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The Nature of Law


Law is a body of rules that govern human behavior and are enforced by social and governmental institutions. However, there is debate as to the exact nature of law. Some have argued that it is a science and others have argued that it is a form of art. Whatever the definition, it is a vital part of our society.


Formalism in law is a theory that focuses on the principles of legality. It can be viewed as a normative theory and a descriptive theory. Formalism is an important theory in law because it explains why legal systems operate as they do.

Public knowledge

Public Knowledge of law has filed an amicus curiae brief in ASTM v. Public Resource, a lawsuit brought by the standards organization. The lawsuit alleged that Public Resource had copied educational testing codes and model building codes that were adopted into federal law. The standards organizations sued, alleging copyright infringement. The case is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.


Institutions of Law offers a fresh and original account of the nature of law. It provides the definitive statement of Sir Neil MacCormick’s ‘institutional theory of law’. This book clearly defines law as an institutional normative order, and it delineates the various terms and their interrelationships.


Politics and law relate to each other on multiple levels. Both are rooted in society. Political science is the study of the world’s various political systems and their governing structures. It involves studying political behavior on the local, national, and international level. The McDaniel College Political Science program teaches students about the processes of government and how people participate in these systems. It also explores the concepts of justice, equality, legitimacy, liberty, and sovereignty.


In human society, the values of the law are embedded within the social fabric, guiding human behaviour and ensuring the preservation of peace. It focuses on the essential human values such as truth, justice, equality, integrity, and respect for the dignity and integrity of the individual. These values are often expressed in formal law but do not necessarily have to be. While they may be derived from the culture of a society, they may also transcend such boundaries.