Definition of Law

Definition of Law

Law is a set of rules that regulates the actions of individuals or communities. It is a complex discipline that covers many areas of life, including business, civil procedure, criminal law, taxation and human rights. Oxford Reference provides authoritative, accessible coverage of this broad field.

Definition of Law

In a legal system, laws are set forth and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior (Raz 1970: 175-183; MacCormick 1977: 189). State-enforced laws can be made by legislators, resulting in statutes; established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions; or decreed by the executive, usually in the United States.

The law serves a variety of social purposes, such as providing for security, justice and economic welfare; assuring citizens’ rights; and promoting a healthy society. It is also a coercive mechanism, serving to enforce the interests of its actors.

Legal rights are normative positions that express, in part, the interests of right-holders over others (Hohfeld 1919: 50-57). These rights can take any one of four Hohfeldian forms: claim-rights, privileges, powers, and immunities.

Claim-rights are the most prominent of these, allowing a right-holder to control as a matter of choice what duties may or must be owed by others to the right-holder. This includes the power to annul, waive, enforce, or transfer such duties.

Privileges and powers are less active than claim-rights, determining what right-holders can or must do, but are more prone to change (Lyons 1970; Sumner 1987: 29-30). These rights function as “small-scale sovereigns,” allowing right-holders to alter the normative landscape (Hohfeld 1919: 50-57; Hart 1982: 183-4).

The rule of law describes the general principles that govern the conduct of governments and private actors in a legal system. These include transparency, equality, independence, accountability, and fairness.

Depending on how they are defined, law is either a scientific discipline or an art. According to some, it is a “normative science”, while others view it as an art of justice that is the product of lawmaking and judgments by a judge or court.

It can be argued that the most accurate and comprehensive definition of law is the one that describes its purpose, which is to provide security, justice, and economic welfare. This can be done by ensuring that all members of a society are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

In the modern world, law has spread far beyond its core subjects into virtually every area of life, and its precise definition is still debated. It is a complex discipline that covers a wide range of topics and involves many areas of research.

Legal Justification is the act of defending a claim by showing that it is in accordance with other legal norms, typically the norms of a particular system of law. This is sometimes done to defend a person’s right, but often it is used to argue for the legitimacy of a particular action by a government or other entity.

Some legal scholars believe that the rule of law is a complex and evolving process, reflecting the ongoing development of societies. It is an ongoing effort to ensure that the rights of the people are protected, that the rules are fair and equitable, and that the processes of law adoption, administration, and enforcement are accessible and effective.