Law is a set of rules that governs our society. These rules protect the rights of people and help us to have a safe and peaceful society.
Laws are made by governments, and people have to follow them or face punishment if they break them. For example, if you steal you may be fined or jailed.
Our laws serve four principal purposes: to establish standards, to maintain order, to resolve disputes, and to protect basic individual rights and freedoms.
For example, our laws prevent the arbitrary interference with people’s privacy, homes and correspondence; they protect their honour and reputation; and they ensure that they have equal access to justice.
We also have laws about what we can and can’t do, for example, murder is against the law in Canada.
Some of the most important fields in the law include:
Propertylaw defines people’s rights and duties toward tangible property, including land (real estate) and other things attached to it. It also covers intangible assets such as computers, cars and shares of stock.
Competitionlaw controls business practices that distort prices, such as price fixing, which has long been a topic of debate in law and economics. This field traces its roots to Roman decrees against price fixing and English restraint of trade doctrine.
Companieslaw forms the basis for many different kinds of businesses, ranging from small retail outlets to international banks and airlines. It includes the law of agency, company law, trusts, and commercial law.