Law is a system of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate human behavior. Its precise definition is the subject of considerable debate. Jeremy Bentham, for example, defined it as “neither more nor less than the total of a number of individual laws taken together.”
Legal theorists often describe law in terms of its function and purpose. These include the functions of establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. Others focus on the nature of law, arguing that it is a social construct with both objective and subjective elements.
Another definition of law is a set of enforceable rules that govern the conduct of human beings within a given community. This definition of law also implies that there are certain rights and responsibilities for every citizen to follow.
Law is also a term used to describe a set of rules or principles that are enforced by a government and enacted by the legislative branch. The legislative branch is the part of a government that creates and passes legislation. These rules are known as the law of a country. The law of a country is the collection of all of the laws that make up the country’s legal system.
Historically, the laws of a country were written down and made public. This enabled citizens to know what their responsibilities were and what rights they had as people living in that country. Law is also a term that describes the process of justice and how it is administered by the judicial branch of a government. It is a set of procedures that ensures the fairness of the law and provides equality to all.
The study of law encompasses a wide range of fields, from criminal, administrative and corporate law to human rights, environmental and constitutional law. It also includes the study of the history and development of legal systems and the major debates in law theory. Oxford Reference offers over 34,000 concise definitions and in-depth, specialist encyclopedic entries on all aspects of this broad field.
For example, business law includes the set of laws that govern the formation, operation and dissolution of businesses. It also contains the requisite rules for employees and customers. Another branch of law is intellectual property which encompasses trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets.
One of the most important purposes of law is its ability to protect us from crime. Without it we would be at risk of being hurt or killed by the actions of others. The law keeps us safe by making sure that we don’t do things like rob banks or murder people. If we do something illegal, it is the job of the police and other law enforcement to punish us accordingly.