A set of rules enforceable by a state to ensure that a society functions in an orderly manner and protects individual liberties and rights. Laws are enacted by a legislative body – for example, parliament – and may be enforced by a constitutionally-appointed government or by the executive through decrees or regulations, or by judges through precedent (known as stare decisis). The precise nature of law is a matter of ongoing debate.
A key function of law is resolving conflicts. For example, if two people claim to own the same piece of land, a court can decide who the real owner is. Laws also help to maintain order by setting standards and imposing sanctions when these are breached. Laws can also serve to educate citizens about rights and responsibilities and promote good citizenship.
Law is divided into two domains: public and private law. Public law concerns the state and society and includes legislation, constitutional law and the criminal justice system. Private law encompasses legal disputes between individuals and organisations in areas such as contracts, property, torts/delicts and commercial law.
A career in Law is a highly respected profession, which offers a number of benefits to the individual including a high salary and the opportunity to work with a wide range of individuals and businesses. However, it is important to note that the Law profession is not for everyone and requires a significant level of dedication, commitment and hard work to be successful.