Law is the totality of legal precepts and principles governing behaviour in an organised political society. It refers to the regime of adjusting relations and ordering conduct by the systematic application of power by a controlling authority.
A legal system consists of formal sources of law such as statutes or legislation, judicial precedent and custom. It also comprises persuasive sources of law such as foreign judgements, equity or justice, and professional opinions. It also includes the ‘rule of reason’ and a wide variety of other influences that may inform a judge when making a decision on a case such as academic doctrine, common sense, and fairness.
Essentially, the function of law is to establish standards and maintain order, resolve disputes, and protect the liberties and rights of individuals. Laws set out a particular standard that a person must comply with in order to avoid prosecution or punishment. This is particularly the case with criminal law where an individual can be held liable for certain offences such as theft, murder or drug dealing.
Other examples of law are civil rights laws, labour laws and property laws. These laws are designed to ensure that people have a fair and equitable deal in the workplace, with their neighbours or with the government. They can also protect people from discrimination and promote civil liberties, for example, the right to freedom of religion or belief, privacy and security.
The concept of law has evolved over the centuries, reflecting changing cultural, social and economic conditions. In modern times it is a complex issue that involves many different aspects of a nation’s culture, identity and values. It is important that the legal system continues to grow and develop with the ever changing world around it.
In general, the term ‘law’ covers a wide range of activities which are regulated and enforced by a government, for example, taxation, crime, war, censorship, the military, and policing. However, it is important to distinguish between laws that are simply administrative, and those that relate to individual rights and liberties.
Paulyn Marrinan Quinn Lawyer, Founder Conflict & Dispute Resolution Studies – Trinity College Dublin University
The law is an important part of our everyday lives. It helps us understand the world around us, and enables us to live in a safe and secure environment. The law can also be a source of conflict and controversy, such as the debate over the legality of euthanasia and abortion. However, it is important to remember that the law has many positive effects in our daily lives and it should be embraced rather than feared or ignored. The law is a vital component of our social structure and it serves a number of functions including setting standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting the liberties and rights of individuals. It is for these reasons that the law must be respected, and anyone who violates it should be punished. The legal system is a vital part of our democracy and it must continue to evolve in order to keep up with the changes that occur in the society that we live in.