What Is Law?


Law is a collection of rules and principles that a society recognizes as binding upon it. It regulates the behavior of individuals in that society and establishes rewards and punishments. Almost every country in the world has a set of laws that govern its citizens. Some of these laws are enforceable through the courts and others are enforced by the government. Laws are often created to address a particular need or issue. For example, a country may create an environmental law to protect the environment or an aviation law to ensure that airplanes are safe.

Many people have different opinions on what constitutes the legal system. Hans Kelsen came up with the ‘pure theory of law’, which defines the law as a ‘normative science’. His theory states that the law does not seek to describe what must occur, but instead only defines certain rules to abide by. This law definition also states that the courts determine the laws, not the legislature.

Another common definition of law comes from Friedrich Karl von Savigny. His theory of law states that customs are superior to legislation, as custom is a reflection of the collective consciousness of the people. This is why the law should always conform to the customs of the people. This is a highly influential law definition and has influenced numerous legal scholars.

Other law definitions focus on the process of interpreting legislation. One method, known as originalism, asserts that the true meaning of a statute is its original intent, and judges should follow this intent despite any changes in social conditions. A similar approach, called textualism, requires that judges interpret the words of a statute literally and refuse to consider any other issues. Critics of these hermeneutical styles have pointed out that they are inherently conservative and unsuitable for a rapidly changing world.

In a legal system, the interpretation of law is an essential part of its function. This is because it is not always possible to know what a given law means in any particular situation. Even if a law is stated in broad, general terms, it will have limits to its scope, and there may be specific circumstances that require the law to be interpreted.

A judge’s interpretation of a law is shaped by his or her ideas about justice. Thus, a judge’s decisions can be considered political in nature because the result of a case will depend on whether or not it is just. This political aspect of legal interpretation is sometimes referred to as “lawmaking by other means”.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira Extra Text
Cape Town, South Africa