The Definition of Law


Law is a body of rules that govern human behavior and are enforced by social and governmental institutions. Although the precise definition of law is disputed, it has been described as an art and a science. Among other things, law is a way to ensure justice and order in a society. If you’re curious about the definition of law, here are a few things to keep in mind.


The question of the legitimacy of law has several different dimensions and is often linked to the question of its content, validity, or normativity. Though the question of legitimacy is not strictly a matter of analytic jurisprudence, it can be considered important because it has implications for both legal norms and their sources. In addition, legal legitimacy is often a matter of political legitimacy and must be assessed in the context of a particular legal system.

A major challenge for legal philosophers is to address the central philosophical question of the legitimacy of law. However, Dworkin’s approach isn’t too strange, and it should appeal to those who want a more accurate and descriptive account of law. In particular, he argues that legal philosophy should be concerned with the question of validity, and that the answer to that question lies in legal positivism.


In law, generality refers to the idea that a law applies equally to everyone. A general law, or rule of law, protects the equality of all members of a political community. It gives an account of the expressive meaning of a law, and shows that a rule of law interpreted expressively preserves this equality.

Law is a formal system that establishes rules for human conduct. It enshrines a code of conduct that is universal and binding. In other words, it identifies general standards of behavior, rather than defining specific individuals.

Political structures

Law and political structures are closely connected, and the two can shape and influence each other. The relationship between law and politics has been a source of debate and controversy throughout history. Left-leaning and right-leaning philosophers have developed contrasting approaches to the subject. While the left sees ideology as a source of political power, the right focuses on ideology as a way of restricting political power. On the other hand, structuralist accounts of law and politics draw on the fact that law is subjective, and can accommodate other conceptions of law.

The relationship between law and politics has also been a subject of study in public policy and political science. Political law studies the relationship between legality and power, as well as power and discretion. Academics have recognized trends toward the legalization and judicialization of politics, yet most still view them as separate forces that are not necessarily interconnected.


Courts of law are courts that determine cases based on the law. They have both legal and equitable powers. These courts may order the payment of damages or order someone to do something or cease doing something. Unlike equity courts, however, they do not have the power to try a case before a jury.

Courts are adjudicating authorities and are responsible for administering justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters. As such, they are the central dispute resolution mechanism in many legal systems. All citizens have the right to bring claims to a court of law. In addition, those accused of a crime have the right to present their defense in front of the court.

Religious law

Religious law consists of the ethical codes taught by religious traditions. It can include canon law, Jewish halakha, Hindu law, and Islamic sharia. Religious laws vary greatly, however, from one tradition to the next. Some are codified civil law, while others derive their laws from precedents and reasoning by analogy.

Sharia is a system of law that deals with many subjects not dealt with by secular law, including crime, politics, economics, and personal matters. This system is applied by Islamic judges, known as qadis. In Islam, an imam, or spiritual leader, has varying responsibilities. Although most often used to describe a leader of communal prayers, an imam can also be a scholar or political leader. Hindu law is based on the Manu Smriti, an ancient text that was recognized by the British during the period of their rule of India. However, its use has declined since the establishment of the Republic of India, which has a secular legal system.