In the field of law there are many terms of great importance which are used to regulate the individuals who inhabit a certain place. One of them is the law , a provision that is dictated by an authority competent national and has the ability to require a specific aspect linked to the justice to promote , improve and maintain the society .

What is a law?

A law is a type of legal norm that is created in order to maintain and improve the common good of the individuals who are part of a society through the limitation of human free will . It is an aspect that carries penalties when it is not complied with.

  • Definition
  • Source
  • Characteristics
  • What is a law for
  • Types of laws
  • How it differs from a norm
  • What is the retroactivity of the law
  • What is repealing a law
  • What is a secondary law
  • Importance
  • Examples


Laws are a set of rules of legal nature that are issued by authorities of a nation to maintain the order of society . In democratic states that have a rule of law , laws must be issued by the legislative power , however, it is closely linked with the other powers, since they are the ones that will have to promote its compliance, as well as establish sentences. in case the laws are violated.



Its origin comes from the Latin language , from the word ” lex ” which means rule or norm. The laws originated in ancient times , since the things that the inhabitants could or could not do began to be established in the towns.


Among its most notable and important characteristics are the following:

  • Has a character type coercive , in other words, if not met, you must punish the person or institution that has committed the offense.
  • They are mandatory because they must be complied with and respected by citizens.
  • They have impersonality .
  • They are considered as abstract as they apply in all cases.
  • They are formulated with a character of permanence .
  • Regulate the events after they happen so they are non-retroactive .
  • They apply to all the inhabitants of a place.

What is a law for

Laws have a very important function within a society, they serve to allow or prohibit , depending on the case, the actions carried out by individuals in order to regulate all the behaviors of the human being with the sole objective of being able to establish an environment of harmony and coexistence within a society. They also serve to protect rights and to establish what are the duties and obligations that individuals have within society.

Types of laws

There are three different types of laws:

  • Positive law : includes a group of norms that have been established by a competent authority within a country or territory in order to guarantee that order will reign in that place . All citizens must comply with them and you cannot go against them. In this type of law, there is a subclassification depending on the mode:
  • Permissive : they are those that give the individual the possibility to carry out some actions.
  • Prohibitive : these are dictated by a sanction to the person who does not comply with the law.

Furthermore, it can also be subclassified depending on the rank into the following types:

  • Organic : these laws have the function of regulating all the fundamental rights of individuals and freedoms. In order for them to function properly, they need a legislative body to approve them.
  • Ordinary : are those laws that can regulate specific matters and only need approval by a minority in the legislative body so that they can be approved.
  • Constitutional : they are responsible for explaining the precepts that have a constitutional nature.

They can also be subdivided depending on the origin or meaning in the following types:

  • Formal : they are created by the legislative power .
  • Materials : they are mandatory and general .

Finally, the following subdivisions can be found depending on the scope of the law:

  • Federal : are those that are valid throughout the territory of a nation.
  • Local . They are those that have value in the provinces and states, and are unique since they will only be valid in those places.
  • Natural laws : in this case, the laws come from nature and have the function of governing all spaces of creation . They are characterized by being eternal, they cannot be revoked and also they cannot vary. This type of law has not been created by human beings and does not respond to individual will . To better understand this concept we can think of the Law of Gravity .

How it differs from a norm

The difference is that the norm is a type of provision that is responsible for regulating the way in which human beings behave to maintain social order, for this reason, there are several of them, they can be social, moral and religious. The law is not a provision, it is a mandatory rule that is also dictated by a competent authority.

What is the retroactivity of the law

The retroactivity applies when the regulation that has been previously established in a rule that has been sitting in a sentence , is applied to a series of situations that have arisen in the past . In other words, we can say that it is when the new rules are applied to events that have happened prior to or prior to the formulation of a certain law.

What is repealing a law

The repeal of a law consists of the abolition or annulment , either partially or totally, of a law that had been previously established. It means that the regulations can no longer be applied and that it cannot be used in daily life or in trials, because after its repeal, it will no longer be in force.

It generally happens when a new law is enacted that replaces the previous one. For the repeal to take effect, there must first be equality in terms of laws , the people to whom the law is addressed must have an identity and finally, there must be some kind of contradiction between the purposes of the norm.

What is a secondary law

Secondary laws are those that are established and enacted after the constitutional reforms that have been proposed are given. They are laws that are used to complement and better develop the primary laws, to which they are in turn subordinate .


Laws are of utmost importance for individuals because they are the ones that have the ability to make us act better within society, collaborating so that there is an environment of peace and good development . They are essential to be able to regulate life within society by establishing a series of guidelines that make it possible for individuals to know and understand what their rights and duties are within society.

If the laws did not exist, the world would be catastrophic, individual behaviors would lead to chaos and anarchy , also preventing the development of society in harmony and productivity in the inhabitants.


Some examples of laws are mentioned below.

  • Sex Offenses Act (Kenya, 2006)
  • Dry Law that prohibits the sale of liquor and alcoholic beverages.
  • Enabling law that gives the president of a place special powers to legislate.
  • Martial law that is established when a state of war has been declared.
  • Import and Export Tax Law.
  • Sustainable rural development law.
  • General law on the rights of girls, boys and adolescents.

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