what issues? Such questions also relate to the need for personal security and social order.
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