What Is Law?

Law is the set of rules governing a community, state or nation that commands what is right and prohibits what is wrong. It is permanent as to time, uniform as to place, and binding everywhere within its jurisdiction. It ensures freedom and justice for all by establishing standards of conduct and resolving disputes. It is not based on personal opinion or bias but rather on established principles of reasoning and natural logic.

Law shapes politics, economics, history and society in many ways and acts as a mediator of relations between human beings. It is a major source of power and wealth for nations. It is also the basis of all education, which aims to teach children how to think.

Legal systems vary throughout the world, with a general distinction between “civil law” and “common law” jurisdictions. In civil law jurisdictions, the legislature codifies laws that govern society and judges interpret them on a case-by-case basis. In common law jurisdictions, judge-made precedent is considered “law” and is binding on future cases (stare decisis).

Different types of laws exist in a number of different fields, such as immigration law, which addresses the rights of people to move between countries; property law, which regulates ownership of real estate; and tax law, which sets minimum rates for taxable income. Other areas of law include family, criminal, corporate, environmental and international law. Law also includes a wide variety of social issues and the discipline of philosophy is concerned with the nature and justification of law.

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