What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition has been a subject of longstanding debate. Law has been variously described as a science and as an art of justice.

At its most basic, law is about mitigating conflict. Societies create laws to establish clear context for what actions are acceptable, provide guidance for consequences and ensure that those who violate societal norms are punished accordingly. This role has been crucial throughout human history, and it is no less so today.

To function effectively, legal systems require that they be stable, accessible and publicly acknowledged. They must also be applied evenly and fairly, and they must ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to access justice. This is the foundation of the rule of law, which is a core component of democracy.

As societies change, so must the law. It was the law that made slavery and segregation illegal, for example. And it is the law that protects people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Law is a tool for social change, and it needs to evolve with the times.

The vast scope of law means that it can be broken down into a few core subjects, although these tend to intertwine and overlap. These include labour law, which covers the tripartite relationship between worker, employer and trade union; criminal law, which governs conduct that is deemed harmful to society; and civil law, which outlines how individuals can resolve disputes through court proceedings.

Some laws are explicitly based on religious precepts, such as the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia, while others have been derived through interpretation (Qiyas or Ijma), consensus and precedent (normally in common law jurisdictions). The precise content of law is always a matter of choice, but it cannot comprise behaviours which are unattainable or force people to do things which are beyond their capabilities.

Almost every aspect of human life is touched by some form of law. It is, therefore, necessary to study all aspects of law in order to gain a comprehensive understanding. Law is the foundation of many academic disciplines, such as legal history, philosophy and economic analysis.

In addition, a knowledge of the law is essential for all professionals. This is because the law influences everything we do and, as such, it is crucial for our professional and personal success. A good understanding of the law helps us make better decisions, manage risks more effectively and contribute to a fair and just society. Having a thorough knowledge of the law also gives us greater confidence in the legal system as a whole, which is an important element of our security and well-being. So, whether you are an accountant, banker or engineer, there is something for everyone in the world of law. If you want to learn more about the laws that affect you, consider studying law at university.

Democracy Under Strain in Indonesia

democracy in indonesia

As the largest archipelago in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is home to a diverse population living with an array of economic and social challenges. The nation’s recent record on poverty reduction has been impressive, but still leaves 10 percent of the population living below the national poverty line. Meanwhile, political opportunists and intolerant religious leaders are exploiting public anxiety to stifle needed reforms and undermine democratic norms.

Since the end of the Suharto era, democracy has been under strain in Indonesia. Many of the problems stem from the inherited legacy of the New Order, which built its legitimacy by promising stability and development in a fractious post-colonial state that struggled with identity conflicts and regional instability. In the latter years of his rule, Suharto increasingly relied on centralized power and a system of “guidance” that delegated policymaking authority to the presidency.

The transition to direct regional elections in 2005 shifted the balance of power from local legislatures, which rubber-stamped executives appointed by Jakarta, to voters. This was a step in the right direction, but it has also created problems. Indonesian voters often lack the electoral sophistication to make informed decisions, and the system is vulnerable to horse-trading between parties for votes at the regional level. The result is that citizens’ policy preferences are rarely reflected in their elected officials’ performance.

Many of the issues facing Indonesia today reflect a continuing failure to build functional institutions and resolve long-standing regional, class, and religion-based tensions. During the New Order era, Suharto and his followers sought to relegate these issues to the sidelines of politics, which they saw as an obstacle to their goals of economic modernization and social stabilization.

As a result, the political environment has become polarized and increasingly toxic, with elements within the police and security forces obstructing corruption investigations and harassing those who speak out against them. Indonesians’ fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly are enshrined in the constitution, but government control over the media is limited, and civil society groups face numerous restrictions on their operations.

The country’s future depends on whether President Jokowi can overcome these forces and build a viable political coalition to push through much-needed reforms, and sustain Indonesia’s progress toward democracy. Our assessment draws on our own field research and extensive interviews with politicians, senior officials, human rights advocates, and others. It takes into account the nation’s history, geography, and culture, as well as the dynamics of its political system. It is intended to stimulate further discussion among Indonesians and other stakeholders about the country’s progress, challenges, and prospects for the future of democracy in indonesia. Sana Jaffrey is a nonresident scholar in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Follow her on Twitter @SanaJaffrey. This article is based on a research project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under Grant No. AID-PDI-2024-002-0016. This publication is made possible by the generous support of the European Union under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The content does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or its funders.

