What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules created by the state that form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. It is enforced by mechanisms and, if broken, sanctions can be imposed. It serves four main purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights.

There are many different ideas about what constitutes law. For example, Hans Kelsen’s ‘pure theory of law’ states that it is “a normative science that does not describe what must occur but simply defines certain rules to abide by”. Friedrich Karl von Savigny also came up with his own law definition in which he said: ‘law is unconscious and organic growth; it is the result of custom and is superior to it. Law should always conform to popular consciousness.’

Generally, laws cover a wide range of issues and are based on the principles of justice and fairness. Some examples include intellectual property law, which covers the rights that people have over things like music and literature, and patents, which protect inventions. Tort law helps people claim compensation when they have been hurt by someone else’s actions. The law of property involves the rights that people have over their land and homes (called real property) as well as objects (called personal property).

In terms of the structure of a country’s government, law refers to its system of separation of powers. This means that each branch of the government has its own area of responsibility and that no one person or group can overrule others.

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