Law is a system of rules that a society or government develops in order to deal with crime, business agreements and social relationships.
Law can be made by a group legislature or by one legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions.
Property laws govern ownership and possession of land, personal property and intangible rights such as stocks and shares. Real property includes land, buildings, vehicles and other physical objects, while personal property includes movable goods like computers, jewelry or intangible rights such as bank accounts and shares.
Criminal laws protect against the theft, murder, and other crimes. They also help to protect people from being harmed physically or by the dissemination of false information about themselves, such as defamation.
Contract laws regulate the sale of goods, services and other things of value, such as contracts to buy or sell a car. These laws are designed to ensure that people follow their own or others’ contracts, and that they pay for services or goods as agreed upon.
Tort law deals with damages for harm caused by someone else’s actions, such as in a motor accident or a crime. It is designed to compensate people for losses incurred as a result of their own negligence or the actions of others, such as in defamation cases.
The Rule of Law serves the purpose of keeping peace, maintaining the status quo, preserving individual rights, protecting minorities against majorities and promoting social justice. Some legal systems do better than others at achieving these goals, depending on the culture and context in which they operate.