What Is Democracy?


Democracy is government by the people, in which control over policy decisions is constitutionally vested in elected officials. Citizens have the right to vote in regular elections and to freely express their views without the threat of severe punishment for their political opinions. These rights are safeguarded by a rule of law that protects human rights and limits the powers of government.

As the world faces new and increasingly difficult challenges, it’s important that we keep working to understand and describe how a democratic society functions. Democracy is at risk and its survival is in question in many parts of the world. The work to better understand what it means to have a democracy and how best to ensure its flourishing can help us solve some of the most difficult problems we face.

The word democracy comes from the Greek words demos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”). It was first used in the 5th century BCE to refer to a form of government that existed in some of the city-states of Greece, particularly Athens. The term later came to be applied to other governmental systems that were loosely comparable to the Athens model, including some of the ancient Roman republics and some medieval city-based republics in Italy, Venice, and Florence. Democracy also found a place in some monarchical European states, most notably Sweden starting in the 15th century.

While some governments claim to be democracies, only those that meet the five basic criteria can truly be described as such. The other key component of a democracy is the principle that all people are equal under the law. This includes the right to freedom of movement within a country and the right to leave if one wishes, as well as the right to form and join associations of their choice, such as trade unions. It also covers the right to discuss ideas with others, to gather together and protest against decisions that are made by the government.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to organize free, fair, and legitimate elections. The right to vote and the right to voice a view on any issue should be guaranteed without exception, and all parties must be given an opportunity to compete in equal conditions. The system must be protected from corruption, intimidation, and violence, and the results must be based on objective criteria. It must also be easy for voters to verify that their votes have been counted correctly and that no fraudulent voting has occurred.

The right to assembly and association includes the ability to speak out in public against decisions by a government that is unfair or harmful, as well as to participate in the development of the nation’s culture. This right must be exercised peacefully and with respect for the rights of other citizens, as spelled out in UDHR Article 20. These rights are not just a nicety; they are essential to the health of any democracy.

Building a Vision of Democracy in America

democracy in america

Despite America’s current reputation as the world’s greatest democracy, many people wonder whether it is really a democracy at all. Indeed, the US has repeatedly used the concept of American-style democracy as a pretext to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, undermining peace and social tranquility in these countries, causing political chaos, and even leading to civil wars and dictatorships. This has made the US look hypocritical and tarnished. The US has to conduct a thorough self-examination and stop promoting itself as a model for other countries to follow.

The acute threats to democracy are symptomatic of long-term problems in American society, such as declining faith in politics, entrenched political polarization, and decades of status loss and dignity deficits on the part of some groups. These factors have destabilized the immune system of democracy, allowing today’s threats to flourish.

America’s political class has become more like a carefully set up scene in Hollywood movies where well-heeled characters publicly pledge commitment to the people but actually busy themselves with behind the scenes deals. The result is that Americans increasingly distrust democracy and feel a lack of trust in the government.

In addition, the polarization of the political process and the long-term decline in status for some groups are fueling the growth of extremism and populism in the country. To restore the legitimacy of democracy, America must address these issues and show that it can uphold public order, ethics, and progress for all.

It is also essential to build a vision of what democracy in America looks like and can be in the future. This requires dialogue across key societal pillars, including business, religious institutions, and racial and generational communities of interest. It also means building a vision of an America that recognizes the contradictions and complexities of people’s identities, upends hierarchical images of the nation, and promotes the value of diversity.

The effort to build this vision of a prodemocracy movement must include reshaping its image and messaging to resonate with diverse American demographics. For example, efforts could be made to diffuse the current image of a great replacement theory by using deliberative democracy exercises and other strategies to shape a picture of America in which complex identities are embraced.

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The Benefits of Freedom


Freedom is an incredibly important concept to understand and embrace. It is the foundation of many societal benefits, including prosperity, happiness and progress. Freedom is necessary to ensure that people feel valued and have the opportunity to achieve their goals in a society that is as prosperous as possible. Freedom brings with it a wide array of personal advantages, including free speech, free choice, freedom to peacefully protest and the freedom to earn. Freedom also has a number of societal advantages, which are outlined below.

