What Is Law and How Does It Work?


Law is a set of rules created by the state to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and the safety of all people is protected. Its enforcement allows the government to punish people who break these rules. It is a complex concept and many books and articles have been written about it. However, there is one basic idea that most of these articles share: The law is the set of rules established by a country or community to govern the behaviour of its citizens.

There are many different theories about what the law is and how it works. One popular theory is that the law functions to harmonize conflicting groups in society. This is based on the assumption that there are conflicting social values and interests which must be balanced. The law serves as a tool for this process by providing the machinery for conflict settlement, either through political debate or policy making.

The other main function of the law is to protect individuals and property. It does this by establishing minimum standards of acceptable behaviour and by prohibiting certain behaviours, for example, it is illegal to injure someone without justification.

Another important function of the law is to provide justice. This can be achieved in several ways, for example, it can be used to distribute social benefits to all members of the society or to correct injustices. It can also be used to punish people who commit crimes and to encourage good behaviour.

A third major function of the law is to maintain order. This is a very difficult task and varies from place to place, but it is important for a peaceful society. The laws may regulate the activities of private and public organisations, for example, it might set standards for airline safety or rules on driving licences. It may also regulate the distribution of property.

Many of these rules are interpreted and enforced by judges. Judges are trained to make impartial decisions based on the facts of each case and the law. The decision they make is called a judgment and it may be binding or non-binding. A judgement that is binding means it must be followed by a lower court or tribunal, unless there is strong evidence that the earlier case was wrongly decided.

Other legal terms that are often used include: