What is Law?


Law is a system of rules created and enforced by society or a government. It covers a wide range of topics, from preventing criminal activity to setting standards for business agreements. Laws also regulate the actions of a government and its agencies, such as police or military forces.

The main subjects of law are criminal law, civil law and property law. The former covers a range of crimes, from traffic offenses to terrorism. The latter concerns a person’s rights and obligations towards people and objects they own. This can include land, intellectual property or movable possessions such as clothing and cars.

Other fields of law include family law, labour law and civil procedure. Labor law studies the tripartite industrial relationship between worker, trade union and employer. It includes collective bargaining and the right to strike. Civil procedure covers the procedures in courts for hearings and trials. Evidence law, which covers which materials can be used in court, is a branch of both civil and criminal law.

A law is a system of rules that society establishes to govern its members and control their behaviour. It is distinguished from other disciplines by its normative and prescriptive character, meaning it tells people how they should behave or not behave, rather than describing what happens or why things happen (as with empirical science, such as the law of gravity or social sciences, such as economics). Law is also distinctive in its reliance on a process of interpretation and jurisprudence to adjust its rules to changing circumstances.