Law is a set of rules created and enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition is a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and as the art of justice.
The most important function of law is to define and enforce standards of fairness, order and freedom from abuse. The law provides a framework within which people can understand each other’s expectations and resolve disputes. It also serves the less tangible functions of preventing conflict and establishing trust.
The rule of law aims to ensure that laws are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated. This includes the principles of supremacy of law, equality before the law, legal certainty, separation of powers, participation in decision-making and accountability for the law.
Laws cover an enormous range of topics, and the three main subjects are presented below. Labour law, for example, concerns the tripartite relationship between worker, employer and trade unions and encompasses regulations such as minimum wage and health and safety. Civil procedure law involves the rules that courts must follow as trials and appeals are conducted. Evidence law determines what materials are admissible in court for a case to be built.
It is impossible to empirically verify whether or not a body of laws contains precepts of such-and-such importance. This is because the shape of the physical world limits what law can command. For instance, it is impossible for a statute to require people to behave in ways that are beyond their abilities.