1.1 The Nature of Law
The term ‘law’ is used in a variety of senses. There are laws of physical sciences, laws of social sciences, moral laws and laws of state.
Laws of physical sciences
Laws of physical sciences are those facts which have been proved correct and do not change over a period of time. Such laws establish the relationship between the cause and effect of related facts. These laws are permanent and universal e.g Law of motion, law of gravity etc.
Laws of social sciences
The laws of social sciences also establish the relationship between the cause and effect of certain facts but these laws are true under certain given conditions only e.g. laws of economics, Laws of Sociology etc.
Moral laws are laws of human conduct as members of a society. These laws guide us as how we should live in society. The examples of moral laws are ‘Do not tell a lie’ or ‘Treat your fellow men with courtesy’.
Laws of state
The laws of state are those laws which are made or enforced a state. It is the duty of the citizens of a country to obey these laws. If they disobey them, they are punished e.g. theft is a crime and whoever breaks this law will be punished the state.
In this course the concern is with the laws of state only. The term ‘law’ used in this course means the law of the state.
The law is part of everyone’s life. There is need to understand the prevailing laws because the individuals can be affected them one way or another. For example, a person may find himself being prosecuted and punished for an offence he has committed. Similarly, he may find himself being sued for compensation (or some other remedy) for an injury which has resulted from a wrong doing him against some person.
1.2 Definition of the word ‘law’.
There is no generally acceptable definition of the word ‘law’.
Different schools of law define it in different ways. Some important definitions of law are given below:-
1) Woodrow Wilson has defined law in the words “That portion of the established thought and habit which has gained distinct and formal recognition in the shape of uniform laws, backed authority and power of government”