Law is a branch of study that affects practically every aspect of our lives. It can be broken down into three areas: property law (land and things attached to it), labour law (the tripartite relationship between employers and employees), and individual employment law (the rights of employees in the workplace). Another area of study is civil procedure, which involves the rules of the courts and what evidence can be admissible in court.
A nation’s laws are created to maintain order, preserve the status quo, and protect individual rights. They can also promote social justice and orderly social change. Some legal systems are better suited for these purposes than others. For example, authoritarian regimes often use the power of the state to repress political opponents and minorities. Meanwhile, private individuals can use law to create binding contracts, arbitration agreements, and other forms of legal authority.
Regulations are an important part of the law, as they govern the provision of public services. A good example of this is water law. Privatisation of services has removed them from the purview of public law, but it has also meant that the private companies doing the jobs formerly controlled by the government have had to abide by certain standards of social responsibility. This is the case in many OECD countries, where energy, water, and telecomms are regulated industries.
The Rule of Law can be complex and multi-layered, but it provides protection from the power of despotism. While the Rule of Law has evolved through history, its role is still disputed. However, the concept has been central to legal debate.