What Is Law?

Law is a system of rules enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition is a matter of longstanding debate. The legal system may be based on written constitutions or tacit agreements between the government and citizens. Individuals can also create binding contracts under civil law. Governmental laws can be made by a collective legislature, leading to statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law systems. The system can be influenced by religious laws, such as Islamic Sharia law.

The law must be clear and publicized to ensure that people are aware of what it requires of them. It must be stable and ensure that human rights as well as property, contract, and procedural rights are protected. It must be administered, adjudicated, and enforced impartially by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of communities they serve.

Some of the most important aspects of the law include —

criminal law – The branch of the justice system that deals with crimes against persons such as murder, burglary, robbery and larceny. It includes the procedure for bringing criminals to trial, jury selection, and arraignment of accused criminals.

tort law – The field of the legal system that provides compensation for damages suffered by a person or their property due to another’s conduct, such as injury from an automobile accident or defamation.

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