The Definition of Law and the Relationship Between Law and Freedom


Law is a system of rules that regulate behavior and are enforced by governmental and social institutions. Although the precise definition of law is controversial, it has been described as a science, an art, or a form of justice. Its purpose is to protect the public. It is necessary to establish a society’s basic values, protect individual rights, and promote social harmony.

Rule by general norms

The term rule is often used in a technical context, referring to a norm that is a standard for a particular domain. For example, the rules of a game are a typical example of this type of norm. These rules assume that someone following them is aiming to reach a specific end, such as a goal.

Norms can be grouped into two subgroups. Major group norms refer to laws and moral principles, while minor group norms refer to customs. While both have similarities, minor groups typically fall somewhere between these two. While customs are not technically a rule, they do exert normative pressure on their members.

Rule by competent, ethical, and independent representatives

A rule of law is the principle that justice is delivered by competent, ethical, independent, neutral, and accessible representatives with sufficient resources. It also requires that these representatives reflect the character of the communities they serve. The working definition of the rule of law is based on four universal principles that are internationally accepted and tested by a wide range of experts.

Relationship between law and freedom

The relationship between law and freedom is an ever-changing theme in human affairs. The ‘Free Spirit’ movement grew out of a group of individuals who regarded law-keeping as worthless. As a result, they began to act in ways that violated the law, and were quickly outlawed. As such, the relationship between law and freedom is a thorny one.

Today, the Bill of Rights gives effect to many of the demands of the Freedom Charter, although there are still many laws in place from the Apartheid era. Some laws and court decisions do not reflect the spirit of freedom.

Functions of law

Law is a system of rules that governs people. Its primary functions include preventing undesirable behaviour and securing desirable behaviour. It also regulates human relationships, prevents abuse of power and protects the public. Law also provides information on how to do certain things and how to do things correctly. Its secondary functions include promoting good governance, accountability, transparency, and the concept of equality in society.

The purpose of law is to ensure that people have their rights and duties recognized. It also provides remedies for violations of these rights. It facilitates choice by providing legal effects to those choices. It also provides a mechanism for resolving conflicts, particularly those that are unavoidable.