The Study of Law


The study of law encompasses a wide range of topics. It aims to understand the way in which a society sets rules that it expects its members to follow and enforce. It covers issues as diverse as the right to vote or the duty of parents to raise their children. Law influences politics, economics and history in a variety of ways. It also acts as a mediator between people and organisations that they interact with.

A law is a set of rules that a group of people accepts as binding upon themselves, and which they are obliged to obey. It regulates behaviour and sets rewards and penalties for specific actions. It can be used to create a sense of fairness and order in a community, or to punish criminals.

It can be derived from scripture, custom or precedent, or by legislation. In some cases, laws may be based on natural science (for example, the law of gravity) or on moral philosophy. In other cases, they are a reflection of societal wants and needs, such as the law that protects against fraud or forbids lying.

Some legal academics have different views about what a law is. Hans Kelsen created the ‘pure theory of law’ which states that a law does not seek to describe what must occur, but defines certain rules to abide by. Roscoe Pound, however, believed that law is a means of social control and that it should conform to the common consciousness of the people.

There are many different branches of law, such as contract law, which regulates agreements that exchange goods or services; tort law, which provides compensation for damage caused to an individual’s property or reputation; administrative law, which focuses on the running of government agencies; and criminal law, which deals with offences against the state, such as murder and robbery. Other areas of law include immigration and citizenship law, which deal with the rights of foreigners to live in a country; tax law, which determines how much income and wealth a person has to pay tax on; and family law, which provides for the rights of spouses and children.

The study of law involves a lot of reading and research. There are many textbooks written on the subject, and many students go to university to study law. Lawyers have special titles, such as ‘Esquire’, to indicate that they are barristers of greater standing than solicitors; and ‘Doctor of Law’, to indicate that they have obtained a doctorate in law.

Law shapes our lives in many ways, and it’s a fascinating area to study. It’s essential to be aware of the different areas of law, and to know your rights. A good knowledge of the law can protect you against unfair treatment, and help you to make a more informed decision about your career or education options. The legal system has many facets that are important to understand, including the role of judges and the relationship between the legislative and executive branch of the government.