What Is Law?

Law is the set of rules created and enforced by a society or government to deal with crime, business agreements and social relationships. It may also refer to the people who work in the legal system.

The precise nature of law is a topic of intense debate, and different approaches are taken to the study of it. For example, some scholars have argued that law is a product of a particular place and culture, and others have focused on its function as a mediator of relations between citizens. In the latter perspective, it is essential that laws be accessible, understandable and applied equally to all members of a society.

In some systems, law is formulated by a group legislature, resulting in statutes; by an executive branch, resulting in decrees and regulations; or through judicial decisions that bind lower courts through the “doctrine of precedent”, known as stare decisis. Private individuals can also create legally binding contracts.

Some areas of law are extremely complex. For example, labour law encompasses a tripartite industrial relationship between employer, employee and trade union, involving such issues as employment rights, collective bargaining, and the right to strike. Aviation law, on the other hand, is a highly technical area of law that involves the regulations and standards that govern the safe operation of aircraft.

The complexity of law explains why lawyers are highly paid and the profession is tightly regulated. In most jurisdictions, a lawyer is required to be licensed or authorised to practice law and must have passed a rigorous examination before becoming qualified to act as a solicitor or barrister. The practice of law is often overseen by a government agency or independent regulating body such as a bar association, bar council or law society.

The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in countless ways. Moreover, it has profound implications for the way in which governments manage public resources and the relationship between state and society. In some instances, it is used to legitimise dictatorships that violate human rights and impose a form of social control. In other instances, it is used to promote democracy and facilitate orderly social change. The laws that a country follows may be shaped by its constitution, political ideology, religion or social system. Other aspects of the law include civil procedure; criminal law; family law; statutory law; and biolaw, which studies the intersection of laws with the life sciences.

By adminssk
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