Law is everywhere - though law is not everything. Law is everywhere in the sense that all human conduct is the subject of a legal norm. Even when an activity - such as friendship - is controlled by the autonomy of individual will, that autonomy exists within the law. Without it, everyone would have the freedom to invade that area. However, law is not everything. There is religion, and morals. The law is a means to organize life between the members of a given society at a given time. The law is a tool that allows society to function. Each society's members must determine the appropriate character of relationships in that society. Naturally, the different members of society have different views regarding what are appropriate societal relations. There are those who would like to see human rights as the focus of and the foundation of these relationships. Others see belief in God and the observing of his commandments as the necessary guide. There are those who would emphasize the good of the state as a whole, and there are those who concentrate on the good of the individual. It is necessary to reach a national compromise when choosing between values and principles. Indeed, the human beings are a complicated social being. Their life is complex. Their objectives are multidimensional. We want freedom of religion and freedom from religion; we wish to ensure both the common good and the individual good. But as attaining everything is impossible, we must choose and determine what our national priorities are.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Barak, Aharon, "ON SOCIETY, LAW, AND JUDGING" (2011). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4880.