TYPES OF LAWS-THEIR LIMITATIONS & VALIDITY:
A law in context of any science is a statement of causal relationship between two sets of phenomenon or two sets of variables. According Dr Alfred Marshall “a law is a general proposition or statement of tendencies ie more or less certain/definite”.
Such laws have also been established in Economics.
Any science has its own laws indicating a cause & effect relationship.
There are various kinds of laws.
1] Moral laws
A civilized society’s first line of defence is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions and moral values which determine moral laws. Therefore they are also known as religious or customary laws.
Moral law is a system of guidelines for behavior. The rules of behavior an individual or a group may follow out of personal conscience and that are not necessarily part of legislated law
Behavioural norms, are mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error.
Are rules voluntarily accepted by the society.
They state what human beings “ought not to do” ie should not lie, cheat steal commit murder etc. or “ought to do” ie good conduct.
Behaviour accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear ie these laws change gradually with society over time.
If we fail to abide by these laws, society looks down upon us with contempt.
These laws are not compulsory. Disobedience of these laws is not punished
A statute is a rule made by the the government, therefore statutory laws are rules made by the government.
They are commands of the government. They are also known as legal laws.
Statutory law or statute law is written law (as opposed to oral or customary law) set down by a Statutes. They impose conclusions.
They prescribe what` we must do’ &` what we must not do’.
Statutory laws differ from time to time & state to state. These changes are undertaken through special amendments to existing laws or deliberate introduction of new laws according to the requirements of the nation.
These laws are are rules of conduct compulsory & enforceable by courts. Disobedience of these laws is punished.
3] .Physical or natural laws
State the effect of natural forces operating under given conditions in nature. Scientific laws “serve their purpose” rather than “questioning reality”.
An analogous term for a scientific law is a principle.
The laws of science or scientific laws are statements that describe, predict, and perhaps explain why, a range of phenomena behave as they appear to in nature. ie they explain the cause & effect relationship of any two phenomena.
Scientific laws are determined by experiment and observation, formulated mathematically, supported by empirical evidence and are never falsified (they are exact), .
Fundamentally, all scientific laws follow from physics; laws which occur in other sciences ultimately follow from physical laws.
Economic Laws are the necessary, stable, and recurrent causal relationships and interdependences of economic phenomena in the course of the production, distribution, and exchange of goods and services at various stages of development of human society.
They pertain to cause and effect relationship between in man’s economic behaviour.
They are empirically-derived laws of economic behavior.
Every economic law expresses the unity of the qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of economic phenomena and processes and serves as an internal measure of these processes.
They are generalisations of human tendencies & pertain to adjustments between wants & resources. They deal with human behaviour, they lay down what men are likely to do under given conditions.
Economic laws are historical in nature. People enter into historically determined mutual economic relationships, and their activity is found to be subject to various economic laws. At each stage of historical development these laws assume different forms and produce different economic effects. Eg ownership of slaves under slavery, collective ownership of resources under communism etc for production.
These are social laws which relate to the branches of conduct in which the strength of the motives chiefly concerned can be measured in terms of money.
Economic laws are not obligatory. They do not impose any conclusions as in case of statutory laws. Non-observance of eco laws, unlike non-observance of statutory laws, is not punished.
Economic laws differ from physical laws which deal with inanimate matter which can be experimented on. Physical laws are objective generalizations as they can be experimented on.
Economic laws deal with human behaviour which is difficult to experiment on & therefore one has to wait for the experiment to take place. Therefore economic laws are not exact but statements of tendencies.
Economic laws have no ethical significance. If we fail to abide by ethical laws, society looks down upon us with contempt. Economic laws explain the behaviour of rational individuals under certain economic conditions. It is therefore not necessary for people to abide by them eg. if price rises an individual buys more he is not socially condemned.