A law is created by governments to free human life from arbitrary, or merely random, action and decision and to provide redress against them. Laws originally emerged from the commonly perceieved right to own land and property. As the law is an ever-changing system spurred on by opinion, many topics linked to are dangerous.
Laws are created and sustained to assure security and comfort to the majority of those it applies to. The application of laws has varied in over many centuries of civilization. Institutions of law setup by governments exist almost everywhere, however many places still remain lawless, in a state of anarchy. Because not all laws are enforced there is plenty of activity which does not comply with the law of the land and is therefore considered illegal.
In the absence of law we have varying etiquette and standards amongst many behavioural influences. A dictum is like a law, but not as powerful. A dictum is an authoritative declaration especially one expressing advice or a general truth. It could be a defining statement or award such as a judicial opinion expressed by judges on a point of law not directly bearing on the case in question, or a less formal kind of statement such as a code of conduct or set of rules, for a partcular jurisdiction or forum such as a website.
In a democracy, the creation of laws is guided by the preference of the people, or the representatives they elect. Laws are enforced by a justice or court system, police and other government-sponsored agencies. Law can be divided into two main types criminal and civil. Some laws can automatically enshrine all citizens with constitutional and statutory rights.
There are many laws which specifically aim to protect children from dangerous or severely threatening things such as regulations against the supply of pornography, fireworks, firearms, cigarettes and alcohol to minors. There are laws to stop the growth of a monopoly. In some countries there are laws designed to prevent secret societies whose own structure or participant membership details are not disclosed.
The WIPO, international treaties and conventions like the Berne Convention make international copyright laws. See Copyright Term Reform and other iA related law topics include censorship, fraud, patents, privacy and trademarks. Many spam laws have come to exist, since spam abuses the resources of it's recipients who in many cases must pay for the junk mail they receive.
Cryptography is important because information is power and Cryptography allows you to hide your information from everybody else. As a result, some governments - like England - want your encryption keys. Of course there are a number of new laws regarding Fair Use, file sharing, piracy and Mp3 distribution of music, because they have made a significant impact on the world. Illegal file sharing requires international cooperation as well as the revision of many laws to have any affect.
Natural laws must always be true, when compared to the real world. If there is a single instance of a law that has been determined to be false then that law is not valid. These laws of nature are the ones that dictate what is truly possible. They are the ones that allow, control, and constrain all abilities and potentials.
Laws provide the basis for predicting performance of a system and aid in making design choices.
Law of the Jungle
A viable system of civil laws should be designed so that society can be seen as a mature good thing in which the free will of the people can be sustained without harming other people. Without such a system life on Earth would be like the jungle - only the strongest would survive. For many years religion acted as a conduit to such a civil society. For the last four centuries, science has been a brighter torch for those who script laws.
When laws don't stop discrimination and enforcement fail to protect every person's physical security, a chaotic security situation develops, often worsening into a crisis, in which radical change or severe damage to cultural, economic and political institutions is likely to occur. At these times of unrestrained and ruthless competition, many liberties are lost.
Criticisms of Laws
Justice for all means absolute equality before the law for everyone. Most often it is the unfair application of law which is most detrimental.
Criticisms of laws include that they are often created specifically for businesses, that they infringe upon self-responsibility, take away freedoms, and that they are partially designed to perpetuate governments. The problem is that laws, rules and regulations seem to increasingly help to bolster corporate power over our individual rights at the expense of free will.
Sometimes the punishment for braking a law doesn't fit the crime, eg, people get locked up or pay fines for no good reason. Legal rights are not always acknowledged. When rights are not bound by other parties disputes may arise and continue in an unresolved manner or unwind in long legal battles.
Another problem is that commons property or the public domain belongsin equal measure to all citizens for all time. The commons is currently being consumed by our advanced capitalist culture. When laws are written without consequence to the future, these dumb laws and/or poor enforcement threaten community assets with unsustainable depletion.