Legal Definitions, Legal Resources and Legal Divisions

We certainly have often heard that humans are social creatures. As social beings, human life cannot be separated from its relationship with society. A Muslim scientist named Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) also asserted that by nature, humans do have the necessity to live in society.

The necessity to live in a society is driven by factors, such as:

  • Desire or desire to make ends meet
  • Desire or desire to defend and defend yourself
  • Desire or desire to have and develop offspring
  • Desire or desire to communicate

As part of society, human relations must be subject to a rule that applies to the rules that apply in that society. If every community member obeys the rule, then an organized and orderly society can be realized.

For this order to be achieved, these rules must be strictly obeyed, obeyed and true can provide a positive role for the daily life of human life. Among these rules is the law. This law governs order in a society and must be obeyed by society.

Contents lll

Legal Definition

Understanding the law can be understood based on the definition of legal experts. Here are the legal definitions according to experts:

  • DR. Mochtar Kusumaatmaja, SH LL.M., revealed in his book titled “Law, Society and National Law Development” that “Law is the whole method and principles governing human life in society with the aim of maintaining order and justice, including institutions and processes, in order to realize the validity of the method as a reality in society “
  • Simorangkir, SH in his book “Indonesian Law Lessons” conveys the definition of law as: “Law is regulations that are coercive, to determine human behavior in society created by official bodies, with violations of regulations – the regulation can result in an action that is with a certain penalty “.

From the definition of law according to the experts presented above, it can be concluded that the law basically includes several elements, namely:

  • rules regarding human behavior
  • regulations established by official bodies
  • forceful regulations
  • sanctions for violations of strict and real rules. In a sense, the violator can feel the sanctions directly imposed on him.

Legal Characteristics

To be able to better understand and recognize the law, it is also necessary to understand the characteristics of the law. There are also legal characteristics namely:

  • There are commands and / or prohibitions
  • Orders and / or prohibitions must be obeyed by everyone
  • There are strict legal sanctions

Legal Purpose

The purpose of the law has actually been implied in the descriptions above. But, to make it clearer, more confirmation can be drawn about the purpose of the law. The purpose of law is to be able to realize harmony between order and justice and to build or advance the community.

Source of law

What is meant by a source of law is anything that can give rise to rules that have force that is coercive. That is, these rules if violated can result in strict and real sanctions.

According to experts, legal sources can be divided into two parts, namely legal sources in the material sense and legal sources in the formal sense.

1) Legal sources in the material sense

The source of law in the material sense is an individual’s legal beliefs or feelings and public opinion that determines the content of the law. Thus, the existence of individual legal beliefs or feelings as a member of the community, as well as the existence of public opinion which is used as factors that can influence the formation of law.

2) Legal sources in the formal sense

Legal sources in the formal sense are a form or reality where we can find applicable laws. That is, because of its form, the law can apply generally, be known and obeyed.

Legal sources in the formal sense can be divided into several groups, including: laws, customs or unwritten laws, jurisprudence, treaties, and doctrines. The following explanation:

a) Law

When viewed from its form, law can be divided into written law and unwritten law. This law is an example of written law. This law is a state regulation established by the state apparatus that is authorized in that matter, with the nature of being binding on the general public.

Understanding the law can also be grouped again into two parts, namely the law-ware in the material sense, and the law in the formal sense. Law in the material sense, is every regulation issued by the State whose contents are directly binding on the general public.

Examples of laws in a material sense are MPR Stipulations, Government Regulations in lieu of Laws (PERPU), Presidential Decrees (KEPRES), Regional Regulations (PERDA), and the like.

While the law in the formal sense is every state regulation because of its form it is referred to as a law. In other words, every decision / regulation exists because it is seen from the way it was formed.

Examples of laws in the formal sense that exist in Indonesia, are laws made by the President with the approval of the DPR (see article 5 paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution).

The difference between the two laws lies in the point of review. For laws in a material sense, this is viewed in terms of their generally binding contents. Whereas in the law in the formal sense, this matter is examined in terms of its form and also its form.

To make it easier to distinguish between the two types of meaning of the law, usually, the law in the material sense is more often referred to as a regulatory term, while the law in the formal sense is more often referred to as a law.

Also see:  Business Entity: Definition, Role and Form

b) Unwritten customs or laws

Custom or custom are all the rules that although not set by the government, they are still obeyed by the people. This is because they believe that the rule applies as law.

However, for a habit to have the force that prevails and at the same time becomes a source of law there are conditions that must be met. Requirements that must be met in order to make an unwritten habit or law, include:

  • There must be certain actions or actions carried out repeatedly for the same thing and it is followed by many people or the public.
  • There must be legal conviction from people or groups who have an interest. That is, there must be confidence that the various rules that are generated by the habit contain or contain good things and deserve to be followed or obeyed and have binding power.

c) Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence is a previous judge’s decision which is followed and used as a guide by other subsequent judges, to decide on a case that is considered the same.

d) Treaty

A treaty is an agreement made by two or more countries. If the agreement is only made by two countries, then it is called a bilateral treaty, whereas if the agreement is made by more than two countries, then it is called a multilateral treaty.

There is also a treaty called a collective treaty which is an agreement made by several countries, then the treaty is open for other countries to be able to commit themselves to follow the agreement that was made earlier.

e) Legal Doctrine

Legal doctrine is the opinion of famous or prominent legal experts or scholars. In Jurisprudence, judges often hold on to the opinions of one or several well-known legal scholars. The opinions of legal scholars are the basis for decisions to be taken by a judge in completing a case.

Legal distribution

Law can be divided into two groups, namely general law and civil law. The following explanation:

1) General law (public law)

General law or public law is a type of law that regulates the relationship between a State and a citizen whose nature governs the public interest. Examples of general law or public law, for example, constitutional law, criminal law, state administrative law, fiscal law, etc.

2) Civil or private law

Civil law or civil law is also often referred to as private law. This type of civil law is a law in which regulates the legal relationship between person and person, one party to another or a second party, concerning an object which is civil in nature, with an emphasis on individual interests.

Examples of civil law, for example, marriage law, buying and selling law, lease law, inheritance law, employment agreement law and so on.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment