What Is Law?

Law is the set of rules that a country or group of countries use to keep people safe and fair and to ensure that everybody follows these rules. It sets out what people can and cannot do, and if someone breaks these rules they may be punished for it by the police or courts.

People in a society have different views about what should be the laws, and these views shape the laws. In many countries there is a constitution that tells how the law should be made. Laws can also be made by groups of politicians in a legislature, such as a parliament or congress, that is elected (chosen) by the people. Laws can be made to cover a range of areas, from the overall framework of how society should work to details about things like how to drive safely.

Companies also create their own laws to make sure that they do business in a fair way and to protect themselves from people who try to cheat them. This kind of company law is often called corporate law or commercial law. There are also some kinds of laws that cover issues that affect whole groups of people, such as environmental law.

The law is an important part of the fabric of a nation and it shapes politics, economics, history, and society in many ways. For example, a political system with strong authoritarian controls can oppress minorities and prevent people from challenging the government, while a democratic government may be able to bring about peaceful social change.

People also have a tendency to follow the law, but they can be β€œat law,” which means that they do not follow the established mores, and may even break the law. This could be done to try to get something that is not permitted by the law, or to challenge decisions that are made by the government.

Other types of law include criminal law, which aims to keep people safe and punish people who break the law; immigration and nationality law, which deals with rights of citizens and non-citizens to live and work in a country; family law, which covers marriage and divorce; and civil rights law, which aims to improve the treatment of groups of people by changing the rules that apply to them.

Laws can cover a wide range of topics, but they all have the same basic principles in common. They must be clear and well-written, and they must be followed by everyone, including the police and judges. People who study and argue the law are called lawyers, jurists or attorneys. There are two main kinds of lawyers – transactional attorneys who do contracts, and litigators who go to court to fight for their clients. There is also a growing area of law called biolaw, which is about the intersection between law and science. For more information on the law, see the articles on legal profession; legal education; and legal ethics.