What is Law?

Law can be visualized as a set of principles that regulate the conduct of people, organizations and their actions. Law specifically empowers people or entity to do certain things while it also explicitly prohibits certain other action. In fact, law controls and regulates the relationship among the people and organizations. Administrators depend on law and legal provisions to administer and it is law that makes us understand what is wrong and what is right. A law breaker is not accepted by the civilized society and is a fit candidate for appropriate penalties.


The word “law” derives its origin from the ancient English word “lagu” that has a North Germanic inheritance. The origin of law dates back to the creation of this universe. In a broader sense law also refers to natural law and Natural law was in existence even when the earth was not created and civilization did not see day light. A law always refers to a set pattern and is meant to balance delivery of justice to all.

Administering law

Law is ordinarily administered through a system of courts by the judges hearing disputes and cases between parties. They apply a set of laws applicable to the particular issue and subject. The substantive law and procedural law together form the legal system. Such a system is prevalent in every civilized nation today. The law and legal system differs with geographical divergence, social customs, and traditions but the fact remains that no civil society can exist without having a legal system and administering law through enforcement agencies.

Enforcing law

Judges, Police, and Magistrate are common terms wherever a legal system exists and these are the instruments and agencies that enforce law in a country. They see to it that the provisions laid down in the law concerned are not violated though the concept of severity differs from country to country. For example, it may be a severe crime to drive a car without a valid license in some countries where it might be a minor crime in others. In any case driving a vehicle without a valid driving license constitutes a violation of existing law and penalties for such violation are laid down in appropriate Motor vehicle Acts and laws in the concerned countries. Maintenance of law and order is the premier responsibility of Police in every country and administering law and justice is the prerogative of judiciary throughout the world. The set up is completed with lawyers or legal practitioners who are there to fight cases for the clients on paid basis and ordinarily have a degree of law.

Categories of law

Traditionally law can be categorized into civil law, criminal law, common law, customary law, religious law etc. Law can also be categorized as private and public, procedural or international. Civil laws normally deals with real estates while criminal laws deal with crimes and punishment related to them. Customary and religious laws have their based in the traditions of a society and age long practices followed. Common law is derived from a set of judicial decisions that acts as precedence for administering subjects. Private laws deal with dispute between private parties whereas Public law deals regulations relating to Government offices and Public Sector undertakings basically. Procedural laws are those that lay down the procedures of filing and dealing with cases. International laws are based on a set of treaties, conventions, and customs that regulate, although loosely, the relationship between independent nations and is administered by the United Nations Organization.