What is Law?

Law is the system of rules that is created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition is a matter of longstanding debate and has been variously described as a science, an art, and a discipline. Law is a system that is designed to ensure the safety and prosperity of society through the application of justice. This can be achieved through legislation resulting in statutes, executive decrees and regulations or through case law involving judges making decisions based on precedent.

The four main functions of law are establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting rights and liberties. It is essential for societies to have a legal system in place in order to have a clear way to define and distinguish between right and wrong actions and to prevent abuse of power by individuals, groups or the state.

It is the job of politicians and the government to set laws and to ensure that these laws are followed by citizens. The laws that are made can be based on religious beliefs, moral values or the needs of the nation-state, such as economic stability and security. However, not all political systems are stable and there is often a desire for greater democratic rule or more rights for citizens. This can result in revolutions that seek to overthrow the existing political-legal authority.

Different countries have different types of laws, which are based on their history and culture. There are some laws that are common to all countries, for example, contract law, tort law and property law. However, there are many other laws that are specific to each country, such as criminal law and censorship.

There are many fields of law, including employment law, aviation law, insurance law and tax law. Employment law involves laws relating to the work environment and includes things like discrimination, equal pay and redundancy. Aviation law covers issues such as aircraft ownership, pilot licenses and airworthiness regulations. Insurance law covers policies such as car, health and home insurance as well as liability. Property law encompasses a variety of things such as real estate (real estate or land) and personal property (such as computers, jewellery and cars). It also includes things such as intellectual property and copyright.

Laws are continually changing as society changes, so it is important that the legal system is flexible enough to adapt to these changes and to address new problems as they occur. The most effective way to do this is through a richly developed body of academic doctrine and judicial precedent. This allows for the flexibility to make a law that is responsive to social change and the ability to deal with unexpected issues through creative jurisprudence. This type of law is sometimes referred to as natural or common law. This differs from other types of law, such as statutory or administrative, which are made by legislative bodies and backed up by decrees or regulations. These are usually based on a constitution, but can be interpreted and amended by the judiciary.