In most of the European languages there are two different words for distinguishing the abstract and the concrete senses of the word law: which words are so wide asunder as not even to have any etymological affinity. In Latin, for example, there is lex for the concrete sense, jus for the abstract: in Italian, legge and diritto: in French, loi and droit: in Spanish ley and derecho: in German, gesetz and recht. The English is at present destitute of this advantage.
In the Anglo-Saxon, besides lage, and several other words, for the concrete sense, there was the word right, answering to the German recht, for the abstract as may be seen in the compound folc-right, and in other instances. But the word right having long ago lost this sense, the modern English no longer possesses this advantage.IPML Chapter 17 Section 2