"The 17th century period was marked by an attempt to erect effective safeguard against violations of natural law by governments. Law in this period was conceptualized as an instrument for the prevention of autocracy and despotism. Absolutism in Europe that was associated with governmental encroachments necessitated a strong shield of individual liberty. In this period legal theory placed the main emphasis on liberty, thus the law was to render governments capable of functioning as a guarantor of individual rights. This paper aims at examining the social contract theory of the 17th-century English philosopher, John Locke, its parameters, limitations and its essence in the contemporary world with a view as to why should we obey the law, the origin, essence and legitimacy of the government, the origin of the state and the law and more importantly how can we punish the government in case they fail to fulfill their functions."
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