I want to eliminate law from society without that be perceived as a downgrade to civilization.
What I have so far is along the line of: "In a near/far future, the crew of a space mission stayed in space and became a colony with increasing population. They had the protocols and command chain of the mission, and in that they based the protocols of the colony. People in the colony were raised in the belief that not following the protocols correctly results in disaster. So they have protocols, not laws, as not doing your job properly threatens your own survival that is already the punishment."
Answers do not need to stay with the space colony setting if a more generic solution that also works elsewhere is provided. My solution depends on the colony genesis and I'm dodging the debate "It cannot work because..." with "It's not about if it works or not, things just happened that way". But, when trying to scale that to a population of millions (a small country) how can I justify that they never reached the horizon where people start saying "Ok, we need laws"? If possible I want the colony to continue in that line, if not believable then at least until it reaches the population of a small country and starts resembling a country (schools, health care, etc).
If the question on the title can be answered bypassing my setting, that's OK. I will consider better an answer that considers my setting only if it compares in quality to one that doesn't. Feel free to ignore the setting.