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GMAT Sample Questions : Analytical Writing Assessment

In a free society, laws must be subject to change.


A society establishes laws to address the needs of the present, and these needs often change with time. When needs change, laws must either be flexible enough to address new situations or be subject to change. This is the only way to insure that the needs of contemporary society are being addressed. The given statement uses the qualification of a "free society," implying that the citizens in the society have the freedom to make their needs known and to contribute to the making of laws. For a free society to flourish, the political structure must be able to accommodate a reevaluation and possibly a restructuring of laws.

The laws which constitute the political system, specifically those ensuring citizens their basic human rights should not be subject to change. In the United States, the Bill of Rights guarantees citizens fundamental rights, and therefore it should not be subject to change. In a free society which permits its members extensive personal freedom, The Bill of Rights provides for the harmonious coexistence of diverse groups of people. As such a societal mediator, The Bill of Rights encompasses many laws that are the basis behind the notion "free society" and therefore should not be subject to change.

In deciding whether or not a law should be subject to change, the premise on which the law stands must be evaluated. Laws which make up the foundation of a free society must be stable, but can only remain so as long as they address the needs of the society's constituents. Every society contains diverse groups of people and therefore must have laws to encompass a variety of difference needs. To determine the immutability of a law, the laws impact on society must be evaluated, and care must be taken to ensure that changing a law to benefit parts of the community do not do so at the expense of some of the constituents. A law governing basic rights should be stable, while minor laws regulating certain actions do not necessitate such careful consideration. For example, the laws governing abortion involve the fundamental rights of women, and much attention must be spent on the issue to moderate its impact on society. The laws governing issues such as car parking do not involve a major issue, and should easily be subject to change if problems with existing regulations arise.

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