Law is a body of rules and principles which govern the lives of people. This includes laws about crime, trade, social relations, property, and finance. These laws are controlled by a government and enforced by the courts.
Depending on the area of life you want to study, you might focus on legal subjects such as labour law or criminal law. Other areas of interest include family law, estate planning, and the history of law.
Students who choose to major in legal history gain valuable insights into the origins and early phases of their fields thanks to access to original works. They also often go on to earn judicial clerkships.
Some law students focus on the broader historical aspects of their field, such as the evolution of constitutional rights or civil rights legislation. Others choose to specialize in a specific period, such as the American Revolution or World War II.
Another area of study is the philosophy of law, in which scholars examine the relationship between law and morality, religion, and ethics. This can lead to more general questions about how the law is shaped and interpreted by different people, and what are its purposes in society.
A more detailed definition of the meaning of law is presented below:
First, it is a system of rules and principles that are adopted and enforced by a political authority; a set of regulations that determine the conduct of a community and its citizens. It is used to maintain order, resolve disputes, protect liberties and rights, and ensure justice.
Second, it refers to the entire body of laws which is part of one politically organized society and is made by its leaders. It is the basis of the social structure, forming an ordered and stable condition for justice within the society.
Third, it refers to the disciplinary rules which are followed by a community. It is a device that enables people to meet the standards of conduct instilled by their families, schools, and religions, to govern their businesses and factories, to keep the peace within a community, and to ensure the survival of its members.
Fourth, it is a means of controlling behavior by imposing penalties on those who break the law or commit crimes. The law is also a source of economic stability, enabling people to make the most profitable investments in their businesses and ensuring that they will not be exploited by other members of the community.
Fifth, it is a means of protecting human rights and the public welfare from abuses. It is also the primary means by which individuals and groups can sue for compensation when they have suffered injury, loss, or harm.
While the legal definition of law is broad, there are a number of narrower and more specific ways to define it, as well as various forms of legal philosophy and jurisprudence. These can vary widely among countries, societies, and cultures. Some, such as the ancient Romans and modern English common law, have a very detailed system of principles that they use to guide their judicial decisions. These systems differ in their form and function, but are similar in that they rely on a long historical succession of judicial decisions to establish the fundamental principles.