What is Law?

Law is a system of rules that a government makes and people must follow. It consists of rules about things like not stealing, which must be obeyed or people will be punished. People who are trained to understand and explain the law are called lawyers, and they can have many different careers.

Law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways. It can also be seen as a tool for social justice and promoting peace. Some governments have a good record on this, others not so much. For example, an authoritarian regime will keep the peace and maintain the status quo but may oppress minorities and limit freedom of speech.

The rule of law entails that governments and their officials and agents are accountable to the law, laws are clear, publicized and stable, and applied evenly. It ensures human rights as well as property, contract and procedural rights are upheld. It also requires that processes are accessible and fair and that judges, prosecutors and public servants are competent, ethical and independent.

Some countries use a common law system, where decisions by judges are acknowledged as law on an equal footing with legislative statutes and executive regulations. This is known as the doctrine of stare decisis. Other countries have civil law systems, where statutes set out specific guidelines for judges to follow in deciding cases. These legal systems differ in terms of the amount of detail they provide for judges and their flexibility to adapt to new circumstances.

Posted in: Gambling