Law is a set of rules that are created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition is a matter of longstanding debate, and it has been variously described as a science and as the art of justice. It is a complex and challenging subject, and many people are interested in learning about it. The term law can refer to many different things, including legal systems, laws passed by legislatures and courts, and judicial decisions. The word law can also refer to the profession of lawyers, which is a growing and important field.
The core of law is the concept of rights. A legal right is a principle that establishes an entitlement to a specific thing or state of affairs. Rights are a key feature of law because they give individuals some control over the actions of others and protect their interests against discrimination and injustice. Rights are a vital component of any civilized society.
In a sense, a legal right is the object of a claim-right (Hohfeldian) claim; it is the entitlement to some ph that satisfies certain conditions. For example, a right to inherit property from an estate would satisfy a claim-right because a deceased person’s executor owes the heirs a fiduciary duty to dispense the estate’s assets in accordance with the heirs’ legitimate claims (Raz 1970: 226-227).
Another important feature of legal rights is their legitimacy. Legal legitimacy is the idea that a legal right is justified by other lawful norms and is not inconsistent with other laws or societal values and commitments. The validity of a legal right is determined by the courts, but the legal norms that justify a legal right are not always obvious, as they can vary from one context to the next.
In addition, a legal right is usually not valid unless it is uniform as to persons or situations; this is called the principle of equal treatment under the law (Equality under the Law). This is a fundamental principle in any legal system and is important because it ensures that all citizens have a similar opportunity to achieve their goals by using the same legal procedures in resolving disputes and achieving their ends.