Law refers to the system of rules that a society develops in order to ensure peace and business agreements and protect individuals and groups from crime. It also includes the professions of advising about laws, representing people in court or making decisions and punishing those who break the law.
The law varies from nation to nation. It depends on who has political power to create and enforce laws; some nations have unstable or authoritarian governments that do not serve the principal functions of law (e.g., imposing peace in countries with arbitrarily created borders, or suppressing minorities and other political opponents).
In Western nations, there are two main legal traditions: common law and civil law. Common law systems evolved over centuries by incorporating and elevating local custom, abolishing arbitrary remedies and introducing the jury system of citizens sworn to investigate reliable criminal accusations and civil claims.
Civil law systems were developed in response to the growing importance of commerce, as businesses and other entities sought to organize their activities in the face of increasing competition. They are based on the Roman-derived Corpus Juris Civilis and include European-derived common law.
The guiding principles of the rule of law, as defined by the World Justice Project, are accountability, good governance, open government and accessible and impartial justice. Do you think that these are universally accepted principles? If not, how might you modify them to better fit your view of the rule of law?