Social changes as causes of legal changes


In a broad theoretical framework, social change has been slow enough to make custom the principal source of law. Law could respond to social change over decades or even centuries. Today the tempo of social change accelerated to a point where today’s assumptions may not be valid even in a few years from now. The emergence of new risks to the individual as a result of the decrease of the various family functions, including the protective function, has led to the creation of legal innovations to protect the individuals in modern society. Eg provisions of workers compensation, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions. Many sociologists and legal scholars assert on the basis of a large amount of accumulated data that technology is one of the great moving forces for change in law in three ways: (read page 335 paragraph 3). The computer and easy access to cyberspace, especially internet, also have inspired legislation on both the federal and the state levels to safeguard privacy, protects against abuse of credit information and computer crime. Change in law may be induced by a voluntary and gradual shift in community values and attitudes. [eg. People may think that poverty is bad, and laws should be created to reduce it in some way.] Alternations in social conditions, technology knowledge values, and attitudes then may induce legal change. in such cases law is reactive and follows social change. However, changes in law are only one of many responses to social change. Additionally, laws can be considered both as reactive and proactive in social change.