What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules that a government or society develops in order to deal with crime, business agreements and social relationships. The term can also be used to refer to the people who work in this system, such as a police officer or a judge.

The rules that make up a law may vary from country to country, as well as from one legal system to another. For example, criminal laws vary from country to country in terms of what crimes are considered punishable and how the crime is committed. The rules governing family relationships are usually very different from country to country as well, ranging from the rights of children to how marriages and divorces are handled.

Despite the differences in laws, however, there are some similarities in how they are developed. The purpose of a legal system is to create a balance between the interests of the community and the individual, in particular by guaranteeing core human rights and providing for an orderly transition of power. Some systems achieve these goals more effectively than others, but all must strive to do so.

A government that enforces the rule of law must ensure that it is accessible to all, that citizens can access information about how they are governed, and that they can hold the government accountable for its actions. In addition, a legal system must ensure that all members of a society are treated equally regardless of their social status, wealth, or background.

Legal articles, if written well, can be an excellent way for lawyers to express their opinions on important issues that they feel deeply about and to assert their views about possible reforms. However, writing a law review article can be difficult, and it is best done with the help of professionals.

In a nation, law can serve several purposes, including keeping the peace and maintaining the status quo, promoting social justice, protecting minorities from majorities, and enabling a peaceful and orderly transition of power. Some governments do not use the rule of law for these purposes, such as those that oppress their citizens or violate basic civil liberties (e.g., Burma or Zimbabwe under the military dictatorship of Saddam Hussein).

Those who practice law must follow certain legal procedures in order to maintain professionalism and be qualified to represent their clients. In most countries, this includes passing a bar examination and being regulated by a governing body such as a bar association or bar council. Modern lawyers often achieve a distinct professional identity through specified legal procedures and may acquire higher academic qualifications such as a Master of Legal Studies, a Bachelor of Laws or a Juris Doctor. Lawyers can also be given titles of respect such as Esquire to indicate that they are members of a certain level of professionalism. A number of universities around the world offer courses in law. These universities are generally renowned for their quality of education and research in law.