What Is Law?


Law is an important tool for ensuring that people have access to justice and that their rights are upheld. It also shapes history, politics, and economics, serving as a mediator in relations between people. Ideally, law exists as an epistemologically accessible, publicly known body. People should be able to study, internalize, and use it as a guide for behavior. Moreover, it should be accessible to ordinary people, in order to settle disputes and protect them from abuses of power.

There are many types of legal issues that may arise in a person’s life. Some of these are planned, while others may occur unexpectedly. Common issues include immigration, consumer rights, housing problems, and problems involving money. You can learn more about these legal issues by visiting government websites, the court system, and other organizations.

Legal systems differ in terms of how they define law. In common law systems, decisions of the courts and executive branch are considered law. They also incorporate the doctrine of precedent, which holds that decisions by a higher court bind lower courts and future decisions by the same court. However, in civil law systems, judicial decisions are not as extensive, and they only serve to determine a single case.

Another fundamental feature of law is generality. This feature is reflected in the constitutional antipathy to Bills of Attainder. This requirement implies that laws should be general in nature, and not specific to individual situations. It also means that general rules should guide the making of particular laws. Moreover, these general rules must operate impartially, i.e., in the absence of partisanship or personal bias.