What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules that are enforced by social institutions. These are the institutions that regulate the political, economic, and legal activities of individuals and communities. They shape society and history. There are three kinds of law, common law, civil law, and criminal law.

Common law is a system of law that is explicitly acknowledged by courts. This includes the doctrine of precedent, in which decisions by higher courts bind lower courts. For example, a court in the United States may rely on the decision of the Supreme Court. However, the decision may be subject to review by an appellate court. Appellate courts are usually a panel of judges. The parties in the appeal are called the appellant and the defendant.

Civil law systems are generally less elaborate than common law. They do not require as much judicial decision. Often, the judges in these systems are writing to settle a single case. Depending on the particular laws involved, the outcome of a lawsuit depends on the court’s interpretation of the laws.

In criminal cases, a prosecutor, an officer of the court, tries the case. A person charged with a crime is asked to plead guilty or not guilty. If convicted, the court will determine the punishment. In a felony, the penalty can be more than a year in prison.

Legal issues are a wide variety of matters, including property disputes, personal injuries, immigration and family issues. These issues can arise from a variety of circumstances, including a sudden accident or a planned event. An individual may also need to file a legal complaint for a monetary or property loss. Some legal topics include consumer rights, debt, housing, and tax.

Law is a vital aspect of people’s access to justice. Typically, a lawyer has a special qualification to practice. He or she must have a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Legal Studies, or a Doctor of Laws degree. Most of these qualifications are achieved by passing a qualifying exam or by acquiring a professional qualification.

Justice is provided by independent, impartial, and competent representatives, and is usually delivered by neutrals and individuals who have sufficient resources and accessibility. The process is also shaped by the constitutions of the countries. It can also be influenced by religious beliefs and other values.

A judge is a government official who presides over a court. As such, he or she has the authority to resolve a dispute, to prosecute and defend someone accused of a crime, and to interpret laws. When someone is questioned, he or she is presented with evidence, which can be in the form of testimony or documents. Often, this evidence persuades the fact finder.

There are many different types of law, but these are some of the most common. Consumer rights, for example, refer to legislation that regulates unfair contractual terms. Likewise, there are regulations on things like corporate taxes, income taxes, and value added taxes. And there are a host of rules governing industries, such as telecoms, energy, and water.