What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behaviour. It is a subject of intense study in areas such as legal history, philosophy, sociology, economic analysis and political science. The precise nature of law is a topic of debate; scholarly inquiry has ranged from natural rights theory to utilitarianism.

Law informs politics, economics, history and society in many different ways, and is a key element of any modern state. It can be based on religious teachings, as in Sharia law, or can be codified and consolidated by a legislature, resulting in statutes, or set by judges through precedent, as in common law jurisdictions. Law can also be based on custom and policy, as in Roman law or medieval legal codes.

There are several major branches of law, including criminal law, civil law and commercial law. Commercial law involves the regulation of transactions, so it includes contracts, intellectual property and insurance. Criminal law concerns the protection of persons and their property from harm, including the punishment of those who commit crimes. Civil law involves the resolution of disputes between individuals, including lawsuits.

Other branches of law include immigration and nationality law, which concern a person’s right to live in a nation-state and to acquire or lose citizenship; labour law, which encompasses the tripartite relationship between worker, employer and trade union; family law, which covers marriage, divorce proceedings and the rights of children; and evidence law, which concerns what materials are admissible in courts.

Posted in: Gembing