What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. The laws can be created by a collective legislature, resulting in statutes; by an executive branch, resulting in decrees and regulations; or by judges, resulting in case precedent (the “doctrine of stare decisis”). Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements. Law encompasses many diverse subjects, though it can be broadly divided into three categories: labour law (which involves a tripartite industrial relationship between worker, employer and trade union), criminal law and civil law.

Law shapes politics, economics and history in various ways. It is an essential mediator of relations between people, and it provides stability to businesses, societies and governments. It can serve a variety of purposes, from keeping peace and maintaining the status quo to protecting minorities against majorities and promoting social justice. Some legal systems are more effective at achieving these goals than others.

The concept of law is an important one, and there are a wide range of laws, both natural and man-made, in existence. A natural law is a principle that describes a particular process, such as the law of gravity, in which the force Fg of two objects with masses m1 and m2 and distance d is proportional to their mass and acceleration. A scientific law, on the other hand, is a rule created by scientists to explain a natural phenomenon, such as the law of thermodynamics.

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