Law is a collection of rules that govern the behavior of people in a society. It is created by governments and can include laws that protect human rights, make sure citizens have freedom of speech and expression, or provide for punishments if someone violates the rules.
The word “law” comes from the Latin words legio and lege meaning law, legality, or justice. The word is also used to refer to the professions of lawyers, judges and other people who help with interpreting or applying the law to people’s lives.
Traditionally, laws have been made by government but are now often based on ideas or theories that come from religion, philosophy, human reason or individual conscience. Proponents of natural law believe that there is a link between morality and laws; they also argue that the rules enacted by governments are only part of the legal system.
There is a great deal of debate about the appropriate sources of law; some proponents of natural law insist that there is no link between morality and laws, while others believe that moral philosophy, religion and human reason are integral parts of the legal system. There are many different kinds of laws, including criminal, civil and judicial.