What Is Law?

Law is a system of rules that governs a society. It serves four main purposes: it establishes standards, maintains order, resolves disputes and protects liberties and rights. Laws are made by a state or other authority and must be followed. Those who break the law are punished. Law is a complex topic, and there are many different views about what it is.

Law encompasses a huge range of topics, from individual laws like parking tickets to national constitutions and international treaties. However, it is best understood as the set of rules that form a framework for ensuring a peaceful society. This framework includes laws governing human rights, property, contracts, criminal procedure and more.

There are two broad types of law: civil and common. Civil law deals with disputes between private individuals, while criminal law covers offenses committed against a state or local community. A third type of law, administrative, is a collection of rules that regulate the operation of government agencies.

Both common and civil law systems have a judiciary, which is composed of judges and other legal professionals. The judiciary is responsible for interpreting the law and determining whether someone accused of a crime is guilty or innocent. The judiciary is also responsible for resolving conflicts and enforcing the law. The judicial system is usually divided into courts, including lower, appeals and supreme authorities.

When a judge decides on the law in a case, he or she must go through several steps to determine “what the law is”. First, the court must ascertain the facts of the case. This is done by reading any relevant statutes and cases. The judge then extracts principles, analogies and statements from those sources. Those that are more recent and those by higher courts carry greater weight than earlier ones. The judge then integrates the lines drawn, rationales given and policy and balances them with his or her judgment to decide on a decision.

A large portion of common law is judge-made, and it has evolved for centuries. The evolution of the law has been driven by the felt necessities of the time, moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy – avowed or unconscious, even prejudices – and a sense of fairness. While the development of the law was not logical, it is now a complex web of jurisprudence.

By adminssk
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