Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. The precise nature of law is a matter of debate, but most theorists agree that it must serve certain objectives: ensuring justice, keeping the peace, maintaining order, protecting minorities against majorities, and providing for orderly social change.
One disadvantage of law is that it can be restrictive and oppressive. For example, a nation ruled by an authoritarian government may keep the peace but it might also oppress minorities and limit freedom of speech and religion. This type of oppression is the opposite of what law is supposed to do. It is for this reason that laws must be well written and thoroughly inspected before they can be passed into law.
The law can be made by a collective legislature, resulting in statutes; it can be created by an executive, through decrees and regulations; or it can be established by judges through precedent, called common law. The law can also be influenced by a constitution, whether written or tacit, and the rights encoded within it.
Law can have a positive impact on society, and it is for this reason that it is important to keep the law updated with the needs of societies. However, this is not easy since law is a complex concept. It is also often subject to excessive formalism, meaning that too much emphasis is placed on the appearance of the law rather than its substance.