DEFINITION: law lɔː/
1. the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties. Example: "shooting the birds is against the law"
synonyms: rules and regulations, system of laws, body of laws, constitution, legislation, code, legal code, charter; jurisprudence
antonyms: anarchy, an individual rule as part of a system of law.
plural noun: laws Example: "a new law was passed to make divorce easier and simpler
2. a rule defining correct procedure or behaviour in a sport. Example: "the laws of the game" synonyms: rule, regulation, principle, convention, direction, instruction, guideline, practice Example: "the laws of the game"
3. a statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present. Example: "the second law of thermodynamics" a generalization based on a fact or event perceived to be recurrent. "the first law of American corporate life is that dead wood floats"
4. the body of divine commandments as expressed in the Bible or other religious texts.
synonyms: principle, rule, precept, directive, direction, injunction, instruction, commandment, prescription, standard, criterion, belief, creed, credo, ethic, maxim, formula, tenet, doctrine, canon; mitzvah
What is “Law”?
It is possible to describe law as the body of official rules and regulations, generally found in constitutions, legislation, judicial opinions, and the like, that is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members, so Law is a formal mechanism of social control. Legal systems are particular ways of establishing and maintaining social order.
Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges through binding precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
A general distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions (including Catholic canon law and socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and (b) common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law. Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some religious communities, particularly Jewish, and some countries, particularly Islamic. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law. Read more...