What Is Law?

Law is a system of rules that governs society and the people who live in it. This includes laws about crime, business agreements, and social relationships.

The word “law” comes from the Hebrew word torah, which means instruction or prescription. It is usually used to refer to what human beings are commanded to do, but it also has a wider sense, which can include any set of rules that a group recognizes as being binding on all members.

Some of the main purposes of law are:

To establish standards, maintain order, resolve disputes, and protect rights and liberties.

For example, obscene and threatening phone calls are against the law.

Similarly, immigration and nationality laws deal with the rights of foreigners to come to a nation-state that is not their own or to take or lose citizenship.

These laws also involve the problem of stateless individuals and social security issues such as jobseekers’ allowances and housing benefits.

Legal principles such as stare decisis help courts and judges to stand by the decisions they make.

A law is a rule that expresses consistent reality, meaning that it describes what happens in a way that can be perceived by the human senses or is rationally deliberated.

A right is a kind of entitlement and a duty is a type of obligation. Hohfeldian correlativity between the two typically runs from rights to duties, though some argue that this direction can run in reverse (Waldron 1990: 69; Kramer 1998: 35-40).

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