Law is a system of rules that regulates the behavior of people and organizations in a society. These rules have many purposes, including to keep a society orderly, protect individual rights and provide for peaceful social change.
The exact definition of law has been a matter of debate since ancient times. In modern times, most scholars agree that law is a set of rules that is enforceable by governments or other social organizations to control behavior.
Legal systems vary from country to country and can serve different purposes. Some of these purposes include keeping the peace, maintaining the status quo, protecting individual rights, promoting social justice, and providing for orderly social change.
A person who specializes in interpreting and applying these laws is called a lawyer. They typically become a lawyer through a formal education earning a legal qualification (e.g. a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in law), professional training and membership of a bar association or a law society.
Depending on the jurisdiction, a legal system may have a legislature or a central government that makes the laws, or it may be based on judge-made precedents in common law jurisdictions. Historically, some religious communities had their own laws that also served as the basis for settling secular matters.
The laws of a country govern how citizens live, what they can and cannot do, and how public officials can carry out their duties. These laws also protect citizens from criminal acts and from discrimination based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation. They also help to ensure that governments and public officials carry out their duties efficiently.