Law is a system of rules that a particular society or community recognizes as regulating the conduct of its people. These laws are generally enforced by the government or other authority.
John Erskine’s Definition of Law: – According to Erskine, the law is the command of the sovereign, containing a common rule of life for his subjects and obliging them to obedience.
Hans Kelsan’s Definition of Law: – According a Kelsan, the law is a set of primary rules of obligations and secondary rules of recognition which derive their validity from each other.
H.L.A. Hart’s Definition of Law: – According Hart, law is the combination of primary rules of obligations and secondary rules of Recognition.
Realist Definition of Law: – According to realists, law is an immanent and probabilistic phenomenon.
Social scientists have a wide variety of views about the nature of law and its role in society. Some of these views are based on the works of jurists and anthropologists; others are derived from the studies of sociology, particularly in the sociological school of law.
The social sciences are a critical part of the study of law. They are concerned with how and why legal systems have developed over time, and they explore the ways in which different types of societies interpret, apply and enforce law.
Legal systems vary widely across the globe, and many of them differ significantly in their structure and philosophy. Some systems have more than one type of law, and some are primarily legislative while others are mainly administrative.
For example, the United States has both common law and statutory law. Statutory laws are written by legislators and adopted by both houses of Congress or state legislatures; common law is made up of the rules that courts interpret.
In most nations, the laws of a nation serve to keep the peace, maintain the status quo, protect individual rights, promote social justice, and provide for orderly social change. A nation’s legal system can be influenced by its political system, as well as by the culture and history of the country.
Unstable or authoritarian governments are often unable to properly perform these functions, but the majority of societies have strong and effective law systems. The most effective systems allow for freedom of expression and the protection of minorities against majorities.
These systems also often protect citizens from violence and injustice. They also provide for the rights of individuals to participate in economic activities, such as voting, running for office, or buying a home.
A nation’s legal system also often influences the way people treat each other, such as through the laws that govern marriage and divorce, inheritance, immigration and citizenship. Some countries have a very high standard of morality, which is reflected in their laws and customs.
A country’s law is also often influenced by its history and culture, including the religion it adheres to. For example, the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church are a strong influence on many laws in countries such as the United States and Britain. Other cultures, such as those in China and India, may have a completely different approach to the law.