Law is the body of rules that governs human conduct. It is enforced through a political authority and creates the condition of social order and justice. It is a system of rules or principles, often based on predictable consequences. It can also refer to a specific branch of law, such as criminal or civil law.
Legal scholars have offered differing opinions on what constitutes law. For example, Holmes views law as a betting system, in which participants make predictions about the intersection of their own narrative with an external reality that is shaped by other people’s tales of inequality (see bettabilitarian). He believes that the act of participating—assigning true or false values to mathematically undecidable propositions—constitutes experience, and as these experiences flow, a participant’s probability estimates are updated.
For Gray, the idea of law is that of a set of commands or principles. These can be commandments given to individuals, a code of conduct for a society or an official pronouncement from a government. These commandments are then enforceable by an authority figure, such as a judge or a police officer.
A government’s ability to uphold the laws depends on its governing structure and political landscape, which is vastly different from nation to nation. Some governments are able to keep the peace and maintain the status quo, while others oppress minorities and promote social change. There are often revolts against the prevailing political-legal regime, in which case it is possible for the law to be changed.