The Basics of Law

Law is a system of rules created and enforced by a social or governmental institution to govern behavior. It is a complex and diverse field, permeating many aspects of human society in a variety of ways. It is often described as an instrument of social control, fulfilling a wide range of social wants and influencing relationships, governance, commerce and personal rights.

Law can be enacted by legislative statutes, executive decrees and regulations; imposed by the courts through the “doctrine of stare decisis” in common law jurisdictions; or self-enforced by individuals through private contracts. It can encompass areas as diverse as criminal law, contract law, torts, family law and property law. It can also include specific subjects such as intellectual property law, insurance laws and banking law.

The definition of law is an area of debate. Roscoe Pound, a prominent law professor, wrote that the word law is derived from the Latin lege, meaning “to teach,” or, more precisely, “to direct.” The primary function of law, according to this view, is to impose order and guide people’s behavior in accordance with certain values and principles.

It is important to understand the complexity of this subject in order to discuss it with others. To that end, this article provides links to articles on various topics and issues related to law.

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The law is a complex and ever-changing field, with legal experts continually debating and researching its numerous facets. However, there are a few basic elements that are central to any discussion of the law:

The study of the law can be a daunting and time-consuming endeavor. Oxford Reference offers a comprehensive collection of more than 34,000 concise definitions and in-depth, specialist encyclopedic entries across the broad spectrum of legal practice, history and theory, from criminal law, international law, tax law and family law to major debates in legal theory.

The law is an extremely important part of a well-functioning society. The rules set by the law ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and receive protection from being victimized, whether it is through a breach of contract, discrimination or fraud. In addition, the law protects the privacy of citizens by regulating who can see their medical records and other sensitive information. If the rules are not followed, there are consequences, which may include fines, jail time or even expulsion from a school. It is important to have a clear understanding of the law to ensure that it is properly implemented in one’s daily life. This is why it is so important to have a good dictionary on hand to look up any terms you are not familiar with. This way, you can ensure that you are following the law in all your interactions with other citizens. In the United States, for example, the Federal Government has the power to regulate such things as the military, money, foreign relations (especially international treaties), mail, tariffs and intellectual property like patents and copyrights.