The Basics of Law

Law is a set of rules that can be created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It is a complex topic, and it has been variously described as a science or the art of justice.

The law can serve a number of important purposes:

It keeps the peace and maintains the status quo; it preserves individual rights, protects minorities against majorities, promotes social justice, and provides for orderly social change. Some legal systems work better than others in these ways.

Laws are often enacted by legislatures and executive agencies, but sometimes they are established by judges in courts. Federal laws are made by Congress and state laws are made by the legislatures in each state.

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