What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. The law defines what is right and wrong, imposes obligation and duty and provides a means for the peaceful resolution of disputes. Law informs and shapes society in a multitude of ways, and is a topic of considerable scholarly inquiry.

Legal systems vary in their structure and the method of making laws. Legislation may be enacted through a legislative process, resulting in statutes, or established by the executive branch, resulting in regulations, or through judicial precedent, as in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can also create legally binding contracts, such as a private agreement or an arbitration agreement, which can be used to resolve disputes.

When writing about a legal subject it is important to consider the complexities of the issue at hand and provide your readers with a comprehensive overview of the law as it pertains to your particular topic. In addition, it is critical to be up-to-date on all legal developments that have occurred that could impact the information you are presenting. Otherwise, any bias you may have toward one side of the argument can taint the opinions that your readers form on the subject matter.

Law is used to ensure a just and well-ordered society. It binds governments and all citizens to adhere to certain principles that are considered fundamental, such as the supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, and the separation of powers and participation in decision-making. Laws are also intended to safeguard and respect human rights, including the right to property, liberty, and security.

The Law also governs private business transactions, ensuring that all parties are treated fairly. The law addresses issues such as contract law, which defines the terms and conditions of agreements between parties, such as purchasing a car or hiring a worker. It also covers issues such as consumer protection, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. Property law determines people’s rights and duties to tangible property, such as land or buildings, and intangible property, such as bank accounts or shares of stock.

The law also deals with the responsibilities of all government and non-government agencies and private companies in the provision of public services and utilities. Examples include the water, energy, and telecoms industries. It also regulates the financial sector, such as banking and investment regulations. The rule of law defines the minimum standards for these sectors, as well as the rights of investors and the ability of prosecutors to prosecute. It is a key component of societal stability and economic development. It ensures that governments and all other public and private entities are held accountable to laws which are clearly publicised, stable and applied evenly. It is also critical that those who are tasked with administering and executing the law are accessible, capable, ethical and independent.