Issues in the Study of Law
Law is the study of the rules that govern society. It deals with a number of topics including social and political behavior, rights and responsibilities, and the application of those rules to various circumstances. It has been described as a science or an art. In most countries, laws are made and enforced by a governing authority.
Laws can be either written or unwritten, and serve many purposes. They may serve to keep peace within a nation, protect minority rights, or promote social justice and orderly change. Some legal systems are more effective at serving these purposes than others. For example, authoritarian governments often enact laws that oppress their political opponents and minorities. The same goes for colonialism, which often imposed rules for peace and stability in countries that did not previously have them.
The rule of law is an ideal that has been a part of political tradition for millennia. The modern understanding of this ideal cannot be understood without reference to its historical heritage. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that law must be a stable, predictable, and proactive framework. It also needs to be public.
Hayek re-thought the implications of the Rule of Law on liberty. He questioned whether articulated rules provided a necessary framework for freedom. He favored the common law model in which principles emerge from a series of judicial decisions.