Laws should not be stationary and fixed. Instead, they should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances, times, and places.
Should laws be stable and fixed or be flexible in taking consideration of various factors such as circumstances, times and places? The speaker concludes that instead of being stationary, laws should be constantly changing. The speaker’s claim have merits in declaring that law should be flexible enough to take account of various circumstances since adaptation to changing social environment is how the law properly guard the function of social engine and the general welfare of people as a whole. But to some extent, we would not go too much in neglecting to importance of the stability of laws because they are the principles we adhere to in our daily life, if changed too abruptly and constantly, which will result in egregious chaos and confusion.
Keeping stability, consistency of laws is indispensable in helping people to make prediction of the consequence of their behaviors and figure out the legal obligation and rights exerted upon them by the legal system. In the personal level, consistency of laws defines the properness and legality of their doings and thus endows people with sense of security and good citizenship. If as the speaker claimed that laws should never be stationary or fixed, people face the threat of being constantly threw into turbid mud of bewilderment and insecurity and finally lose their sight in how to adapt to sudden alternation of in this aspect or another. Another example that aptly illustrates this is in the field of business. As we know, the ultimate goal of a business is to maximize its profit of shareholders within the framework of laws to define that a enterprises function within this framework, obey its obligation and hamper no interest of the general welfare of the society. In order for a enterprises to thrive, it must carefully study the relevant business laws, including anti-dumping law and torts, etc. Given the choice, most leaders are unwilling to see the prospect that laws are constantly changing since it takes time and effort to build a well-defined frames within companies and overthrow established practice and code would demand another round of revising and reevaluation.
On the other hand, we should observe that laws are by no means fixed principles that are deprived of any emendation. History is filled with examples that laws changed over different circumstances, time and places. Take the right of inheritance as an example; heirs were confined to the eldest sons that were later revised to include other sons and daughters as well. This is a remarkable social advance since this manifest that women began to be bestowed with the equal right of receive (property or a title, for example) from an ancestor by legal succession or will. What is more, in the field of criminal law, there used to exist a practice of implication, which demonstrate that not only an individual criminal should take account for his own wrongdoing, but also his relatives or even neighborhood will be passively implicated in the lawsuit or punishment. Today, this practice has been reversed to assert that criminal himself should be solely responsible for his misdeed and nobody, no matter how close they are, without participating into his act by any means, should be exonerate of any indictment. We should still remember that once in a while, there are a way of judgment called ordeal judgment which means that the most prestigious elders in a village use some superstition to judge whether a person is guilt or not. With the time goes by, we gradually realize the absurdity and irrationality involved in this kind of law and the result is, this practice become obsolete and nobody believe that it will transfer judgment, fairness from supernatural power. We would see clearly that each step that moves forward in law is a vivid reflection of how a society progresses and marches. We are aiming at justice, equality and fairness that best characterize any laws which would hardly achieved without amending their content according to the changed social background and people’s ideology.
To sum up, I am in favor of the speaker’s latter part of claim since laws are rules of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority and with the change of social background, laws have to be revised to cater for these changes. But in asserting that laws would never be fixed is problematic because stability and consistency should never be a minor point to be overlooked in a legal system. A combination of these two aspects would seem ideal to instill fresh blood and at the same time keep proper pace and rhythm of the overall system.
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