The Concept of Law


The concept of law can be used to describe the legal field or a career in law. Although law is a fact of the world, it does not explain why things happen the way they do. Rather, it is a way of governing the lives of people. The concept of law encompasses many aspects of society, including the coercive and neutral aspects of law.

Legal institutions

Legal institutions are foundational elements of a society. These are distinct organizations which perform complementary functions prescribed by law. They are governed by law and provide an avenue for cooperation and socialization.

Legal theory

Legal theory is a field of legal theory. Unlike the practice of law, which focuses on particular aspects of the law, legal theory tends to be holistic and general. It asks: “What justifies the whole of the law?”

Coercive aspect of law

The coercive aspect of law has long been a topic of debate in legal theory. Many philosophers have argued that law is fundamentally a coercive institution, enforcing practical demands on subjects through threats and violence. These debates have fueled some fierce disputes within the legal positivist tradition. While some early legal positivists maintained that coercion is an essential feature of law, later legal positivists have tended to reject the idea that coercion is fundamental to law.

Neutrality of the law

Coase’s “The Problem of Social Cost” (1960) does not directly address the question of law neutrality. However, a number of interpretations of the article have led to the assertion that law is neutral. This article attempts to answer this question by revisiting Coase (1960) from the perspective of law neutrality.

Natural law

Natural law is a set of ethical standards that govern human behavior. It should be the basis of any just society. Although humans do not always act on a rational basis, natural law can still provide guidelines for the conduct of individuals and groups.

Legal positivism

Legal positivism is a theory of law that argues that the creation of a law does not necessarily entail a higher moral or ethical principle. Instead, it treats law as a social construction, a tool of brute force and power, and not a way to reach loftier moral goals.

Normative theory

Normative theory in law is a branch of philosophy that seeks to rationalize the way that jurists approach legal situations. It seeks to answer questions that are rooted in human values and norms. Using this approach, normative questions can address legal issues and ethical dilemmas.