Law, simply put, refers to the set of rules which guide our conduct in the society and is enforceable by the state via public agencies.
Law in its general sense tends to be as a result of the necessary relations arising from the nature of things. In this sense all things have their laws. Humans, material world, superior beings and even animals all have their own laws. Simply put, the nature of these relationships tends to determine the nature of the laws.
But the intelligent world is far from being so well governed as the physical. This is because intelligent beings are of a finite nature, and consequently liable to error; and on the other, their nature requires them to be free agents. Hence they do not steadily conform to their primitive laws.
Law in general is human reason, inasmuch as it governs all the inhabitants of the earth: the political and civil laws of each nation ought to be only the particular cases in which human reason is applied.
According to the oxford dictionaries law can be defined as; The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties
NATURE OF LAW
The different schools of thought that have arisen are all endeavors of jurisprudence: Natural law school Positivism, realism among others. It is these schools of thoughts that have steered debates in parliaments, courts of law and others.
Natural law theory asserts that there are laws that are immanent in nature, to which enacted laws should correspond as closely as possible. This view is frequently summarized by the maxim: an unjust law is not a true law, in which ‘unjust’ is defined as contrary to natural law.
Legal positivism is the view that the law is defined by the social rules or practices that identify certain norms as laws
Legal realism– it holds that the law should be understood as being determined by the actual practices of courts, law offices, and police stations, rather than as the rules and doctrines set forth in statutes or learned treatises. It had some affinities with the sociology of law.
Legal interpretivism– is the view that law is not entirely based on social facts, but includes the morally best justification for the institutional facts and practices that we intuitively regard as legal.
Generally speaking law has the following characteristics
1. It is a set of rules.
2. It regulates the human conduct
3. It is created and maintained by the state.
4. It has certain amount of stability, fixity and uniformity.
5. It is backed by coercive authority.
6. Its violation leads to punishment.
7. It is the expression of the will of the people and is generally written down to give it definiteness.
8. It is related to the concept of ‘sovereignty’ which is the most important element of state.