What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that governs the actions of people, organizations and governments. These laws are designed to protect the safety of individuals, and of society at large.

Law serves four main purposes: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights. It also provides a framework for acceptable behavior, and enables people to understand the legal consequences of their conduct.

Rule of law (Latin for “laws are the supreme authority”): A principle of governance that all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, are accountable to laws that are clear, publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated. It requires measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness, and procedural and legal transparency.

Civil law: A system of rules and principles based on concepts and categories derived from Roman law and reflected in a logical and dynamic taxonomy, usually arranged in codes that are easily accessible to citizens and jurists. These systems are generally well organized and favor cooperation, order, predictability, and adaptability.

Religion: Historically, some religious laws have survived as codified jurisprudence in certain religious traditions, such as Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia. The Quran has some laws that can be interpreted to support the notion of a universal rule of law.

Legislation is enacted by legislators who have experience in a particular field and receive proposals from interested groups. To accommodate and eliminate technical defects, bills may be referred to committees before being voted on by the entire legislature.

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