Law is a set of rules that are enforced by social institutions for the purpose of regulating behaviour. It may 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.
Law can also refer to the rules and principles that govern civilisation and society, or to the laws of nations. These include the decalogue or ten commandments of God; moral law, which prescribes man’s duties to him and to others; ecclesiastical law, a code of rules prescribed for the government of a church; ceremonial or judicial law, which regulates the intercourse of nations or states.
Constitutional law is the legal system of a nation, and it determines how and under what conditions the government can act. It contains many complex and vague language rules, which encourage a variety of interpretations and theories about how to apply them.
The Rule of Law
In the context of a state, the rule of law means that every person is treated equally under the law. This principle is important because it aims to ensure that the rights of all people are protected, and that justice is carried out fairly and justly.
The concept of the rule of law was first popularised by Aristotle in the 19th century, and it was developed in many other cultures. This principle has a number of underlying assumptions including that governments should be responsible, and that they should not use arbitrary power to govern citizens.
Those who study the rule of law can be divided into two groups: originalists and purposivists, with each group having their own theories about what the law is and how it should be applied. The most important principle is that everyone must be treated equally under the law, and no one should be harmed by it.
Treatises are scholarly legal publications that provide in depth discussion of a particular area of law with references to primary sources (case law, statutes, etc.). These are available in the Reserve Reading Room and online in Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and other legal research platforms.
Statutes are the laws enacted by the legislature, or by the governor and legislature of a state. These laws are usually compiled in bound volumes called “session laws.” The United States has a collection of session laws known as the Statutes at Large.
Administrative laws are federal and state regulations, statutes, rules, policies, and other materials establishing administrative procedures by government agencies. These are found in administrative codes, which can be accessed through indexes or tables of contents.
Law journals publish articles on a wide range of legal topics and issues, including current events. They are a good source of current information about the law, and can help save time by providing access to authoritative resources for a topic without the need to consult primary sources.
Law is an essential part of life, and it should be accessible to all citizens. It is important that laws are clear and easy to understand, and that all parties can be fairly heard in court proceedings. This requires a professional, well-educated, and competent society.