What is Law?

According to Collins Dictionary, The ‘Law’ is a system of rules that a society or government develops in order to deal with crime, business agreements, and social relationships. You can also use the law to refer to the people who work in this system.

Generally the term law is used to mean three things: First it is used to mean “legal order”. It represents the regime of adjusting relations, and ordering conduct by the systematic application of the force of organized political society. Secondly, law means the whole body of legal Percepts which exists in a politically organized society. Thirdly, law is used to mean all official control in a politically organized society. This lead to actual administration of Justice as contrasted with the authoritive material for the Guidance of Judicial action. Law in its narrowest or strict sense is the civil law or the law of the land.

Historically, the answer to the question, “what is Law” is thought to have two competing answers. The classical answer is provided by natural law theory, which is frequently characterized as asserting that there is an essential relationship between law and morality and Justice.The modern answer is provided by legal positivism, which as developed by John Austin, asserted that law is the command of the sovereign backed by the threat of punishment.

We can classify the Law into two:

  1. International Law and
  2. Municipal Law.

The legal Process that concerns legal relations among nations is called international law. The Present form of international law is of recent origin some earlier Jurist were of the view that the international law is not law as it lacked many elements which law should have. Austin and his supporters were of this view. Some says international law is law and it is superior to the municipal law Kelson supports this view.

The major sources of international law are multilateral Treaties, international custom and such General Principles as are recognized by civilized nations.

According to some Jurists international law may be divided into two classes. Public international law is that body of rules which govern the conduct and relations of States with other, really speaking; the term international law is used for this class of law. Private international law means those rules and Principles according to which the cases having foreign element are decided for example, if a contract is made between an Indian and Pakistani and it is to be performed the rule and Principles on which the rights and liabilities of the Parties would be determined would be called Private international law.

The Municipal law, Law of land, Civil law, or law applied within a State is divided into two classes. The State activities are largely regulated by Public law. It determines and regulates the organization and functioning of the State and determines the relation of the State with the subject. Public law may be divided into three classes: (1) Constitutional law: constitutional law is meant that law which determines the nature of the State and the Structure of the Government. It is above and superior to the Ordinary law of the land. Constitutional law is the basic law or fundamental law of the State. (2) Administrative Law: Administrative law deals with the structures powers and the functions of organs of the administration, the limits of their Powers, the methods and Procedures followed by them in exercising their powers and functions; the methods by which their power are controlled including the legal remedies available to a person against them when his rights are infringed by their operation. (3) Criminal law: Criminal law defines offences and prescribes punishment for them. Its aim is the prevention of and punishment for offences. Criminal law is necessary for the maintenance of order and peace within the State.

Private Law regulates and governs the relations of citizens with each other. The parties in such cases are private individuals and the State through its judicial organ adjudicates the matters in dispute between them. Example of such law are Civil Code, law of property, law of contract.