In common parlance, law means a rule that (unlike a rule of ethics)
is enforceable through institutions.The study of law crosses the
boundaries between the social sciences and humanities, depending on
one's view of research into its objectives and effects. Law is not
always enforceable, especially in the international relations context.
It has been defined as a "system of rules", as an "interpretive concept"
to achieve justice, as an "authority" to mediate people's interests,
and even as "the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction".
However one likes to think of law, it is a completely central social
institution. Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of
thinking from almost every social science and discipline of the humanities.
Laws are politics, because politicians create them. Law is philosophy,
because moral and ethical persuasions shape their ideas. Law tells many of
history's stories, because statutes, case law and codifications build up
over time. And law is economics, because any rule about contract, tort,
property law, labour law, company law and many more can have long-lasting
effects on how productivity is organised and the distribution of wealth.
The noun law derives from the late Old English lagu, meaning something laid
down or fixedand the adjective legal comes from the Latin word LEX.