What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules and regulations that govern social interactions and the conduct of individuals. These laws are enforced through the governmental and controlling institutions of a society. Some of these laws are made by the government while others are created by private actors.

The legal system of a country is based on three basic divisions: civil law, common law and case law. Common law systems are based on judicial decisions. They are shorter and less detailed than civil law systems. Civil law systems are based on statutes. However, they are still influenced by the political and socioeconomic structures of the country.

A common legal issue is immigration, debt, housing problems, consumer rights, and other issues. Legal matters can also arise due to planned events, problems at work, or issues within a family. For example, a family may seek a court ruling to determine the legitimacy of a marriage or a divorce.

In common law, courts rely on persuasive precedent to decide the issue. This is different from binding precedent, in which the same court’s decision binds future decisions. Depending on the age of a decision, the authority of a case in common law can vary.

Besides establishing rights, laws ensure that people have procedural and property rights. Laws are also the source of accountability for governments, corporations, and other individuals. People have a duty to obey the law, and breaking a law can lead to fines and jail time.

The International Law Commission promotes progressive development of international law and codification of its statutes. It works to encourage a system of law that is fair, efficient, and accessible. It is composed of 34 members who represent the world’s principal legal systems. Members of the commission consult with UN specialized agencies to prepare drafts on issues of international law.

Some of the most important areas of law include criminal law, immigration law, labour law, and family law. There are a variety of topics that can be covered by a law degree, such as business law, constitutional law, and tax law. If you want to pursue a career in law, you will need a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. You can earn a JD from a university in your home country, or abroad. After you have completed the JD, you can pursue a Master of Laws (LLM) degree.

The practice of law is typically overseen by a regulating body such as a government, a professional association, or an independent organization. Some countries have laws that require lawyers to have a special qualification. Others, such as Australia and Japan, offer a Juris Doctor degree, while Canada offers a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.

Whether a person is a lawyer or not, the rule of law is essential for the functioning of a society. It is the foundation for a country’s economic, political, and social structure. As such, the rule of law is a fundamental principle of a democratic system of government.