Law is the set of rules created by the state which form a framework to ensure a peaceful society. These laws are enforced by mechanisms created by the state and if they are broken sanctions can be imposed. A legal system can exist at a local level or at an international level.
It is not easy to give a precise definition of Law as legal systems differ and individuals have different views on what constitutes the law. There are, however, some common elements. The law may be defined as the whole of the commandments, ordinances and decrees which a government or other ruling body has enacted and which it is required to enforce. It also includes the acts of a magistrate, judge or jury. Laws may be written or unwritten, and they can cover a wide range of subjects including criminal and civil law, contract and tort, property and constitutional law.
The purpose of the law is to establish standards, maintain order, resolve disputes and protect liberties and rights. A well-established law is one that is easily accessible, is not arbitrary, and protects people of all social classes. In a democracy, laws should provide for the smooth transition of power and prevent abuses of authority.
Different countries have different legal traditions, influenced by their historical, cultural and geographical backgrounds. These influences can vary from a strict code of Shari’ah to the ancient legal traditions of India or East Asia, which have both secular and religious aspects.
Modern law is a diverse field, encompassing everything from antitrust and competition laws to zoning regulations and environmental permits. In addition to the legal profession, there are a wide range of government agencies and departments which create laws and regulate particular industries. For example, banking and financial regulation set minimum capital requirements for banks, whilst water laws regulate the provision of public utilities and services.
The study of the law is a multi-disciplinary subject and encompasses areas such as philosophy, political science, history, economics, sociology and ethics. It is a subject that is increasingly attractive to young people due to its relevance to our day-to-day lives and the complex interactions between governments, business, commerce, communities and society as a whole. There are a number of different career paths within the legal sector, from becoming an apprentice to studying for a degree in law, to becoming a barrister or lawyer or making decisions and imposing punishments as part of a justice system.