The Law is a system of rules that governs the behavior and activities of a society. It is the basis for civil and criminal justice, business and commerce, and social change. The Law may be created by human elaboration, such as the legal traditions of Western countries, or it may derive from divine guidance, such as the Jewish Halakha and the Islamic Sharia.
Some legal systems are authoritarian, maintaining peace and the status quo by controlling the activities of the populace; others promote individual rights and encourage peaceful social change. Still other laws are based on scientific observation, such as the law of conservation of energy and the law of gravity.
Modern law is a complex mixture of many different traditions. Typically, each country has its own system of jurisprudence and each discipline within it contains its own traditions.
For example, contract law regulates the exchange of goods and services, while property law defines people’s rights toward tangible or intangible property, such as money and shares. Tort law covers claims that a person or their property was harmed by another’s conduct, such as an automobile accident or defamation of character.
It is difficult to empirically verify whether a particular law comprises precepts that are of such importance. However, the Law is dependent on humans and their mental operations. It cannot mandate behaviours that are beyond their capabilities and it cannot impose restrictions on the natural world. The law also depends on the shape of the physical world and its limitations, so it cannot prescribe behaviours that are impractical in that context.