Understanding the Basics of Law


Law is the body of rules that govern the conduct of individuals and groups within a society. This includes property, crime, and other social issues. It also protects people’s rights and helps create a fair and just society.

Definition of Law

A law is a set of rules made by the government which citizens must follow or face punishment for breaking. For example, stealing is against the law, and if you are caught doing it you can be fined or put in jail.

Function, Purpose & Branches of Law

The main purpose of law is to promote peaceful existence/upholds law and order in the society. The law is also used as a standard setting and an instrument of control in various aspects of life. It additionally advocates the concept of equality in the society and also promotes procedural equality, which ensures that all participants in a legal transaction are treated equally regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

Branch of Law:

There are a number of branches of law, each with its own specialties and objectives. Some of them include criminal law, civil law, and labour law.

Legal Tradition:

A legal tradition is the basis or historical root of a country’s legal system. The adoption of a legal tradition is usually influenced by the history of a particular country, as well as its political culture.

Municipal/National Law:

The law of a nation or state deals with the relationships between its citizens and the relationship the state has with them. This may be derived from legislation, customary laws and religious/personal laws.

International Law:

The laws of a nation or state may be derived from conventions, agreements and customary practices. It is a set of rules that are applicable internationally, as defined by recognized organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank or the Red Cross.

International treaties and agreements are often incorporated into the laws of nations as part of international trade, immigration or foreign investments. It is important to understand the international legal framework that governs a particular country, so that you can make informed decisions in your own lives and businesses.

Types of Law:

There are many types of law, and a variety of systems for enforcing them. The most common are criminal and civil law. These are the laws that most people use to determine what is legal and illegal in their community.


A legal casebook is a collection of cases, either lightly edited or presented in full, that cover a specific area of the law. They are a good way to familiarize students with the subject matter and develop their case-analysis skills.

Reference Materials:

The Library has a wide variety of books, articles and research materials available in a broad range of subjects related to the study of law. These include legal dictionaries, textbooks and casebooks for both academic and leisure reading.

Indexes and Periodicals:

The library subscribes to a number of databases that provide access to the full text of a variety of legal journals, including many law reviews. In addition, the Law Library has an extensive collection of microfiche and microfilm periodical holdings on the 2nd floor in the Microforms Room.