What is the Law?


The Law is the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating its members’ actions. The law serves several purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights. It is a central institution in most modern nation-states. It is a vital component of democracy, and a critical element of social progress in many developing countries. It is also the subject of much philosophical debate, as it is seen as a fundamental moral and ethical concept, in contrast to anarchy or chaos.

The governing body that makes the laws of a particular country is called the state, or its constitutional authority. In some states, a supreme court is responsible for reviewing the constitutionality of laws passed by the legislature and/or executive branch. Other states have judicial review courts, such as the federal district courts and the court of appeals.

The term “rule of law” refers to the principle that the decisions and actions of government agencies are subject to a rigorous form of scrutiny, and that no one is above the law. A key aspect of the rule of law is that government agents must explain their decisions in a transparent manner to the public, rather than simply acting based on their personal whims. This requirement of transparency and accountability helps to protect citizens from abuses by government officials, whose authority is not legitimate when exercised arbitrarily or capriciously.