The Importance of Law


Law is a system of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It can be enacted through collective legislative action, resulting in statutes, by the executive branch, resulting in decrees or regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can also create legally binding contracts and other legal documents. Law shapes politics, economics, history and society in many ways.

Law encompasses a broad range of issues, from criminal justice to family and employment law. It is an important subject for anyone interested in the way that human societies organize themselves and the relationship between government and its citizens.

Studying Law is a challenging and rewarding experience. There is an enormous amount of information to learn and it can be confusing at times. In order to make sense of this information, it is crucial for students to understand the context in which the laws are created and how they are enforced. In addition to classroom learning, there are also numerous opportunities for students to engage in practical learning through internships and clinics. These experiences give students a hands-on perspective of the practice of Law which is invaluable for understanding its fundamentals.

The precise definition of law is a matter of debate, but it can be broadly described as a set of commands or rules imposed on people by authority, commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Law cannot, however, mandate behaviours which are beyond people’s capabilities, as this would violate the principle of legality, and thus be unenforceable. Law must always be confined to what is within the power of humans to achieve.

Having fixed principles to administer justice avoids the danger of arbitrary, biased or dishonest decisions. As a result of this, Greek philosopher Aristotle said: ‘to seek to be wiser than the law is the very thing which is by good laws forbidden.’

Legal systems vary widely from nation to nation, and differ in the way that they are interpreted and enforced. Some are authoritarian, while others are democratic, and still others are combinations of the two. Some are more effective than others at achieving the major purposes of law, which include keeping the peace, maintaining the status quo, preserving individual rights, protecting minorities from majorities and promoting social change in a stable way.

The law is the most important instrument of a democracy in that it establishes the framework within which the citizens of a nation interact with each other, and it is responsible for creating and regulating the relationships between the various groups of citizens, as well as with the environment. It is also the most effective way to protect the safety and security of citizens and prevent crime, although it must be recognized that law alone cannot guarantee the protection of human rights and freedoms. There is a constant tension between the need to ensure that the rule of law is observed and the need to retain flexibility to allow for change as society evolves.