Law (from the late Old English lagu of probable North Germanic origin) in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, intended to provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments of/for those who do not follow the established rules of conduct.
Legal systems around the world elaborate legal rights and responsibilities in different ways. Laws and legal systems reflect the society and culture out of which they arise. A basic distinction is made between civil law jurisdictions and systems using common law. Some countries base their law on religious texts, while in others traditional customary law or Socialist legal theory are strong influences. Scholars investigate the nature of law through many perspectives, including legal history and philosophy, or social sciences such as economics and sociology. The study of law raises important questions about equality, fairness and justice, which are not always simple. “In its majestic equality”, said the author Anatole France in 1894, “the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” The most important institutions for law are the judiciary, the legislature, the executive, its bureaucracy, the military and police, the legal profession and civil society.