What Is Law?


Law is the set of rules that govern human behavior, enforced by governmental and social institutions. While the exact definition of law is controversial, it is often referred to as a science and an art. In its most basic form, Law is the application of rules to resolve disputes and protect people. There are several branches of Law, each with its own set of responsibilities.

Legal reasoning

Legal reasoning is the process of using legal knowledge, argumentation, and information to solve legal problems. Although the majority of third-year students cited at least one legal reasoning skill, only half of first-year students mentioned any of them. The third-year students, however, described legal reasoning more comprehensively and included more subcategories.

Legal interpretation

Legal interpretation of law is a process of analyzing and interpreting the meaning of a legal text. It aims to uncover the underlying determinants of the meaning of legal texts. The goal is to discover how the law works, not to make recommendations on what decisions to make or how to follow it.

Legal institutions

Legal institutions are the bodies that govern a state and establish basic rights and obligations for citizens. Most countries establish legislative institutions, executive bodies that administer the law, and judicial institutions that adjudicate legal disputes. This division of powers enables these institutions to fulfill different functions and prevents any single institution from having all the legal authority. These legal institutions have varying names depending on their specific functions and roles, and are sometimes referred to as branches of government.

Principles of the Rule of Law

A country with the Rule of Law is one that has its laws, rules, and procedures in place. These procedures are generally aimed at ensuring that the citizen is treated equally under the law. In the absence of the Rule of Law, a person’s rights may be restricted or denied.

Legal practice

Legal practice encompasses a wide range of areas. Depending on the context, it may refer to the study of judicial precedents, administrative rules, customs, and doctrines. It may also refer to legislative enactments such as constitutions or statutes.