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HomeBALLB Entrance ExamIntroduction to Law: Meaning, Definition and Its Functions

Introduction to Law: Meaning, Definition and Its Functions

Meaning of Law

Meaning and definition of law: The term ‘law’ is derived from the old Teutonic word ‘lag’, which means fixed, uniform, or constant. Different languages have their own term equivalent to law. The Latin term lex, jus, or juris, the Spanish term ley, the French term droit, the Sanskrit term Vidhi, and the Arabi term Kanoon are used for law in their respective languages. Likewise, the law is called Dharma in Hindu jurisprudence, Hukum in Islam, and Res in German. The term Kanoon is used in Nepali and recognized as our term, but this term is adopted from Arabi.

A law is a body of rules, boundaries, limitations, regulations, and binding rules of conduct that control and regulate human behaviors. It also regulates the relations between individuals to individuals and individuals to state. The law is an enforceable body of rules that governs society by creating rights and duties for people. The rights, liberties, and obligations of human beings are regulated through the powerful implementation of law.

The law is a set of rules made by the law-making authority for the proper regulation of human behaviors in society and to maintain peace and order in society. Law-making authority means the federal legislature, provincial legislature, local legislature, or modern state. The law is made for the well-being of society and the betterment of human life. The main aim of making laws is to provide justice to victims.

Generally, the term ‘law‘ refers to the body of rules that govern human conduct. The law is the enforceable body of rules that governs society by creating rights and duties for the people. The law protects and regulates the rights and duties of citizens. The law is made for the well-being and betterment of people and society. The law prohibits unnecessary disturbances from happening in society by punishing criminals. There is no single, precise, and universally accepted meaning and definition of law because jurists are born in different phases of time. And different jurists define the law based on different aspects.

Definition of law

Different jurists have given different meanings and definitions of law. They are as follows:

Austin says, “Law is a command of the sovereign backed up by sanctions.”

According to Holland, “law is a general rule of external human action enforced by sovereign political authority.”

According to Salmond, “law may be defined as the body of principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice.”

Savigny says, “Law is a rule of human action and conduct sanctioned by national usage.”

According to Holmes, “the prophecies of what the court will do in fact and nothing more pretentious are what I mean by law.”

According to the Vedas, “Law is the King of Kings, and nothing is mightier than law, by whose aid even weaker may prevail over the strong.”

According to the Oxford Dictionary, laws are the whole system of rules that everyone in the country or society must obey.”

Definition of law according to the school of thought:

  1. Natural law school: According to this school, “law is the dictate of reasons.”
  2. Analytical School: According to this school, “law is the command of the sovereign.”
  3. Historical School: According to this school, “law is not made but found.”
  4. Sociological School: According to this school, “law is social engineering.”
  5. Realist School: According to this school, “law is the practice of court.”
  6. Socialist School: According to this school, “law is an instrument of exploitation and dominance.”

Conclusion

From the above explanation and definition, it is clear that there is no single meaning or definition of law because jurists were born at different points in time. The law is the set of rules made by the state to regulate human behavior and maintain peace and order in society. The law is necessary for regulating and ensuring the ensuring the smooth functioning of the state. The law is the main tool of every state to control and regulate the conduct of its citizens. The law provides rights to its citizens and imposes duties. Thus, the law is the enforceable body of rules that regulates human behavior and society and helps to maintain peace and order in society.

Function of Law

The law is a body of rules that regulates human behaviors and maintains peace and security in society. The law punishes criminals and provides justice to the victims. The law plays an important role in society. Society could be lame in the absence of law. Society cannot run smoothly without laws. The law is an instrument of social change and social development. The functions of law can be summarized in the following points:

  • To Maintain peace and order in society
  • To prohibit unlawful activities
  • To punish criminals
  • To provide justice
  • To protect the rights of people
  • To maintain peace and security

Read this also:

1. Kinds and classification of law

2. Sources of law 

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Anish Kumar Tiwari
Anish Kumar Tiwari
Anish Kumar Tiwari is the Editor-in-Chief and SEO Expert at Law Scholars Nepal who is continuously publishing law related information and legal knowledge with the aim of increasing legal awareness in Nepal.
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