Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour. Laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator (resulting in statutes), by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges through binding precedent (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including (in some jurisdictions) arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.
Due process has also been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings (see substantive due process), so that judges—instead of legislators—may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty. This interpretation has proven controversial, and is analogous to the concepts of natural justice, and procedural justice used in various other jurisdictions. This interpretation of due process is sometimes expressed as a command that the government must not be unfair to the people or abuse them physically.