Law is a system of rules that a society or government develops to deal with crime, business agreements, and social relationships. It is also the term used to refer to the people who work in this system.
In general, there are three main types of law: civil, criminal and international. There are also subfields within each field of law, such as torts (a type of personal injury law), employment law and property law.
Civil law governs private relations between individuals, including contracts, divorces and inheritances. It deals with the rights and duties of citizens and businesses, and has a strong tradition in human rights.
Criminal law deals with crimes committed against the state, or a group of citizens, such as murder. It can be enforced by the police or by courts, with punishment ranging from fines to prison.
International law covers the rules that apply to governments outside their home country. This can include the right to travel, the right to hold property and the rights of people in other countries.
Legal rules are usually regulated by statutes, codes or paragraphs in a document. They regulate how people are expected to conduct themselves, their duties, their expectations, how to measure damages in cases of breach and how to resolve conflicts.
The law has a number of benefits: It can keep the peace, preserve individual rights, protect minorities against majorities, promote social justice and provide orderly social change. However, it can also serve to limit freedoms and interfere with daily life.