Although you may think law is a dry subject, it deeply influences culture. Culture can be defined as a way of life, and what good is it if we do not have the freedom to live safely? Laws protect our fundamental rights, and enable us to pursue our goals. Conversely, norms held dear by a culture influence the laws set by the members of the community. Technological advancements also influence culture, and laws need to be modified accordingly. According to the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers Facebook is to blame for one out of five divorces in the United States. In court, flirty emails and messages sent on Facebook can be used against you.
In a democracy, laws are decided by the legislature, which is elected by the people. If the people voice their displeasure regarding a particular law, the legislature’s members should take it up. The judiciary is independent, so that if the legislature is at fault, it can be penalized. The right of a citizen to appeal the court’s decision also influences our notions of how free we are.
A liberal culture can only claim to be liberal if laws do not differentiate between people on the basis of race, class, and gender. Protesters down the ages have ensured that today we can live in a culture of transparency.
Although law is precise, and culture is felt rather than described, the two are inter-related. Voting, discussion of politics, and cultural practices all help in refining the legal system and changing outmoded cultural practices.
Although the law holds all men and women to be equal, in practice it is often found that men draw a higher wage than women for the same work. Only through incessant campaigning, publicity, and legal steps can this anomaly be resolved.
Racial discrimination was rampant earlier. Although legally employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, some still do so in practice. Only if citizens make the effort to stand up for their rights will matters change further.
Class barriers often prevent the poor from fighting the rich in courts. Culturally too, the rich are often accorded more respect. By pointing out discriminatory practices, debating, and educating people on these issues, permanent change can result.
Educational institutions are often leaders of change in law and culture. Law students should think about issues relating to justice, freedom, and culture. By discussing these topics among themselves, their teachers, and other citizens, they can organize poplar opinion around issues of the hour.
It is important to sensitize yourself on topics relating to law and culture. Only then can you prepare future generations for change required in the system.