Law is a set of rules enacted and enforced by a government to govern its people. These rules regulate human behavior, provide security, and promote social justice. Different legal systems serve different purposes. For example, a legal system based on a democracy may keep the peace, maintain stability and order, and guarantee individual rights. A democratic political system may also protect minorities from majorities, preserve property rights, and provide for a peaceful transfer of power. On the other hand, a legal system based on an authoritarian government may maintain the status quo, but it can also oppress minorities and restrict social change.
The science of Law is concerned with the development, interpretation, and enforcement of legal rules. Laws are a subset of natural laws, and they describe how phenomena in the natural world behave.
Moreover, laws can be used to predict the future of a given phenomenon. Using the concept of probability, Holmes describes law as a betting system that makes predictions about a variable–the actions of bad men. The judicial community also embraces objectivity, but its ideals do not always match reality. For example, a judging panel of all judges in a particular case is called an en banc panel and is not typical of how cases are routinely disposed by appellate courts.
The main fields of Law include civil and criminal law, family law, and commercial law. For example, civil law allows people to sue for money or property damage from another person. Criminal law, on the other hand, deals with offences against a person or organization and punishes them accordingly.