What Is Law?


Law is the system of rules that a society or government develops in order to deal with issues such as crime, business agreements and social relationships. It is also the term used to describe those who work in this field of study.

According to Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), the author of Commentaries on the Laws of England, there are two types of law: natural law and positive law. He said that natural law is based on the will and design of God, revealed in nature and Scripture (the Bible). If man’s laws are contrary to this general will, they are invalid.

The law of a nation can serve many purposes, including keeping the peace and maintaining the status quo, preserving individual rights, protecting minorities against majorities, promoting social justice, and providing for orderly social change. Some legal systems are more effective in achieving these goals than others.

Some laws are based on scientific principles, such as Boyle’s law which states that the volume of an ideal gas will remain the same regardless of changes in pressure or temperature. Other laws are morally derived. A legal system should be fair and impartial. It should not be skewed by personal opinions or biased by a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, or religious beliefs. It should also be clear in expressing rules, and leave room for the judiciary to adjust them in response to social change and new needs through interpretation and creative jurisprudence.

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