The Freedom app is a website and mobile application that blocks websites and apps, allowing users to focus on work or other activities. It works based on sessions, which are periods of time during which the app blocks websites and applications. Each session can be set to start immediately, to end at a specific time or to be recurring. When the session is over, the blocked websites and apps are unblocked. The app has a variety of built-in block lists that users can choose from or can create their own custom block list, making it easy to get started.

To use the Freedom app, users need to sign up and provide their email address. Once they do, they will be taken to a dashboard where they can select the devices on which they want to block websites and apps. Once they have selected the devices, users can choose whether they want to begin blocking straight away, schedule a block-time for later or set it up as a recurring block. After selecting the options, the user can then click ‘Start my free trial now’ to begin using the app.

Although the app does require permission to block certain apps, websites and notifications, it promises that it does not send any data to servers or monitor your activity. Those who are extra concerned about privacy and security can take advantage of the free 7-use trial offered by Freedom to try out the service before committing.

Aside from the ability to block websites and apps, Freedom also allows users to set productivity goals for themselves, track their progress, create a focused environment with focus sounds and even use a feature that blocks distractions while typing on a keyboard. The app is very easy to use and, once you get the hang of it, can help you develop good habits of staying productive. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can do so by visiting the official website and clicking ‘Start my free trial now.’ Once the trial is over, the user will be prompted to sign up for an account to continue using Freedom. The pricing is affordable and is the same for everyone, regardless of which tier of membership they select. Those who wish to continue after the 7-use trial can choose between an annual or monthly subscription. For those who are considering signing up for a long-term commitment, the monthly option is the most economical at $8.99/month.

What Is Law?


The law is a set of rules and regulations that governs society. It serves many purposes, including establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. Law influences politics, economics, history and society in a variety of ways and is an important aspect of human civilization.

Law relates to both the written and unwritten rules of a particular culture. It also varies from one place to another as different cultures and societies develop their own unique set of traditions, customs and beliefs. Nevertheless, a common definition of law is any set of rules or principles that are considered binding by a controlling authority and are enforced through judicial decisions. Laws can be both positive and negative, and can range from unwritten rules to comprehensive codes of conduct.

Legal systems vary in the way they interpret and enforce laws, but there are general distinctions between civil law jurisdictions and common law jurisdictions. The former rely on legislative and central body codification, while the latter use a system of judge-made precedent known as case law. Some religious communities also have their own legal systems, such as Islamic Sharia and Christian canon law.

In addition to regulating activities that affect people, the law can regulate human relations and define their boundaries. Contract law, for example, sets out the obligations and duties of parties involved in agreements. Property law defines people’s rights and responsibilities toward their tangible possessions, such as houses or cars. Criminal law deals with activities that are deemed harmful to social order and provides a structure for punishing offenders.

The study of the law is a complex and multidisciplinary undertaking, involving philosophy, history, economic analysis, sociology and anthropology. It also raises important ethical issues about justice and equality, which are debated in a wide range of scholarly literature.

The legal profession requires a high level of academic knowledge and skills and a commitment to serve the interests of clients. To maintain professionalism, lawyers must follow specific disciplinary procedures, pass a bar exam and participate in continuing legal education. Some lawyers choose to specialize in certain areas of the law, such as corporate and tax law or family law.

The law is not just a collection of rules, but a set of guidelines that is applied to specific situations and people. This is why it is so difficult to give a clear and definitive definition of law. Some scholars, such as John Salmond, have developed ideologies about the nature of law that are informed by philosophical perspectives. In addition, law is constantly changing as new problems arise.

The Basics of Law


The law is the set of rules that a society or government develops to regulate behavior. It is enforced through a variety of institutions. Law is also used to refer to a particular branch of this system, such as criminal law or business law.

The precise nature of the law is a subject of ongoing debate. It has been argued that the law comprises precepts of a universal and ineffable nature, which are incapable of being proven either way. Alternatively, the law is seen as a set of procedures for the fair and effective administration of justice.

