Law is a set of rules that govern the actions of people. They apply to everyone equally and are enforced by courts. The laws we have today protect our basic rights and freedoms, such as liberty and equality.
There are many different types of laws, each covering a specific area of the law. Some are more general, such as criminal and civil law. Others are more specialized, such as competition law.
The law shapes politics, economics and history in a variety of ways. It also serves as a mediator between people in society.
Almost all societies have some form of law. These systems are based on various customary, judicial or scientific traditions.
Some systems, such as those of the European countries, include a written constitution that specifies rights and defines the limits on government power. This type of law is often referred to as “constitutional law” or “constitutional rules.”
Other legal systems are more diverse, with a mix of written and customary laws. These can be called “civil law” or “common law.”
In common law systems, decisions by courts are written down and are regarded as “law” in the same way that statutes are. The doctrine of stare decisis (Latin for “to stand by”) obligates lower courts to follow court decisions and to abide by them when making their own judgments.
The Will (or Choice) Theory of Rights suggests that rights function to give right-holders control over the duties owed to them by others, and to grant them certain privileges. Moreover, claim-rights and immunities function to protect the free exercise of these privileges and powers.