Law is a system of rules and regulations enforced by the government or by other institutions. Laws govern social relations, crime, property, finance, and more. They are used to ensure order, stability, and justice in society. Many scholars have different views on the nature and purpose of law. However, most theorists agree that the main function of law is to secure justice in society.
Law has a peculiarity that sets it apart from other disciplines and sciences. Its normative and prescriptive character makes it essentially different from other empirical or social science (such as the laws of gravity or demand and supply).
This characteristic is also evident in the way that legal terms are used. For example, a statutory law is not the same as a constitutional law. The term statutory law refers to a specific piece of legislation, while the term constitutional law is used to describe the entire set of legal provisions that make up a country’s constitution and laws.
The main functions of law are establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. However, not all laws have these functions. For example, religious law focuses on a particular religion’s teachings, rather than the common goals of a society.
While most people know what law is, not everyone understands its importance. Having a clear understanding of the nature and purpose of law will help people to see how it can contribute to the development of a peaceful society. The main function of law is to provide justice, and the way it achieves this goal varies depending on the cultural context in which it exists.
A definition of law based on a theory of natural justice is that it is an expression of consistent reality. This could be proven or hypothetical, sanctioned or unsanctioned, harmonious or antagonistic. For example, the law of gravity states that anything thrown up unsuspended in space will fall. This is a law because the results/reality have been consistently observed and experienced over time.
Another theory of law identifies it as the formal means of resolving conflicts in a society. This theory contends that a society consists of conflicting groups that have different needs, wants, and values. It also believes that the state is a neutral arbiter that provides a mechanism for conflict resolution, either through policy making or through legislation.
The jurisprudence of the various religions also contain laws. For instance, the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia have laws derived from their scriptures. The Christian canon law is also a source of law. These religious laws are a basis for the legal systems of some countries. Other legal systems are rooted in a philosophy that is not tied to any religion. These include utilitarianism, utilitarian morality, and natural rights. The legal concept of natural rights is rooted in the idea that there are certain fundamental human rights, such as the right to life and the right to liberty. Natural rights also have a tendency to become international legal concepts.