Law is a set of rules that governs the conduct of people within an organized political society. Laws are the basis for justice and order and determine how a society should be run. For example, if someone is caught stealing, they must be punished by the police according to the law. Law is also the basis for human rights, and it establishes standards and guidelines for morality.
There are many different theories of law, but most of them focus on four main issues: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties and rights. These are called the ‘four functions of law’ and they are the principal reasons why laws are made. The other important role of the law is to protect people from harmful actions by other people and by government officials. This is why it is important to know who makes the laws in a country because that determines its morality and values.
One of the most important parts of a law is its generality. A law must be a rule of conduct that is applicable to all people on this planet, regardless of their names or nationalities. In addition, it must be a rule that is consistent with reality. It could be proven or hypothetical, sanctioned or un-sanctioned, true or mythical. But if it expresses a consistent truth/reality, it is still a law.
Another important part of a law is that it must be universal as to place. This means that no matter what the situation is, it must be dealt with in a similar manner so as not to be unfair. This is the reason why judges follow previous decisions in cases, because it helps to ensure that their rulings are fair.
In modern times, law is created by legislation and judicial precedents. These are considered the formal sources of law and judges are bound to follow them in deciding cases. Other sources are considered persuasive, but they do not have the force of law and therefore cannot be binding on judges. These include foreign judgements, principles of morality, equity and justice and professional opinions.
There is much debate over how the law should be made and what its main purpose should be. Some people argue that the main purpose of the law should be to protect freedoms and rights, while others believe that it should be a tool for social change and development. There are even those who believe that the law should be completely abolished, claiming that the current system of government is unjust and corrupt. However, most scholars agree that there is a need for laws because otherwise there would be chaos and anarchy. If this is the case, we should strive to make the laws that we have more enforceable and ethical. This will help to maintain peace and harmony in our societies. For more information on this topic, see legal systems; law, philosophy of; and government, structure of. Also, for an analysis of the political aspects of the law, see censorship; crime and punishment; and police.