What Is Law?


Law is the set of rules that governs a society and provides the framework for ensuring safety, justice, and order. It covers everything from who can own land to the punishment for crimes, and it varies widely from nation to nation. In some nations, the law is written and enforced by a central government; in others, laws are made and enforced by local magistrates or judges. In the United States, a large part of the law is determined by federal statutes and judicial decisions; smaller portions are established by state law and the Constitution. In other countries, the basis of law may be treaties (agreements between nations), what is known as customary international law, or a combination of the two.

While the definition of law varies widely, most people agree that it incorporates both positive and negative rules that are either created or recognized by a central authority. Positive law theories, like John Austin’s utilitarian view, emphasize the benefits of adherence to the rules; natural-law theorists, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Aquinas, see a morality embedded in the laws of nature and in the human condition.

The law is a complex area, and many different fields contribute to the study of it. For example, scholars interested in a particular country’s legal system often focus on the history of that nation; historians interested in the history of international law may spend time studying the development of treaties and diplomatic relations between the countries. Likewise, lawyers who specialize in a particular field of the law may choose to read articles or books on related topics.

Law is also a topic that can be controversial, and many writers take positions on issues or changes to the law. This is particularly true for articles on areas of the law that deal with topics that tend to have more public awareness, such as business law and intellectual property law. These types of articles can be more partisan in their language and approach, as they are designed to appeal to readers who have a deep interest in these topics.

A good way to find a topic for an article on law is to start with current events or hot-button issues. However, a thorough understanding of the law requires extensive research, and this work can be daunting for a new writer. A good strategy is to seek out a topic that hasn’t been covered in depth before, and then use your research skills to thoroughly investigate the issue. The resulting article can provide a valuable resource for other scholars, judges, and practitioners. It can also serve to raise awareness of the importance of the law. Consequently, your article could be very influential.