What Is Law?

Law is a set of rules created by the state which form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. These rules are enforced and sanctions can be imposed when they are breached. Law shapes politics, economics, history and society in many ways. It can be enforced through mechanisms created by the state, and it can be used to protect minorities against majorities or even to impose peace on societies that have been conquered.

It is difficult to give a definition of law, as different legal systems have many different ideas about what it should comprise. Various scholars have written books containing their views on this question, and the debate is ongoing. Some authors, such as Bentham’s utilitarian theories, have argued that the nature of law is moral and unchanging. Others, such as Montesquieu and Rousseau, have argued that law should reflect natural processes.

Law has multiple branches that regulate all areas of life. For example, contract law regulates agreements between people and includes everything from buying a bus ticket to a financial transaction. Property law defines a person’s rights and duties toward tangible property, such as land or buildings. Criminal law concerns a person’s rights and duties in a court of justice, such as their right to a fair trial. Evidence law involves the rules that determine which material is admissible for use in courts. A lawyer may choose to specialise in any of these fields. However, they must be prepared to deal with the rigours of studying for and then practicing law in any area they choose.