What is Law?

Law is a set of rules that creates a framework to ensure a peaceful society. It is enforced by the state and if it is broken or breached sanctions can be imposed. There are many different ideas of what Law is and the precise definition is a matter of longstanding debate.

The wikiHow article on Law provides an introduction to the legal system, and discusses how it affects us in our daily lives. It includes an overview of the main principles, and explains some of the more complex concepts, such as the distinction between public and private law. It also covers some of the more recent changes to legislation that have been introduced, and gives a critical view of these controversial changes.

Legal studies are a subject of study and a career choice for many people. It involves studying a wide range of subjects including: constitutional law, international law, criminal law, civil rights, contract law, property law and labour law. Lawyers are professionals who use their knowledge of the law to advise clients and help them resolve legal disputes. They must complete a number of steps before they are qualified to practise, such as completing a degree in Law and passing a bar exam.

The purpose of Law is to establish standards, maintain order, resolve conflicts and protect liberties and rights. This is accomplished through a variety of methods including: enforcing penalties, granting access to justice, protecting human rights and regulating the actions of the police and government. There are several different types of Laws, depending on the country and its constitution. Some countries, for example, the United States, have a common law system that relies on judges’ decisions on cases brought before them. These rulings then have broader legal weight that can be used in future cases and are known as case law or precedent.

Other countries, such as Japan, have a civil law system that uses specific codes to decide cases. Some laws are a result of social wants, such as laws governing ownership. For example, land law governs ownership of real estate such as houses and gardens. It also regulates leases, contracts, covenants and easements. Other examples of laws governing property are intellectual property law, company law and trusts.

Law can be considered a moral science, and it has been said that the practice of law is a ‘normative’ science. However, it is also a tool of social control and has been described as a form of coercive behaviour. Hans Kelsen, who wrote about the pure theory of law, argued that the goal of Law is to control human behaviour, and that it was not necessarily a means of creating good or evil. Roscoe Pound, on the other hand, saw it as an instrument of social engineering, where conflicting pulls of political philosophy, economic interests and ethical values struggled for recognition against a background of history, tradition and legal technique. These competing forces shaped the form of Law that we know today.