What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that governs the conduct of people in a society. It regulates crime, business, social relationships, property and finance among other things.

Definition of Law

The concept of law is generally understood to be a rule of conduct developed by the government or society over a particular territory, based on certain practices and customs. As a result, it is controlled and enforced by a controlling authority (lawmaker).

Hans Kelsen was the first person to define ‘pure’ law, which states that the law does not seek to describe what must occur but rather only defines certain rules to be followed.

There are several theories of law that have been put forward over the centuries by various authors. These theories include:

The Will Theory

In the Will Theory, rights are normative relations that define a party’s obligations and entitlements to certain benefits, such as property, liberty, or life. These rights may be active, such as when a person is entitled to reclaim their property after a divorce, or passive, such as when someone has been granted immunity from a claim to their property by another.

The Will Theory has been interpreted as a form of legal realism, a belief that law is governed by a logic internal to the law, without relying on extra-legal considerations or forces. This view is criticized by some, such as those in the legal formalism tradition, who believe that the canons of interpretation and other categories of law do not determine what a law is.

Those in this group often believe that legal rights reflect natural rights, and therefore not dependent on social convention or recognition, but this is a minority position.


Regulatory laws govern the provision of public services such as energy, water and telecomms. They also involve the regulation of private companies that do these jobs.

Company law and commercial law are examples of this. These fields are concerned with contracts, property and torts.

Statutes and ordinances are also used in this area. These laws are enacted by governments and govern specific details of procedure, such as how courts should deal with disputes or how many employees are required in a corporation.

Tax and banking laws are another example of this. These laws set the taxes that individuals must pay to the government and regulations on how much capital banks can hold.

In the United States, federal, state and local governments enact legislation to regulate the economy. The process of enactment is a lengthy one that involves deliberation and debates by legislators, who must pass the bill through several committees before it is voted on and passed.

During this time, the bill will be subject to peer review by other lawyers. These reviews can be helpful in deciding whether the proposed law is feasible in the near future. They also provide feedback on the writing.