Law is a set of rules that govern society and the way that individuals interact with one another. This body of knowledge has many branches and is often described as the art of justice or a science. Law is created by government or by group of legislators and is enforced by courts. Private individuals can also create legal agreements that are enforceable by law, such as arbitration agreements and contracts.
Law is a vast field that covers virtually every aspect of life. It is generally divided into three main categories: criminal law, civil procedure, and evidence law. Criminal law focuses on criminal laws and rules, while civil procedure focuses on rules of the court. Evidence law deals with admissible materials in court. In addition, it deals with the rights of non-US citizens.
The Rule of Law has historically been viewed as essential to the development of new democracies and nation-building. The Barro 2000 report notes that new states need Rule-of-Law institutions before they can develop democratic institutions. This is because Rule-of-Law institutions protect property rights, enforce contracts, and inspire confidence and stability.
The idea of law has many definitions and theories. Some people view it as a matter of establishing rights for individuals, while others view it as a matter of freedom for citizens. Nevertheless, in many countries, laws are not written in stone. It is the work of many people that shape the law.