What is a law?

The word law has its origin in the Latin wordleg of the law;which etymologically means rule, the Latin root leg it is used to define the act of choosing or deciding. Hence, in its first uses the meaning of the word law was defined, as that of a norm established by the convention.

Currently we understand that a law is a type of legal norm. This means that it has been created by a legislator or competent authority. Its compliance is mandatory and otherwise some type of sanction is usually established. This can be of an economic or criminal nature, which entails a deprivation of liberty.

Laws are used for two purposes. On the one hand to impose obligations and on the other to guarantee rights. In such a way the laws are used in modern society to limit the acts of people according to the legislation. Guarantee the basic rights of people and establish the obligations and necessary prohibitions, so that these are fulfilled.

The laws that are written have a hierarchy based on the entity that issues the law. Laws issued by a higher rank being those that prevail over laws of a lower rank. In addition, there is also in the legislation a set of rules that, although they are not called law, do have the same value and meaning. They are legislative decrees and law decrees.

General principles of a law

When a law is drafted and approved, it follows some principles that are common to all laws that are promulgated.

  • Mandatory: the law is mandatory
  • Common: the law is for the entire population to which it is addressed.
  • Permanent: la ley se promulga de forma indefinida.
  • Impersonal: the law is not directed to a particular case but is directed to the entire population.
  • Not retroactive: the law applies from its approval onwards.

Furthermore, all laws comply with the principle that ignorance of the law does not exempt from compliance.

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