What is Law?


Law is a set of rules created by the state which forms a framework to ensure a peaceful society. If these rules are broken sanctions can be imposed. Law is a central feature of most societies and is regulated by a judiciary.

There are many books about the various definitions of Law and different people have their own opinions. One common theme is that law sets the boundaries between a person’s own narrative and an external reality shaped by other people’s tales. The law is therefore a crucial mechanism for preparing sinners for the gospel.

Law is complex from a methodological viewpoint as it contains both normative and prescriptive elements, for example telling people what they ought to do or not do but also judging in a general sense who should be given benefits or burdens when applied to a particular person’s factual circumstances (see justice). This makes it different from other social sciences and disciplines which are primarily descriptive.

There are two main types of law: civil law and common law. Civil law systems, found on most continents, use concepts, categories and rules derived from Roman law, with some influence from canon law and local custom or culture. Common law systems, on the other hand, derive their laws mainly from judge-made precedent. This makes them highly recursive and flexible. In addition, a key feature of the common law is that judges are chosen to be impartial and independent.

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