One of the most fundamental issues concerning the nature of the law is that it cannot be objectively measured, and thus can only be judged by its effects. Whether the law is good or bad, it has a direct effect on people’s actions and behaviour. It shapes politics, economics and history in various ways, as well as mediating relations between individuals and groups.

Law is a vast field that encompasses many topics and facets of human activity. It has been broken down into several categories, such as criminal law, administrative law and public law. It also covers more specific areas such as family law, contract law and commercial law. Law also encompasses areas such as human rights, international law and the law of war.

There is a common misconception that lawyers live in fancy houses and earn hourly wages while spending all day arguing with each other in court. While it is true that some attorneys do own nice homes and make a good living, the majority of lawyers work at firms and earn salaries rather than hourly wages. It is also false that there is a direct correlation between the amount of money that a lawyer makes and how well he or she performs in court.

An article on the law should have a clear and concise introduction that clearly states the purpose of the piece. The introduction should also describe the methodology that will be employed in the article. An example of a suitable methodology would be to use a framework that provides a structure for the article, such as an outline or an annotated table. Then, a body should be developed around the outline or annotated table.

Generally, there are two main types of legal systems in existence: civil law jurisdictions, where statutes are codified, and common law jurisdictions, where judges’ decisions are based on precedent. Some states, however, have hybrid legal systems that combine aspects of both.

In general, the law is made by a legislature and enforced by an executive through decrees or regulations. In some cases, the law is created and enforced by private individuals through legally binding contracts. Regardless of the type of legal system in place, it is important to ensure that the law is transparent and accessible for all. In addition, it is essential that the laws be equitable and consistent. These principles are outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a treaty ratified by most countries worldwide.

Democracy in Indonesia

democracy in indonesia

The fall of Suharto in 1998 marked the beginning of Indonesia’s democratic transition. The country’s parliamentary and direct elections since then have proceeded without significant violence or voting irregularities, and the constitution guarantees freedom of association for competing political parties. The country also has a functioning ombudsman office and independent media. Nevertheless, the Indonesian government is increasingly illiberal and authoritarian, a trend reflected in the country’s falling global ranking on the Economist Group’s Democracy Index.

This shift is largely due to President Jokowi’s policies, but also reflects the Indonesian military’s culture and its territorial structure. While formal legislative changes have moved the military out of politics and into a traditional security role, older officers and a culture of discipline have firmly entrenched the army’s mindset as the “people’s army,” a self-proclaimed guardian of national sovereignty. A strong civilian bureaucracy, a free and active press, and respect for civil liberties are essential to roll back some of this illiberalism.

While the governing coalition is weakening, Jokowi’s popularity remains high. His humble, non-elite, and non-military background lent him popular appeal, and his anti-corruption policies and can-do track record in local government raised expectations, both inside and outside the country, that he would launch a reformist wave at the national level. However, his economic policies and his ties to the religious right have encouraged more illiberal elements in Indonesian society.

Moreover, the country’s centralized system of power privileges efficiency over citizens’ rights. While the country’s electoral system presents voters with a narrow bandwidth of candidate quality, Indonesian voters have proven their ability to identify competent leaders and punish non-performing officials.

As the world faces rising threats from Islamic extremism, Indonesia must maintain its commitment to democracy. In addition to limiting its ties to radical sectarian groups, the government should open its borders and allow international observers to monitor human rights conditions in its western provinces, where widespread ethnic cleansing and what knowledgeable observers have called a creeping genocide are occurring.

Edmund McWilliams is a retired senior Foreign Service officer who served in the U.S. embassies in Bishkek, Dushanbe, Jakarta, Moscow, and Kabul. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, he has volunteered with a number of U.S. and international human rights nongovernmental organizations in Indonesia and elsewhere. He dedicated this article to the memory of Isa Gartini, who worked tirelessly with local Indonesian civil society to improve observance of human rights and promote democratization. He is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The Value of Democracy in a Post-Brexit World


Democracy has transformed the world from centralized power structures of empire and conquest into societies where people share political authority and enjoy freedoms. Despite the challenges it sometimes faces, democracy continues to be the dominant form of government around the globe.

However, some people are questioning the value of democracy in light of seismic shifts like Brexit and the election of demagogues who threaten democratic values. It is also possible that democracy itself needs to change to better meet the needs of modern society.

