What Is Law?

Law is a system of rules that control people’s behavior within society. It aids in avoiding conflicts of interest and encourages cooperation among citizens. It is enforced by a controlling authority, often through penalties. Laws govern many aspects of daily life, from business to social relationships and property, to finance and banking. Some countries have different law systems, but all share certain fundamentals.

The first of the laws to be considered is criminal law, which deals with offenses against a community. The second is civil law, which covers disputes between individuals like car accidents or defamation. Other areas of civil law include labor, family, bankruptcy, and real estate.

Another law definition is from Hans Kelsen who created the ‘pure theory of law’. His law definition states that the law is a ‘normative science’. He says that the law does not seek to describe what must occur, but defines certain rules that individuals have to abide by.

Some countries use a common law system, which is the basis for the U.S. Constitution and most of its state laws. The majority of countries use a civil law system, which is based on decisions made by judges in cases that have been brought before them. Those decisions are compiled and made into codes that are easily understood by the public. These laws also allow for adjustments to meet new social needs by way of interpretation and creative jurisprudence. The judicial system also has the ability to remove laws that are considered unconstitutional.