The Basics of Law


Law is a system of rules that a society sets to maintain order and protect people and property. In many countries, these laws are enforced by the police and courts.

The purpose of law is to keep the peace, protect individual rights, preserve the status quo, promote social justice, and provide for orderly social change. Some legal systems serve these purposes better than others, but all of them aim to control human behavior and make sure that everyone is treated fairly.

Rights vary in stringency (how strict they are) and weight (how significant they are). The extent to which a legal right is viewed as “fundamental” or as protecting certain interests or values typically depends on its moral justification, background social and political commitments, expediency, and institutional considerations.

Powers and liability

In law, a power is the legal recognized ability to alter or create a normative position, relation, or norm. The opposite of a power is normative disability, which is a legal recognized obligation to behave in a manner that deprives another person of his or her legal power.

The building block of law is experience, which Holmes describes as “a participator assigning true or false values to mathematically undecidable propositions”. The participant’s probability estimates are updated as the experience flows and a new definition of law is defined.

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