What Is Law?


Law is a body of rules that are recognized and enforced by a community. It is a system that regulates the conduct of individuals and groups in a society, and it typically provides protection to individual rights. The law can also serve to keep the peace, preserve the status quo, protect minorities against majorities, or promote social justice. Different laws and legal systems serve these purposes in different ways.

There are many ideas about what law is and how it should be created, but most agree that it is a set of rules that form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. If these laws are broken, sanctions can be imposed. For example, if someone violates the law by driving while under the influence of alcohol, they can be fined or jailed.

In general, the term law refers to any strong rule made by a person or group that must be obeyed. For instance, parents may make house rules that must be followed. However, a more specific definition of law includes any system that governs an activity like transportation or banking.

Some people think that the main function of law is to show that one is in charge. For example, a nation ruled by an authoritarian dictator may keep the peace and maintain the status quo, but it may oppress minorities or political opponents. Other people believe that the law is a system of moral values and principles. For example, the prohibition against insider trading is a law that is based on fairness and a moral stance against cruelty.