The Concept of Law


Law is a set of rules, usually made by a government, that citizens must obey or face punishment. Laws can be interpreted in many ways, depending on the individual situation. For example, stealing is against the law in most places. However, the word “law” can also be used to refer to a specific type of legal agreement or relationship.

A legal system committed to the rule of law places emphasis on the fundamental principle that the sovereign, whether it be a person or state, is subordinate to the law. This is a contrast to a dictatorship or oligarchy in which those in power are above the law and can do whatever they please.

Generally, laws are determined by a combination of legislative and judicial processes. Legislation provides the legal framework that governs a society, while the judiciary interprets and applies the law in particular cases. A judicious and creative application of the law by the courts is critical to maintaining the integrity of the legal system.

The concept of law has a complex history and is influenced by a wide range of social, economic, and cultural factors. Some of these influences are positive and some are negative. Historically, the development of law has been driven by changes in political structure and the need to adapt the law to changing conditions.

There are a number of different theories about the nature of law. One of the most influential is the Will (or Choice) Theory, which holds that rights function to give right-holders a measure of normative control over themselves and others. This control enables right-holders to exercise rights as privileges, powers, and immunities. The scope of these rights varies, but primarily the law of obligations, property, trusts, and torts are hospitable to this theory.

Another prominent theory is that laws are a set of principles and precedents which can be modified or abolished by the Supreme Court, or even by the majority of judges who sit on a given case. This is a very controversial theory, and has been the subject of much debate in the United States and other countries around the world.

The term law is often used to refer to public law, which is legislation passed by a legislature, such as the U.S. Congress. The legislature passes bills that are sent to the president for his signature. Once the president has signed a bill, it becomes law and is given a numerical designation such as P.L. 107-101, indicating that it was passed during the 107th Congress and became law at the 101st session of the United States Senate. Private law is legislation that is not a public law and may be called a statute, an act, or a private act. Most laws are printed as slip laws, and are later compiled into the United States Statutes at Large. A reference page should list all the sources cited in the work. Failure to include this information may constitute plagiarism.