What is Law?


Law is the body of customs, practices and rules of conduct that governs a society or community. These are enforced by a controlling authority, and people abide by them to maintain a social order.

In some cases, laws may have an ethical component and reflect natural laws of the universe or humanity’s morality. This is a controversial issue, but utilitarians such as John Austin and natural lawyers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau argue that law reflects essentially moral and unchangeable laws of nature.

Civil law systems are found on all continents and cover about 60% of the world’s population. These systems, derived from Roman law, are often supplemented by local custom and culture.

Common law legal systems, which originated in the United States, are also found throughout the world. These systems are based on concepts and categories derived from Roman law, as well as some influence from canon law.

Religious law is a type of law that is rooted in religious precepts, such as Jewish Halakha or Islamic Sharia. These laws are sometimes used to guide courts of law or jurisprudence.

In most societies, law is a way to resolve conflicts peacefully. When two people disagree about who owns a piece of property, for example, they turn to the courts for help.

The Canadian legal system respects the rights of each person and helps ensure that our society is safe and orderly. All members of society, including police, government and public officials, must carry out their duties according to the law.

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