Law is the body of rules that is developed and enforced by a society. It covers a wide range of areas such as crime, trade, social relations, property and finance among others. It is a set of rules that are binding to everyone who lives in a society, and it is the foundation of the social order.
Legal theory is the study of the law. It is an academic discipline that uses concepts from philosophy, theology, and political science to analyze how laws are shaped. It also tries to determine why some laws are more effective than others.
John Erskine’s Definition of Law: – According to Erskine, law is the command of a sovereign or a person with power over people who are subject to his authority. The sovereign or person makes the laws and obligates his subjects to obey them.
Hans Kelsan’s Definition of Law: – According Kelsan, law is a system of norms that governs the behavior of all members of a society. These norms are hierarchy of standards, each of which derives its validity from the superior norm.
H.L.A. Hart’s Definition of Law: – According Hart, law is a system of primary rules of obligations and secondary rules of recognition that govern the behavior of all members of a society.
Generally, law consists of a collection of “ought” propositions that prescribe how people should behave, which are variously dictated by social, moral, economic, political and other purposes.
Law can also refer to a practice or custom in a particular area of life. It is the rules that are followed by people in a particular area, such as family or business, to ensure their welfare and safety.
The law can be an expression of a moral code or it may be based on religious beliefs. Examples of religion-based law include Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia, both of which are rooted in traditional Jewish and Muslim precepts.
Some law can be legitimately uncertain, such as when unforeseen circumstances arise for which no existing law was intended. This is known as a penumbra, and it is the task of lawyers to make sense of these areas so that the integrity of the legal system is maintained.
Common law systems apply a rule of construction to statutes that are unclear. This involves interpreting the wording of the statute in relation to the specific situation under dispute and making sure that it does not detract from the general provision that it covers.
Another common law maxim, which is often referred to as “generalia specialibus non derogant,” states that if one law does not apply to a certain situation, then it must not be applied at all.
Ultimately, the interpretation of a statute should yield a result that is fair and equitable to all parties involved in the case. This requires a thorough understanding of the statute’s provisions, as well as a knowledge of the judicial history of the case and precedents that support the disputed position. It also requires a commitment to the principle of equality before the law, as all persons are presumed to be equally entitled to the protections of the law.