What Is Law?

Law is the system of rules that regulates the actions of individuals and a community. There are laws in place in every country, and citizens have to follow them or face punishment if they break them.

The definition of law is a subject of debate, but it is generally agreed that it is a set of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It is often described as a science or art, and it shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways.

A common distinction is between “civil law” jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and “common law” systems, in which judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law. The “doctrine of precedent” is an important part of common law legal systems, and this means that court decisions are regarded as having the same force as statutes enacted through the legislative process or executive authority.

Examples of law include contract, property and criminal justice. In each area, there are different types of rules regulating the rights and duties of parties to an agreement.

Contract law covers the rules governing the exchange of goods, services and other things of value. The areas of personal property and intellectual property are also covered.

Property law defines people’s rights and duties toward real estate (land and things attached to it) and their other possessions, including movable objects, such as computers and cars, and intangible rights, such as stocks and shares.