Law is the system of rules that a particular country or community recognises as regulating the actions of its members. This includes both the formal laws enacted by governments and the informal rules and customs that a society creates for its citizens.
The law provides people with a framework within which to live together peacefully and protects their basic freedoms from interference by outsiders. It also prevents people from hurting each other and punishes those who break the law. Law is generally enforced through a court or police.
Legal systems vary from one country to another, and are governed by different constitutional principles. Most countries have a constitution that lays out the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. However, there are still many areas of law that can be found in all legal systems.
Tort law, for example, regulates how compensation is paid out in the event of an injury – whether that’s for an accident on the road or defamation of character. Aviation law, on the other hand, deals with the regulations that govern a plane’s operations and safety standards. Employment law focuses on the tripartite relationship between worker, employer and trade unions. Family law covers divorce proceedings and the rights of children.
Other fields of law include immigration and nationality laws, which cover the right of foreigners to work or live in a nation-state that is not their own; and property law, which defines a person’s duties toward tangible and intangible possessions such as houses, cars or money.