What is social law?

We explain what social law is, its characteristics, branches and examples. In addition, why it is important and what is the social state.

  1. What is social law?

Social law is the set of laws , provisions and norms that establish and differentiate the principles and measures of protection of economically weak people, groups and sectors of society. This is the legal framework that deals with the eventual conflicts that occur within society and between the social classes that compose it.

Social law, as the name implies, deals with social rights, which are subjective rights recognized by positive law and that are part of the fundamental rights of the human being , as approved by the International Covenant on Economic Rights , Social and Cultural (ICESCR) that entered into force internationally in 1976.

These rights are also recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promulgated in 1948. They are commonly distinguished from natural rights and therefore receive separate legislation .

Social rights may be based on the “social contract” as Rousseau understands it (explicit or not in a National Constitution), or derived from the respective Declarations of Human Rights. They deal with issues related to individual freedoms , work, social security and access to basic services.

  1. Definition according to authors

There are many formal definitions of social law. Below we will list a few:

  • According to Trueba Urbina (1972), it is the “Set of principles, institutions and norms that, depending on integration, protect, protect and claim those who live from their work and those who are economically weak”.
  • According to González Díaz (1978), it is “… an ordering of society based on a dynamic integration, theologically aimed at obtaining the greatest social welfare of people , of peoples, through social justice.”
  • According to Radburch (1998), on the other hand, “The central idea in which social law is inspired is not the idea of ​​the equality of people, but of the leveling between the inequalities that exist among them; equality is no longer the starting point of law, to become the goal or aspiration of the legal order.

Note how all formal definitions coincide in the specific approach to social law regarding the legal resolution of social problems, as well as the construction of a more just legal society.

  1. Characteristics of social law

The areas of interest of social law have to do with the coexistence of human beings in society, that is, the fair resolution of the social needs of the human being , based on the intervention of the institutions. This has to do directly with equality, equity , the rule of law and other conditions that guarantee the continuity of social peace.

At first glance, this would have to be one of the fundamental branches of law , in a society like the current one that increasingly understands the satisfaction of social needs as something more important. However, usually tenérsela by implied within the law as part of other legal provisions (such as labor law , the procedural law , etc.).

  1. Branches of social law

social law migration
Social law contemplates the regulation of migratory movements.

Social law contemplates the following branches:

  • Labor law (or right to work) . The one that regulates the relationship between employers and working employees, to ensure that it occurs in the fairest way possible and with the full and mutual agreement of the entities involved.
  • Right to social security . Responsible for guaranteeing the access of individuals to a decent life model in relation to individual integrity, non-discrimination and fair retribution of their efforts.
  • Immigration law . It is known that changing residence is a human right and an activity carried out massively since the beginning of humanity. This branch of social law deals with immigration and immigration laws in each country or region.
  • Agrarian law . Those that regulate the possession and exploitation of the national territory for agricultural purposes, that is, for food production.
  1. Importance of social law

Social law is of crucial importance to guarantee social change, that is, the gradual construction of a more just society , free of phenomena that impoverish the social life of individuals, such as discrimination , racism , abusive work, lack of access to education , etc.

These concepts are often grouped under the term of social justice, and their attention is indispensable for the existence of social peace , that is, the minimum consensus of social classes within an organized and productive community.

  1. Examples of social law

social law feminism vote history
The social struggle for women’s rights dates back to the early twentieth century.

Examples of the areas of interest of social law are the following:

  • The fight against xenophobia , racism and the various forms of discrimination.
  • The visibility of the role of women in contemporary societies and the fight against sexism.
  • The social protection of the working classes and the most vulnerable sectors against exploitation, marginalization and other toxic social dynamics.
  • The defense of fundamental freedoms and internationally recognized human rights.
  1. Social state

The term “social state” is a construction of German legal history , from ancient Prussia and that after many transformations still survives to our day, although within the “social and democratic state of law”, that is, as more or less synonymous with the rule of law .

The latter means the principle of equality before the law , that is, of equal opportunities for all, theoretically avoiding exclusion, segregation and discrimination.

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