What is Social Law?

What Does Social Law Mean

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



Social law, as its name indicates, deals with social rights, which are subjective rights recognized by positive law and which are part of the fundamental rights of the human being , in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic Rights. , Social and Cultural (ICESCR) that came 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 can be based on the "social contract" as understood by Rousseau (explicit or not in a National Constitution), or derived from the respective Human Rights Declarations. They deal with issues related to individual freedoms , work, social security and access to basic services .

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Definition according to authors

There are many formal definitions of social law. We will list a few below:

  • According to Trueba Urbina (1972), it is the “Set of principles, institutions and norms that, based on integration, protect, protect and vindicate those who live off their work and the economically weak”.
  • According to González Díaz (1978), it is about “… an organization of society based on a dynamic integration, theologically aimed at obtaining the greatest social well-being of people , of peoples, through social justice”.
  • According to Radburch (1998), on the other hand, “The central idea on which social law is inspired is not the idea of ​​the equality of people, but of the leveling of the inequalities that exist between them; equality ceases to be the starting point of law, to become a goal or aspiration of the legal order.

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

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 just resolution of the social needs of the human being , from 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 more important. However, usually tenérsela by implied within the law as part of other legal provisions (such as labor law , the procedural law , etc.).

Branches of social law

Social law contemplates the regulation of migratory movements.

Social law includes the following branches:

  • Labor law (or right to work). One that regulates the relationship between employers and employees workers , to ensure that occur in the fairest possible manner and with full and mutual consent of the entities involved.
  • The right to social security. In charge of guaranteeing the access of individuals to a dignified life model with regard to individual integrity, non-discrimination and fair retribution for their efforts.
  • Immigration law. It is known that changing residence is a human right and an activity carried out en masse since the beginning of humanity . This branch of social law deals with the laws on immigration and migration in each country or region .
  • Agricultural law. Those that regulate the possession and exploitation of the national territory for agricultural purposes, that is, for the production of food .

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 from 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 .

Examples of social law

The social struggle for women's rights dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.

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

  • The fight against xenophobia , racism and 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.

Social state

The term "Social State" is a construction of German legal history , coming from ancient Prussia and that after many transformations still survives today, although within the "Social and democratic state of law", that is, as more or less less synonymous with the rule of law .

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

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