What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules or guidelines governing human behavior and ensuring the security of property, persons, and personal freedoms. Its purpose is to protect people and their rights, keep society safe, and promote economic growth. The law is made up of many different kinds of rules, such as criminal laws, civil laws, and commercial or contract laws. These rules are enforced by courts and judges. The legal system also includes social restrictions, such as censorship and laws that prohibit certain activities.

Laws are rules set by legislatures or other governing bodies, which are enforced by the state, often with the help of police and courts. They can cover a wide variety of topics, from traffic laws to the rules governing private relationships. Laws can be based on natural or artificial reasons. They can also be based on social customs or religious teachings.

In a technical sense, the word “law” refers to a comprehensive system of rules and principles arranged in codes, easily accessible to citizens and jurists. The system is generally based on a logical taxonomy developed from Roman law, and it contains general clauses that allow for adaptation to changing circumstances. It is a highly centralized system, yet it leaves room for the judiciary to adjust its rules by means of interpretation and creative jurisprudence.

A broader meaning of the term law applies to those rules that are commanded by God, such as the Ten Commandments. This is the sense that Matthew uses when he talks about every “iota” and “dot” of the law (Matthew 5:18). Other biblical texts, including those written before the New Testament, use torah in this broader way, though they may refer to particular precepts within the Mosaic code (for example, Job 22:22; Psalm 94:12).

The term legal law is used to describe the body of laws that govern a given country or region. It is distinguished from natural law, which is based on natural reasons and views about man and nature that are rooted in religious teachings and philosophy. Laws of this type are usually governed by the constitution or other legislative documents.

The law is a central component of a democratic government, which must be governed by a constitutional or political system that assures the rule of law and basic liberties for all people. The rule of law requires that laws be publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and that they be consistent with international standards for the protection of human rights. It also requires adherence to the principle of supremacy of the law, equality before the law, participation in decision-making, separation of powers, avoidance of arbitrariness, and procedural and legal transparency.