What is Law?


Law is the body of rules that governs society. It also refers to the governing authority that enforces those rules. Law also includes the discipline and profession that study how laws work, jurisprudence.

Law shapes politics, economics, history and culture in a variety of ways. It provides the frameworks and means for establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.

The main types of law are civil law, common law and Islamic law. The former focuses on legislative statutes, and the latter on judge-made precedent (called stare decisis) to ensure that similar cases reach similar results.

In modern society, law is increasingly seen as a means of promoting social stability and reducing social conflict, through regulating commercial activity, limiting the extent to which people can be forced to do things and imposing limits on the exercise of police and military power. In addition, it is an important social mediator of relationships between different groups and institutions, including families, schools and workplaces.

The subject of law is enormously diverse and reaches into every area of human endeavour. However, three broad categories are presented for convenience; labour law covers a tripartite industrial relationship between worker, employer and trade union; property law concerns the ownership of real estate (land) or personal property (movable goods); and criminal and civil law concern court procedures. In a scientific sense, the concept of law is peculiar because normative statements in it are devoid of causality as compared with descriptive or prescriptive statements in other sciences such as physics (the law of gravity) and even social science (the law of demand and supply). Law thus is essentially a concept of observer-centric probabilities.