The law is a central feature of human society. It protects the (normative) structure of expectations within a community against disappointments by means of sanctions, and it creates incentives for members of a social group to fulfill these expectations. Hence, law is an important institution-building factor in a society, and it can be differentiated into a regulating function that aims at stability and a directing function that tries to achieve justice.
The discipline of law studies legal rules and the system of courts that enforce them. It also encompasses professions that are concerned with advising people about the law, representing them in court, giving decisions and punishing offenders.
It is an area of scholarly inquiry that spans many disciplines, including history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. It raises important and complex issues of equality, fairness and justice.
In general, law reflects the will of a sovereign power, and it is the product of a constant process of political struggle. It is also seen as a means of consolidating peacekeeping systems, reducing privileges and controlling jurisdiction.
The most basic definition of a law is a set of rules, which dictate the behavior of an individual or a group in a given context. In practice, however, the term can be used to describe a variety of concepts, including: