Law is a broad field of study that affects virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It is divided into three main categories: civil law, criminal law, and labour law. Labour law is concerned with the tripartite industrial relationship between employers and employees, and includes regulation of the right to strike. Individual employment law deals with workplace rights and freedoms. Criminal law, on the other hand, deals with the rules of court procedure. It also includes evidence law, which deals with the admissibility of evidence in court proceedings.
Generally, law is a system of rules enacted by governments and social institutions to ensure order and justice. It is also often referred to as the science of justice. State-enforced laws are made by legislatures, by the executive (through decrees), or by judges in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can also create their own laws, such as arbitration agreements and contracts.
The purpose of law is to maintain peace in a society, protect individuals against the majority, promote social justice, and provide an orderly social change. However, some legal systems are more effective at fulfilling these purposes than others. Authoritarian governments often use the law as a tool to suppress political and social opposition. In contrast, colonialism often imposed peace in a country and developed its empires.
Some theorists draw a distinction between Rule of Law and Rule by Law. While the former celebrates the rule of law, the latter is often derogatory. The former, by contrast, elevates the rule of law over the interests of political power and empowers the judiciary, while the latter, meanwhile, debases the concept of legality.