This unit, you begin by answering the question,
“What is law?” This involves the meaning
and nature of law. The classification of law, such as civil law and criminal law; substantiveand procedure law is illustrated. In this unit you also study the different sources of Indianlaw such as custom, precedents and the legislation.
This introductory unit on law will help you get familiar with the concept of business lawand other basic legal concepts related to law. After studying this unit, you should be ableto:· Explain the nature of law· Describe sources of Indian law· Define business legal environment and mercantile law· Analyze the essentials of law
1.2 Meaning and Nature of Law
The term „law‟ is used in many senses: you may speak of the law of physics, mathematics,
science, or the laws o
f the football or health. In its widest sense, „law‟ means any rule of
conduct, standard or pattern, to which actions are required to conform; if not conformed,
sanctions are imposed. When we speak of the law of a State, we use the term „law‟ in a
special and strict sense.
1.2.1 Characteristics of law
Law is a body of rules.
These rules prescribe the conduct, standard or pattern towhich actions of the persons in the state are required to conform. However, all rules of conduct do not become law in the strict sense. We resort to various kinds of rules to guideour lives.
, our conduct may be guided by a rule such as “do not be arrogant”or “do not be disrespectful to elders or women”. These are ethical or moral rules by which
our daily lives are guided. If we do not follow them, we may lose our friends and theirrespect, but no legal action can be taken against us.2.
Law is for the guidance or conduct of persons
both human and artificial.
The lawis not made just for the sake of making it. The rules embodied in the law are made, so asto ensure that actions of the persons in the society conform to some predeterminedstandard or pattern. This is necessary so as to ensure continuance of the society. No
doubt, if citizens are „self
controlled‟, disputes may be minimized,
but will not be eliminated. Rules are, therefore, drawn up to ensure that members of thesociety may live and work together in an orderly manner. Therefore, if the rules embodiedin the law are broken, compulsion is used to enforce obedience, and certain consequencesensue.3.
Law is imposed.
Law is imposed on the members to bring about an order in the group,enabling it to continue and prosper. It is not something which may or may not be obeyedat the sweet will of the members of society. If you cannot impose a rule it is better not tohave it. Thus, law is made obligatory on the members of the society.