Law is a set of rules that are created and established by a government to help keep order, protect property, and punish people who break them. A person who breaks a law can be punished in many ways, including fines, community service, or even jail time.
Laws vary from one nation to the next, as each country has its own political landscape which influences the laws that govern it. A nation ruled by an authoritarian government may have laws which keep the peace and maintain status quo but could oppress minorities or those who challenge that government. Other nations may have more democratic legal systems which allow for peaceful social change and greater protection of individual rights.
Legal fields range from administrative law to criminal law, terrorism law, and international law. Banking law, securities law, and tax law are examples of administrative laws, while tort law, contract law, property law, and labor law are fields of civil law. Criminal law covers a wide variety of offenses, from driving while under the influence to murder, and is governed by criminal laws.
Law also encompasses areas such as competition law, which aims to prevent businesses from fixing prices or creating monopolies that hurt consumers; and consumer law, which regulates everything from unfair contract terms to airline baggage insurance. It also includes a number of legal codes and regulations which provide specific details about how a court should proceed with a case.