Social Law: Definition and Meaning

The term "Social Law" refers to a category of rights that are protected by common law; they are essential rights that are upheld by both the national Constitution and international human rights treaties. They are motivated by justice and in charge of policing people's social behavior, enabling for the settlement of any potential social disputes in a particular setting. To protect social security, it searches for measures to enforce control and equality among a country's citizens.

They are made up of a set of values and laws that have the sole aim of safeguarding, integrating, and enforcing socially acceptable conduct among people who live in a society, whether at home or at work. The equivalent of human rights, social law looks for ways to expand and loosen up the protections afforded to the groups most affected by society. In order to provide protection, the law uses this method to safeguard society by fostering order and mending any social divisions that may exist.

What is Social Law?

As the name suggests, social law deals with social rights, which are intangible rights recognized by positive law and that are part of a person's fundamental rights as recognized by the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which came into force internationally in 1976.

  • Social law is a body of laws, rules, and regulations that establishes and distinguishes the values and safeguards for those in society who are economically vulnerable. This is the system of law that regulates potential disputes within society and between the social classes that make it up.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was published in 1948, also recognizes these rights. They frequently differ from natural rights, and as a result, they are subject to different laws.

  • Social rights may be based on the "social compact" as understood by Rousseau (whether explicitly stated in a national constitution or not), or they may be derived from the relevant Declarations of Human Rights. Individual liberties, employment, social security, and access to essential services are all topics they discuss.

According to González Díaz (1978), it is defined as "a dynamic integration-based social ordering theologically focused on achieving the highest social welfare of persons, of people, through social justice."

According to Trueba Urbina (1972), It is the "Set of ideas, institutions, and norms that, subject to integration, claim and defend people who depend on their jobs for a living and those who are economically vulnerable."

According to Radburch (1998), "Equality is no longer the starting point of law, to become the objective or aspiration of the legal order; the basic idea in which social law is inspired is the leveling between the inequalities that exist among them.

Some examples of Social Law

  • Right to work and be paid fairly.

  • Right to social protection when necessary.

  • Right to a suitable place to live.

  • Education is a right.

  • Health as a right.

  • The right to access all facets of public life as well as a healthy environment and cultural opportunities.

  • Rights to food and control over food.

History of Social Law

According to some historians, Social Law developed as a result of various sociological factors obeying a set of circumstances. The working class and social law were thus created as a result of the Industrial Revolution and the liberal economic system. Social rights have a history based on a number of revolutions and fights that began as soon as the various groups of society emerged and social legislation was implemented.

  • With the beginning of the Renaissance, social law developed as a new and revived concept of law created to support equality in relationships between the members of a society.

  • Before it, all communities were subject to Roman law. There were many distinct types of law present when the modern state first appeared, including social law.

Branches of Social Law

There are four distinct branches of social law, each of which is equally significant to society.

Significance of Social Law

It is significant because it emphasizes the legal parity that exists between men and women, since everyone has access to the same rights regardless of their race, socioeconomic class, language, religion, skin color, line of work, level of education, level of disability, and other factors. It declares unequivocally that everyone has a right to the services that the state can offer and, as a result, lays out the rules and regulations that must be followed in order to fulfill that right.

The law is significant because it serves as a standard for what is permitted in society. Conflicts between social groups and communities would exist without it. It is crucial that we adhere to them. The law makes it simple to adapt to societal developments. Leading legal organizations, including Schmidt and Clark, help safeguard people's rights and liberties to ensure a more just society.


Whenever possible, social institutions are used to enforce a set of rules and regulations known as the law. It plays many different roles in shaping politics, the economy, and society, acting as a social mediator of interpersonal relationships.

Criminal law provides a way for the state to bring charges against the culprit if the harm is made a crime by law. The framework for lawmaking, human rights defense, and representative elections is provided by constitutional law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do laws improve society?

Ans. Laws safeguard our rights as citizens and protect us from violations by other people, groups, and even the government.

Q2. What is meant by social law?

Ans. The phrase has been used to refer to both the body of law based on associations and the fields of law that fall between "core" private and public subjects, such as corporate law, competition law, labor law, and social security.

Q3. What are the social laws in India?

Ans. The Indian Constitution's Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights include the freedom to live as one chooses under Article 21, the right to a free and compulsory education under Article 14, the right to equality under Article 19, and a number of other rights that are necessary to change the way society is now.

Q4. What is the role of social laws?

Ans. The law is significant because it serves as a standard for what is permitted in society. Conflicts between social groups and communities would exist without it. It is crucial that we adhere to them. The law makes it simple to adapt to societal developments.

Q5. How is law related to society?

Ans. In addition to resolving disputes, the law also offers justice; it exists to uphold everyone's equality and human dignity. By establishing rights and constraints, the law contributes significantly to social transformation, or changing how society behaves.