The article describes two, very important from the social transformations' point of view, functions of law: adaptive and modernizing. Adaptive function of law consists in adapting the content of legal norms to extralegal rules (social, moral). On the other hand, a modernizing function of law displays itself in forming and modifying these standards by law. The occurrence of adaptive and modernizing functions of law is particularly important because of the fact that practically every new legislative regulation presupposes certain social consequences. Therefore, it is worthwhile to examine whether certain rules of law are actually capable of achieving the goals established for them. The process of adapting the law to social norms, and vice versa, is particularly visible in the so-called multiculturalism policy. This consists in recognition of the cultural diversity of societies, which manifests itself particularly in ensuring national and ethnic minorities' rights to develop and maintain their own separate cultural identity. It turns out that law can be successfully used to develop multi-cultural national consciousness. On the other hand, countries' legal systems, in which there are a number of national and ethnic minorities, do not remain indifferent to such specificity. As an example of best legislation in this area the author presents Canadian legal system, especially the protection of human rights.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.