Law is a set of rules that are created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. These rules are typically defined as “ought” propositions that prescribe how people should behave. They are variously dictated by social, moral, economic, political and other purposes.
Definition of Law:
The word law is often used as a synonym for canon, ordinance, precept, regulation, rule and statute. These words all mean “a principle governing action or procedure commonly accepted as valid guide.” In nonreligious use, the word law is sometimes used to refer to a legally binding contract.
Originally, the word law was derived from Old English lagu (literally, “something laid down”), which was a translation of the Latin word laye. In both Biblical and classical usage, the word law referred to God’s commands and regulations.
Legal rights are a way for people to assert their interests and defend themselves against others who violate their rights. These rights include the right to a fair trial in criminal law, and the right to protect their property and liberty in civil law.
Function of Law:
Several different theories have been proposed to explain the function of law. One view is that it is an institution that aims to secure justice in a society, while another view holds that it serves to balance competing interests.
Bentham’s Definition of Law:
Jeremy Bentham, an 18th-century philosopher, argued that the goal of law is to promote good social consequences, not simply to protect individual rights. He was opposed to what he saw as the antiquated, vague, and moralistic notions of natural rights, which he viewed as mischievous nonsense.
Holland’s Definition of Law:
Holland believes that law is an instrument of a state’s power to constrain its people, ensuring their welfare and protection. He also argues that law is not an end in itself, but rather it is a means to an end.
Realist Definition of Law:
This branch of the sociological school focuses on how law actually works and how it affects society. It tries to understand how and why law works, as well as the role of individual actors in creating law.
Savigin’s Definition of Law:
According to the sociologist Savigin, the definition of law should not be limited to direct legislation but also the silent growth of custom. It should also take into account the outcome of unformulated public or Professional opinion, which may lead to changes in the existing rules.
The term law is also used to describe a consistent reality, such as the laws of gravity that say that anything thrown up will come down. This can be proven or hypothetical, sanctioned or unsanctioned, true or mythical, harmonious or antagonistic.
Sumner’s Definition of Law:
The concept of law is developed by interpreting the works of jurists and anthropologists as well as sociologists. The “concept” of law is the normative law that binds the members of legal institutions, while the “apparatus” is the group or individuals engaged in legal action.