What Is Law?


Law is a system of rules that protects and governs people. Its various functions range from keeping peace in a nation, preserving individual rights, and protecting minorities from majorities to promoting social justice and orderly social change. Some legal systems are better at achieving these purposes than others. For instance, authoritarian governments often use law to oppress political opponents and minorities. Colonialism, on the other hand, used law to impose peace into foreign countries. Britain, France, and Spain imposed law and order on countries they conquered.

Rule of law

Rule of Law is a system that ensures legality, equality, and justice within a national polity. Generally, it is based on the idea that the government should respect the law. Its goals are to protect the interests of the people, and it can help the government achieve these goals.


Legality of law is a key aspect of contract law. A contract is a mutual agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law. This can be either a written or oral agreement. In general, legality is the warranty that an agreement complies with the law in a given jurisdiction. For example, insurance contracts assume that all risks are covered and are thus legal.


Statutes are a useful resource in legal research. They provide insight into a particular subject, and their full text can be searched via keywords and subject indexes. Some services, such as Lexis and Westlaw, have subject indexes for each legislative session.

Judicial decisions

Judicial decisions are fundamental to a fair trial and should be well-reasoned. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) requires states to establish independent tribunals, promote efficiency in procedures, and ensure that judges do their job impartially. Moreover, judicial decisions should be accessible to all parties and the public.

Human rights

The Human Rights in Law Commission (HRLC) works to protect and promote human rights in South Africa. Each of its seven Commissioners is assigned a strategic focus area. Two of the strategic areas are Prevention of Torture and Human Rights in Law Enforcement.


Law is a body of rules that govern social and governmental institutions. Different people have different views of the role of law. They have described it as a science, an art, or a blend of the two. Laws are generally made by a state legislature or by an individual legislator. They are also made by the executive through decrees, and they are enforced by judges in common law jurisdictions. Laws can also be made by private individuals as binding contracts or arbitration agreements.