The Basics of Law


Law is a set of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Law may serve many purposes, such as keeping the peace, maintaining the status quo, preserving individual rights and liberties, protecting minorities against majorities and facilitating orderly social change. Law is a complex topic and the precise definition of law is subject to debate. Law is a rich source of study and the subject of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis, and sociology.

Some scholars define law as a normative science. Law states how people ought to behave and imposes a sanction on those who do not obey these commands. This makes law different from descriptive or causal laws (such as the law of gravity), or even sociological laws, which attempt to predict human behaviour.

The law is a central component of government and society, and the judicial branch of the government plays a critical role in the administration of justice. A judicial branch that is not independent of the executive and legislative branches is likely to be corrupt, which can undermine public confidence in the rule of law. The judicial branch must also remain independent of influence from special interests, such as lobbyists and industry groups, to ensure that the law is applied fairly.

Law encompasses a broad spectrum of activity and covers every facet of the daily life of the citizens of a nation. It deals with the way in which a country is governed, the rights of its citizens and the duties they owe to their fellow citizens. It also includes the way in which they are to interact with each other, how they can resolve their disputes, and the ways in which they are protected from external threats, such as terrorism.

While law is a vast field to study and understand, there are several basic concepts that are important for anyone to know. These include:

Law is a body of rules and principles that governs a society and creates a condition of social order and justice. The term law can refer to a general set of rules and standards, or the specific body of rules that apply to a particular situation or person. In either case, a law is binding in a given jurisdiction and cannot be altered by that jurisdiction. In the United States, there are two separate types of law – common law and civil law. Common law is based on case decisions, while civil law is based on statutes and precedent. When a court decision is used by another judge in a similar case, this is known as case law or precedent. When a whole court reviews a case, this is called sitting en banc. This means that all the judges are participating, instead of a small number of judges, as is normally the case in U.S. courts of appeals. This is also known as the “full bench.” This practice allows for the best and most informed decisions to be made in important cases.