The Definition of Law

Law is a set of rules that form a framework to ensure a peaceful society and that can be enforced. The rules protect people and property. They also provide a means to resolve disputes.

There are many different ideas and definitions of law, but the principal functions are setting standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. In a nation-state (as countries are called in international law), the laws are made and enforced by governmental institutions, such as courts, ministries, military and police. The governing authority can be elected, as in democracies, or inherited, as in monarchies and autocracies, and the power to make and enforce the laws may be derived from military, economic, or social force.

The precise definition of law is a matter of long-standing debate, but it generally includes any strong rule that must be obeyed. It could be a statute, decree or regulation issued by the government; a decision in a court case that establishes precedent for similar future cases; or an instinctive or spontaneous behavior, such as the law of self-preservation.

Different areas of law cover specific topics, such as labour law (the tripartite industrial relationship between employer, worker and trade union), constitutional law (a country’s basic governing principles) or medical jurisprudence (the application of a scientific understanding to human health and disease). The study of law is broad and diverse, with new and exciting developments in technology posing fresh challenges for legal policy-making and the role of the state.

Posted in: Gambling