What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions. It imposes what is right and wrong, binding in all locations and time. It may serve one of several purposes: to keep the peace, maintain the status quo, protect minorities against majorities, promote social justice, or provide orderly social change.

The precise definition of Law has varied throughout history. Blackstone, for example, viewed it as a set of rules that “do not depend on the consent of the parties, but are imposed upon all by the authority of God and the government of the nation.”

Other scholars have used the term to refer to a specific area of law, such as criminal or civil law. In modern times, the word has come to refer more generally to a set of rules governing the behavior of individuals or groups. Regardless of the specific name, Law includes both positive and natural jurisprudence.

Typical legal norms exhibiting Hohfeldian forms are rights, privileges, and powers (Hart 1982: 183). Rights typically give right-holders a measure of normative control over others by allowing them to annul or waive their duties or to transfer those duties to others. Privileges and immunities function to protect those rights, privileges, and powers.

Legal rights are often derived from or justified by other rights (Raz 1994: 263-268). Legal rights are generally enforceable in courts, which act as the depositories of legal authority and are thus bound to decide cases on their merits without regard to previous determinations. Exceptions to this rule are when a prior determination is clear and obvious error, or when the law is manifestly contrary to reason or divine law.

A judicial interpretation of the law can change the law from one case to another, and even the same judge can interpret the law differently in two different cases. This is because judges and other legal professionals rely on a rich body of jurisprudence for guidance and interpretation of the law, which is frequently published in books and journals.

The law regulating individual behaviors can be a complex topic, and some jurisdictions have more complex systems of laws than others. In the United States, for example, we have a constitutional and statutory law that governs many areas of law. The law is a vital component of our society, and a career in law can be very rewarding. In addition to lawyers, the field of Law can also include prosecutors, defense attorneys, and public defenders. All of these fields are important to our democracy. However, it is important to remember that the law cannot solve all problems. Sometimes, people must take matters into their own hands to make changes that are not addressed by the law. This is why civil disobedience and protests are important to our society. These protests can help bring attention to issues that the law is failing to address. It is only through these types of actions that we can get the government to create new laws and policies that will better serve all citizens.