Law: Meaning, Features, Sources, and Types of Law
Every country, every city, every town, every district present in this world has to follow certain rules or regulations or we can say “Law”
There is always a sovereign which formulates laws for a state which is believed to be good for the state and which helps the state to function justly. In many countries, the sovereign or the people hire government which enforce these laws and if the laws are violated then the penalty is faced by those who have violated them.
In simple words, we can say Law is something which acts as a guideline to the people and is believed to be good for human relations. It is said to be a set of rules and regulations decided by the state or sovereign and followed by the people of that place.
It can also be said as a command which has to be followed by the people. Who are superior in society would make these laws and followed by the inferiors.
Laws are made so that human behave appropriately and before doing any wrong think twice. It helps in humans activities happening in the state. One who goes against these rules face serious trials and get punished by the state.
Features of Law:
- Law must be applicable to all. Everyone in the eyes of law is equal and no one can escape from the eyes of the law.
- Law is uniform in nature. Power of making law lies in the hand of the state. State passes those laws which are considered to be for human welfare.
- The state has a government which also helps in making law and through which laws are enforced.
- Laws are said to be reliable and just for every individual present in the state. These are rules for every individual.
- Every state needs the law as it is believed to be the most important element which helps the state to function smoothly.
- Law can be the threat to those who are willing to do wrong in society and once they commit anything wrong are severely punished.
- The punishments which are given to the guilty are also decided by the law.
- Each country has the court which settles any issues taking place in a state according to the laws formulated.
- Law act as a shield to every individual in the state. It helps people co-exist harmoniously and protect themselves from any wrong or evil doings.
- These laws are made by the representatives of the citizen. Then this law also requires public opinion and should also function in accordance with public needs.
- Law is said to be blind as it does not believe in any discrimination. All are equal in front of the law.
Sources of Law:
- Custom: these are believed to be one of the most important sources of law. In earlier times people used to follow certain customs which were accepted by all and which served as a fair, equal and just to all individuals. Different social institution borrowed these customs. Who went against the will of custom would face punishment. Later these customs took a new turn and formulated as an organized political institution having converted all the customs into law. People started to believe these customs are best for them, therefore, they are believed to be the best source of law.
- Religion and Morality: when we talk about religion and morality. Each religion has its own set of rules and regulation which helps people be a good human. In past when there was no organized institution of law so the religion played its role. Religion was followed and whoever violated it suffered punishment according to their religion. People had in mind that if they did anything wrong God will punish them and put them in hellfire and if they did well they will enjoy in heaven. But with the improvement and human civilization people started to put aside religion and began to go freely. Therefore some religious rules turned into properly organized law.Few State took few rules and regulations and put them as the rule which should be followed by all. Rules of morality and religion acted as source material to the state to formulate the law.
- Legislation: In older days customs or rulers acted as the main source of lawmaking. But the later government took place and in government, we have a body which is said to legislation which now acts as a main source of law. Legislation converts all customs to guide people’s behavior. Every state has its own legislative body which serves as a source and got the identity of the Legal sovereign from ruler to the legislation.
- Delegated Legislation: due to less time, fewer people with professional skills and quick need of laws to exercise the state gave rise to the delegation of legislation. The state got an emergency to make laws as quickly as possible as it cannot rely on one specific legislation. So the power to make law was divided into different executives for easy, fast and smooth lawmaking process. Now it serves as a giant source of law.
- Judicial Decisions: the judicial decision means the decision made by the court in accordance to looking after the cases and interprets which law should be applied where. There are certain situations when judicial decisions also become laws for future and that is why have to be considered as a source of law. Decisions made my main courts which are recognized as apex court can only be used as proper law.
- Equity: this basically means acting fairly and serving justice to all. In some exceptional cases, not all laws are suitable. So the judge as to use his intelligence and act with keeping in mind d what is fair for whom. Equity serves as a painkiller to those who are suffering and might be in future gain popularity and formulate laws on the basis of equity.
- Scientific commentaries: many jurists use scientific commentaries to make some laws better or we can say to develop and evolve laws jurist need these scientific commentaries. Jurist points out problems and strengths of the law and help this law to become stronger. The opinion given by this jurist is then used as a reference to make a decision on certain cases.
Types of Law: there are two main categories if law 1. International law 2. National law.
National Laws: the set of rules which look after the activities of people in society through the power of the state.
- Constitutional law is a form of law which decides the roles, rights, and structure of all bodies present in a state. Mostly it is in written form and stands supreme in the law of the country. It decides how each party of government will function and decides rights and duties of the citizens. What is said of constitutional law will be followed by the state and further by the people.
- Ordinary law: it has two subdivisions i.e (i) private law (ii) public law.The ordinaryy law is said to be the national law. It looks after the behavior of the people present in the state. It is passed by the legislature and decides roles of different executives, organizations, institutions etc and then further judiciary acts upon them.
(i) Private law: as the term says private this law look after the relations between individuals. It sets some rules which are for each individual in regards to one another. It ensures that each individual has equal rights. It is the state who solves the issues among individuals or groups.
(ii) Public law: this law looks after the affairs of the people of the state and the state itself. The community decides the state and then state formulate and set these laws for all.
Public law is further divided into two categories (i) General law (ii) Administrative law
(i) General Law: it decides the relation with those citizens who do no hold any official position in state also known as private citizens. General public laws are formulated for all the citizens of the state who holds direct relation with the state.
(ii) Administrative law: these laws look after the functions of different administrative agencies or we can say constitutional authorities. It plays as a watchdog of the affairs between the civil servants and the public and also decides the relationship between civil servants and State.
When we talk about the law we can say it is the cycle of rules and regulation made by people for the people and to the people. It is believed to be the best example of the human activity which is truly determined to serve people and look after their welfare.