Law is a set of rules and standards that establishes order, helps resolve disputes, and protects people’s liberties and rights. Some legal systems do a better job of serving these goals than others.
A person who breaks the law is said to be in violation of it. The law punishes violators by imposing consequences such as fines, community service, or prison time. The law is a system of rules that is enforced by the police, judges, and other government officials. It also governs the behavior of private citizens, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.
In addition to criminal justice, there are other areas that are governed by the law, such as business and real estate laws. The law also covers public health, education, and social welfare issues.
The judicial branch of the government carries out the law, as well as oversees the activities of other branches of the federal and state governments. A judge is a person who decides a case, and has the authority to change or uphold laws.
Legal systems vary widely from country to country, and even within countries. Nevertheless, some of these systems have common features that reflect historically accepted ideals of justice. These include principles such as supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, and legal certainty and transparency.