What is Law?

Law is a system of rules that a government develops to deal with issues such as crime, business agreements and social relationships. It can also refer to the profession of lawyers and judges who work in this area.

Law has a complex and often contested political basis. The fundamental question is who has the power to make and enforce laws, and what checks are in place to prevent abuses of this power? The answer is not simple, and it can vary widely from nation to nation. There are frequent revolts against existing political-legal authority, and demands for democracy and human rights are major themes in modern life.

Different types of law exist, depending on the type of country and its historical roots. For example, in the United States and some other countries, there are civil law systems and common law systems. Other countries follow religious law, which can be based on scriptures or written texts, or a mixture of religious and common law.

A number of other legal subjects are also important, ranging from tax law to space law and commercial law. The study of law is called jurisprudence, and it involves understanding these systems and how they change over time.

The core subjects of law include labour law, which is about the tripartite relationship between employer, worker and trade union, and encompasses regulation on issues such as job security and pay; company law, which is about companies registered with a state, based on a principle of separate ownership from control; and property law, which consists of real property (a right in rem) and personal property (a right in personam).

Other areas of law include administrative law, which concerns regulations that concern public services and businesses such as health, education and transport; constitutional law, which deals with the constitutions of countries; criminal law, which is about defending citizens against crimes; family law, which covers marriage and divorce; and tort law, which is about claims for damages. The subject of law is diverse and complex, but it includes the essential principles that govern how a society is run: equal justice for all; transparent, accessible and understandable laws; stable and predictable rules; and clear expression of rights and duties. In this sense, law is a key component of a democratic society. It provides a balance between the power of the state and the power of individuals, in the form of enforceable contracts and the rights to privacy and freedom of speech. It is through this that people can achieve a safe and prosperous life. This is why laws are so important and should be defended from attempts to weaken them.