What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It is one of the most widely used concepts in human culture.

Laws are primarily made by a group legislature or a single legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that adopt alternative ways of resolving disputes to standard court litigation.

There are many different kinds of law, with some specific fields of law affecting all parts of society. Examples of these are property, company, immigration, family, social security and criminal law.

The legal system of a nation is the set of laws that governs how people are treated. It is a complex, ever-changing system that reflects the political, economic and historical situations of a nation.

Throughout history, people have often revolted against existing laws that fail to serve their interests. This is often a response to the government’s failure to address problems, such as poverty or discrimination.

Religion plays a significant role in the law in a number of cultures and societies, both as a source of precepts (law) and in determining how the law is applied. This includes Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia.

A person who violates a law can be punished by the courts, for example with jail time or a fine. However, there is a difference between the letter of the law and its spirit. Jesus taught that obedience to the letter of the law but not its spirit is sinful.