Law is the system of rules that a government or society sets up to guide and control its behavior. It consists of both civil and criminal laws, which vary from country to country. Civil laws help to resolve disputes between individuals and between private parties, while criminal law governs the actions of the government or public officials.
Sir William Blackstone, whose Commentaries on the Laws of England were influential in the founding of America, described law as “that which has been ordained by God.” He further stated that man devises his own laws, but they must be consistent with the law of nature and the law of revelation (Scripture). He warned that if human laws violate the laws of nature and Scripture, they are invalid.
Even in the best of societies, disagreements and conflicts often arise. Laws give us a way to peacefully resolve those disputes, and protect our rights as citizens. They also ensure that the police and government operate within a framework of fairness and consistency.
A strong rule of law is essential for international peace and security; for achieving economic and social progress and development; and to protecting people’s lives and freedoms. It is vital in strengthening access to justice, curbing corruption, and restraining abuse of power by those with political or economic power. A strong rule of law also enables people to build and sustain healthy families and communities, and empowers them to fulfill their potential.