Law is a system of rules that a society or government develops in order to deal with crime, business agreements, and social relationships. The people who work in this system are called lawyers.
The word ‘law’ is often used more broadly to refer to all the laws of a country. A law is a rule that is made by the government, and if someone breaks that law they can be punished.
‘Law’ is a complex discipline because it is both normative and prescriptive in nature. It is unlike other sciences and disciplines in that it does not describe or cause things to happen (as a law of gravity would).
A legal norm becomes validated from the moment it is published as part of a legal order, and its effect begins from the time that it binds the subjects of the law. Its validity is limited to a certain period of time, which is known as the vacatio legis.
This can be a long or short term, depending on the circumstances. During the validity period, a legal norm may be modified by explicit derogation by the competent state authority, or it may be terminated automatically, whereby the authoritative organisation adopts a new normative act that regulates the same relations.
Law serves several important purposes, including establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. It is a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy and economic analysis.
There are many branches of law, each with its own particular set of rules. Some of these include contract law, intellectual property law, family law and tax law. Others are more general, such as immigration law and nationality law.