What Is Law?
Law is the system of rules that regulates the activities of individuals and entities in civil society. Blackstone defined law as “a rule of conduct prescribed by the supreme authority in a state commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and prescribing the punishment of offenders.”
While laws can have many functions, they typically serve four core purposes: establishing standards; maintaining order; resolving disputes; and protecting liberties and rights. While there are a variety of legal systems, a well-functioning one generally promotes justice and equality, and is clear and publicized.
It also ensures that individuals can exercise their liberty and rights in a safe and secure environment, and protects property and contract rights. It has a standardized system of codes and procedures for determining the facts of cases, and the judges who decide them are accessible, fair, and impartial.
The principles of law are based on a wide range of accepted standards and norms, and have been tested and refined in consultation with a variety of experts worldwide. They provide a framework for developing and improving nations that are committed to the rule of law.
In addition to these general principles, there are a number of specific issues that must be addressed in the implementation of law: