What is Law?
Law is a system of rules that governments and societies use to make decisions about crimes, business agreements, and social relationships. You can also use the word to talk about the people who work in this system, such as lawyers or judges.
A law is a set of rules that citizens must follow or face punishment for breaking them. These laws may be made by a government, or they could be created by someone who wants to protect themselves or others. For example, if you are caught stealing in a country, the government may fine you or put you in jail, depending on what you broke the law for.
In the Bible, the term law refers to what is commanded in the Mosaic law (Matthew 5:17-19). It can also be used to describe a rule that has been formulated by a person or group and is considered to be important for moral, religious, or emotional reasons.
The study of law covers a wide range of disciplines, from criminal law and tax and social security law to international law and human rights. Oxford Reference provides more than 34,000 concise definitions and specialist encyclopedic entries covering the major terms, concepts, processes, and organizations of this broad field.
There are many different branches of law, including contract, property, and business law. There are also legal specializations such as international law and environmental law.
Business law includes everything from company formation to contracts to securities regulation. It traces back to medieval Lex Mercatoria and is governed by codified common law principles, such as the Sale of Goods Act in the UK or the US Uniform Commercial Code.
Company law was developed to separate ownership and control of a business from the business owner’s personal liability for its actions. The modern company is a legal entity distinct from the individual owner, which may be a sole proprietor, a partner, or a shareholder.
Companies are regulated by corporate law and finance laws, which determine the minimum capital a company must have and what it must do with that money. These laws are designed to promote economic development and insure against the risk of financial crises such as the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
The law is also a major force in politics, as it influences what kinds of political parties are allowed to win elections. In a democracy, laws are usually enacted by a democratically elected legislature and enforced by courts of law.
Some forms of law are based on the beliefs of people, but others are based on science or logic. For example, the law of gravity is a scientific theory that explains how objects behave in the environment.
There are many other branches of law, such as criminal law and family law. These can be very different from each other, and there are many areas of overlap.
Law is also very often a part of the public service. For example, the law governing water is important because it makes sure that there is enough of it in the water supply.