Law is a system of rules that a society sets to keep order, protect people and property and to resolve disputes. It can be as simple as the laws a country has about not stealing or as complex as international laws about how diplomats can travel overseas without risking prosecution.
The term law is also used to describe the people who work in this system, for example the police or lawyers. The word also refers to a set of laws that a government makes and enforces, such as the country’s liberal political asylum law or its criminal law.
Definition of Law
The concept of law is widely understood and respected in a wide range of cultures. In the most developed countries, it is a system of rules that governs a society and its behaviour.
Across the world, governments write laws to regulate how people live and how businesses and societies operate. The systems of legal regulation vary from state to state, but they are all founded on the same basic principles.
Some of these systems include the criminal law, the law of contract, the laws of property and the laws of the land. Others are more specialised, such as the laws of immigration or environmental protection.
These legal systems cover about 60% of the planet and are based on concepts, categories and rules derived from Roman law, though they are often supplemented and modified by local custom and culture.
Many of these systems rely on the doctrine of precedent, which states that courts must uphold previous decisions in similar cases. This enables courts to decide the correct course of action in the same situation over and over again, thus avoiding repeating the same mistakes.
In common law legal systems, decisions by higher courts are regarded as “law” on equal footing with statutes adopted through the legislative process and with regulations issued by the executive branch. This ensures that all citizens are guaranteed the same rights and liberties.
Another advantage of law is its reliability. Judges are fallible humans and their judgements cannot be trusted entirely to reflect the truth. This is particularly true in cases where the evidence is weak or contradictory.
The other advantage of law is that it can be flexible, allowing it to change according to the needs of society. This can help to avoid arbitrary rules and laws that can be exploited by certain interests or groups.
If you want to pursue a career that requires a lot of hard work and commitment, then studying law may be for you. This is because it will require a great deal of reading, writing and analysis.
It can also be very rewarding, as it can lead to a successful career and pay you well for arguing and changing laws. It is one of the most challenging degrees you can get and it will be difficult to find a job after graduation, but if you are ambitious and willing to put in the hard work, it could be your ticket into the top ranks of your chosen field.