It requires citizens to participate in governing themselves, whether through voting or through other forms of civic engagement, such as volunteering, activism, and public discourse. These activities allow citizens to express their views and opinions, which are then taken into account by the government. This process ensures that the needs of all citizens are met, and that resources are distributed in a fair manner.

Moreover, it promotes equality among citizens by guaranteeing that people of all castes, creeds, religions, sex, and races have equal rights to live in the same country. This is made possible through a democratic system that allows each citizen to vote in elections and be represented by representatives. Representatives in a democracy must uphold the interests of their constituents and not abuse the power they have been granted. If they do, they will be removed from office through periodic elections.

One of the most important features of democracy is that different branches and institutions share power, so no one individual can impose their will without being checked by other authorities. This helps prevent dictatorship and ensures that people are granted fundamental human rights. In addition, it creates a sense of obligation in representatives towards their constituents, making them feel that they must satisfy the demands of their voters or they will not be re-elected.

Finally, it is a system that provides people with a way to check the legitimacy of their government, through regular elections and the right to recall elected officials. This is the only way to verify that the government complies with its constitution, and that all laws are being enforced fairly.

A democracy must also include a mechanism for peacefully exchanging power between different entities, and it should be able to accommodate the changing needs of its population. This is not easy to do, but it is essential to avoid chaos and the possibility of a civil war.

A democracy must also protect the rights of minorities and other vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and the elderly. It must guarantee that citizens have freedom of speech, religion, and thought. It must not discriminate based on race, religion, or gender, and it must provide social welfare services for all citizens. In addition, it must allow for a free press and the protection of property. It must also be open to foreign investment and trade, as well as respect cultural differences. It must also be transparent and accountable to its citizens.

Democracy in America – Three Major Strategies for Nonprofits and Donors to Save Democracy

democracy in america

Despite the efforts of many nonprofits and philanthropists, democracy is in a dangerous state. Some of these groups and donors are pouring significant resources into protecting elections and combating corruption, both of which are essential to a healthy democratic system. But these activities are not sufficient. They are not a counterweight to the powerful force of antidemocratic politics, which has dramatically accelerated democratic decline in recent years.

The problem is structural. America’s long-term polarization, growing inequality, and static identities created a window that antidemocratic politicians could walk through and start to exploit. Their playbook has accelerated democratic decline by incentivizing extreme partisanship, deepening social polarization, and fueling competitive victimhood among American citizens. And while a lot of this damage can be traced back to the right, a strong authoritarian movement is gaining ground on the left as well, deepening alienation and fostering a sense of powerlessness for Americans who feel that the system has rigged the game against them.

America’s history of consolidation and a robust set of laws that form institutional guardrails should offer resilience, but they are not enough to stop the free fall of democracy. They are being outpaced by the speed at which social norms and attitudes erode, and the legal net below them is threadbare.

To counter this threat, a new strategy is needed. It must involve sticks as well as carrots. For example, there must be red lines that politicians and wealthy elites cannot cross. Voter intimidation and interference must be denounced and punished, and those who interfere with elections must be held to account.

More broadly, the foundations and philanthropists that support democracy must invest in web savvy campaigns to make it easier for Americans to find good information and avoid false or distorted sources. These investments are not a luxury, but an imperative. In addition, they must focus on addressing the underlying problems that create these gaps in access to good information and fact-based decision making. This includes promoting alternatives to Fox News, and paying attention to cost to ensure that poorer communities can engage with these sites.

A third major strategy is to promote a positive, forward-looking vision of the country that enables all Americans to feel included and valued while rejecting an image of an America that excludes them or frightens them. Creating this vision will require bringing together a diverse group of American leaders and innovators to develop a shared, inclusive America that provides opportunity for all.

Finally, we must address the sense of status loss and dignity deficit that is driving some Americans to support the antidemocratic factions. We must help them understand that the narrative they are hearing, which pits men, Christians, and whites at the top of a status hierarchy, is not only false but also a blight to democracy. We must encourage them to bond with other allies within their communities who are supporting inclusive democracy and help them see a future-centered vision that is a counterweight to the authoritarian narrative that divides their group against others.