What Is Law?


Law is the set of rules created by the state that form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. It is enforced by the state and if broken sanctions can be imposed. It serves many purposes but four principal ones are: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.

While the exact definition of “law” is a subject of debate, some common themes are emerging from recent research. For example, scholars and practitioners have tended to focus on the descriptive nature of law rather than its prescriptive or normative elements. This has led to the neglect of an important aspect of law, namely its ability to explain why men behave as they do.

A modern law student is likely to study a number of different branches of law including contract, criminal, property and administrative law. Each of these fields has a wide range of applications in the everyday lives of citizens and are vitally important to our societies.

For instance, the laws of contracts regulate agreements between people which exchange goods or services for money, or anything else of value. These can be simple purchases of food or tickets, to more complex trades on the stock market. Property law governs the rights and duties that individuals have towards their tangible or intangible possessions, whether they be real estate such as houses and land or other objects such as cars and computers.

However, there is growing evidence that the law of property does not adequately protect culture. In this regard, there has been a shift in discourse and debates on the nature of the law of property and its role in the preservation of culture, from the view that law should not protect culture to the more prevalent belief that it should protect indigenous cultural heritage by protecting the way culture is manifested in society.

Another area of law that has been the subject of debate is the legal definition of human rights. This is because there are a number of ways to define human rights depending on the context. This has led to confusion for many individuals and has made it difficult for governments to implement a consistent international policy in this area.

In conclusion, it would be useful for a unified concept of the law to be developed. This could be achieved by using a descriptive and forward looking approach, as opposed to the normative and backward-looking approach of most other sciences and disciplines such as biology (e.g. the law of gravity) and economics (e.g. the law of supply and demand).

A further advantage of a descriptive approach is that it provides an alternative to the current dichotomy between humans and nature, between the observer and the observed. This could help to resolve the conflict between scientific and judicial perspectives on what constitutes law. This in turn could lead to a more harmonious understanding of the role of the law in our lives.