Law is a body of customs, practices and rules that govern behavior in a community. These are enforced by a controlling authority and abide by the principles of justice, equality and freedom.
In its broadest sense, the term Law applies to laws concerning crime, business, social relationships, property, finance and many other areas of society. Those who break the laws of a society may be punished by the government or the people.
Legal definitions vary widely, but the following are some common types:
The rule of law is a basic principle of government that guarantees equality and accountability for all citizens. It ensures that no one person, organization or government has more power than others and is accountable for failing to live up to their responsibilities under the law.
Criminal law is a field of law dealing with crimes and punishments, such as stealing. It also deals with the rights of prisoners and the right to fair trials.
Legislation is a written document, typically drafted by committee and sometimes approved by the legislature, that creates a body of law. The drafting of statutes can be an art and takes years to perfect.
Civil law is a legal system that covers about 60% of the world. It is based on concepts, categories and rules derived from Roman law, with some influence from canon law, and is supplemented or modified by local customs.
The practice of law is often regulated by a body called a bar association or a law society, which is governed by a specific set of laws that define the qualifications of lawyers and the rules for practicing the profession. Lawyers are typically referred to as attorneys, solicitors or barristers.