A system of rules and principles enforceable by a central authority and promoting social order and justice.
A comprehensive system of rules, usually arranged in codes and easily accessible to citizens and jurists, that favors cooperation, order, and predictability, and is generally intended to serve the interests of both the public and private sectors. Law may refer to a specific field, such as contracts, property, and employment, or to the body of legal knowledge and practice that is regarded as authoritative.
The term may also refer to a set of rules and principles that are regarded as being true or unfalse, sanctioned or not, harmonious or antagonistic. For example, the law of gravity asserts that anything thrown up unsuspended in space will eventually fall down.
Blackstone and other English jurists developed a view of the types of law that could exist: divine, natural, and municipal (human). Thomas Aquinas added to this idea by suggesting that there was also a “law of nature” that was eternal and divine, as well as a “rule of reason” that was both secular and natural.
A neo-realist definition of law comes from the sociological school, which studies the ways that the working and effects of laws affect society as a whole. This theory of law seeks to explain how and why laws are created, and the ways in which they function. It stresses the importance of social progress in developing laws, and emphasizes the necessity of a clear expression of rules and remedies.