What Is Law?
Law is a system of rules that governs the relationships between people. It shapes politics, economics and society and is used to resolve disputes.
Legal theory aims to explain how people should behave, what they may and must require from others and how they should react when someone asks them for something. It differs from other sciences in that it is normative rather than descriptive, and lacks causality.
A well-ordered society is founded on the rule of law, which applies to everyone and makes people responsible for their actions. It also ensures that people are safe and peaceful.
Traditionally, societies have tried to settle conflicts by negotiation rather than by physical force. But in a modern state, there is often a need to enforce laws.
In civil law jurisdictions, the laws are codified and consolidated by a legislature or central body. In common law systems, judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws, such as Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia, play a role in some communities. They are based on precepts from a religion, such as qiyas (reasoning by analogy), ijma (consensus) and precedent.
In many countries, there is a legal system based on nationality, family and immigration rights. It regulates business and money, such as the right to work in a foreign country or the right to take part in a company’s operations. It is also used to control services such as energy, gas and water.