The Relationship Between Law and Society

Law is a body of rules created by a society that aims to control human behavior and keep societal order. The law includes a wide range of topics from criminal and civil procedures to contracts and property rights. The law has a strong influence on politics, economics, history and society in various ways. In many countries, there are different systems of law that deal with specific fields. These include contract law, labour law, property law, intellectual property law and trust law.

There are also laws that govern specific activities, such as transport law (road, air and maritime), tax law and medical jurisprudence. Then there are laws that regulate particular types of business, such as competition law which tries to prevent businesses from using their economic power to distort market prices. Other business laws deal with the creation of new products, such as patent and copyright law. Trust law covers the management of money that is saved for future use, such as a pension fund or investment funds.

The main purpose of the law is to maintain order and protect human rights and liberty, but there are other things that it may do as well. For example, the law can make sure that people are treated fairly regardless of their social class or wealth. It can also help to solve disputes and settle arguments. The law can be enforced by a variety of mechanisms, such as police and courts.

Usually, the laws that are made by governments are designed to be fair and impartial. However, they can be influenced by other factors such as culture and religion. Religions often have a set of religious laws that they follow, such as the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Shari’ah or the Christian Bible or Koran. These are called canon laws because they are seen as the “path to follow” by the followers of the religion.

Another source of the laws that are made is the culture of a particular country, including customs and traditions. People also tend to trust the ideas of their family and friends. In some cases, these are combined with the judicial and societal views of what is right and wrong.

A professional who studies and argues the laws is called a lawyer or jurist. Some lawyers specialise in a certain field of law, such as criminal or commercial law. Other lawyers are general practitioners who try to resolve conflicts between clients. For more details about the relationship between law and a society, see law, philosophy of; legal system; jurisprudence; and constitution. For an examination of the role of law in a democracy, see democracy; election; constitution; and parliamentary procedure. For a discussion of how the law is changed and adjusted, see law, theory of; adjustment and justification; and law, historical study. For an exploration of the development of laws in the past, see history of law; law, philosophical perspective; and law, historical method.