Definition of Law

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour. It shapes politics, economics and history in various ways and serves as a mediator between human beings.

1. A definite rule of behavior backed by sovereign power, made and enforced by the State; uniform, applicable to all people of the State.

2. A general rule of conduct, prescribed and formally recognized by a controlling authority, which is binding or enforced in some manner, usually with penalties and punishments; 3. ‘A law is a settled mode or course of action or operation in animate beings and in inanimate bodies’ (Roscoe Pound).

4. The laws of motion, gravity, nature and of nation; 5. A system of rules ordained for the government of civilized communities and the exercise of the natural rights of citizens, and which regulates the relations of trade between nations, etc.

6. A definite system of principles and standards that are put out by a government, as the constitution, or in written or tacit form by private individuals.

7. A rule of government, to which a rational being or moral agent must yield obedience in default of which he is subjected to punishment; 8. A settled mode or course of action or operation in inanimate bodies and irrational beings; 9. See also criminal law, civil law.

10. A legal enactment, or expression of consistent reality; 11. The command, by a formal act of legislature, to the effect that, ‘He that is guilty of murder must be killed,’ which imposes a consistent reality of death or punishment on him who is guilty of murder.