Law is a collection of rules that govern the actions of people, companies, and organisations. It covers the broad range of human activities and transactions, including private property rights; the legal system of government; contract law; estate law; and agency law.
Laws can be formulated by governments and enforced by courts and other authorities, or they can be self-enforcing. In both cases, the laws must be valid and the people who implement them liable for their actions.
The term “law” is derived from the Latin word “nomos,” meaning “a thing commanded” or “obligation”. It usually refers to the commands of the Mosaic law, but can also be used to include precepts in nonreligious contexts.
There are different kinds of laws: legislative law, judicial law, and regulation. Legislative law includes statutes that are adopted by the legislature; judicial law is written decisions of higher courts that are binding on lower ones.
Some laws are more complex than others, and require expertise to understand and apply. In these cases, lawyers specialize.
Laws are based on social norms and are intended to protect individuals from injustice. They are often the only means of redress for harms caused by society. They can also be designed to prevent future violations of the same rights.