Law is a system of rules a society or government develops to deal with such matters as crime, business agreements, and social relationships. It is also used to refer to the legal profession or a lawyer.
The law can be divided into two broad domains, public and private. Public law concerns the government and society, including constitutional, administrative and criminal law. Private law, on the other hand, involves the legal disputes between individuals and/or organizations in areas such as contracts, property and torts/delicts. Laws are created and enforced in order to ensure a civilized society. The four principal functions of laws are establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving conflicts, and protecting liberty and rights. The law serves many other purposes, but these are the core of its role in a society.
In the case of a lawsuit, the judge will decide who wins and loses based on the evidence presented in the case. Judges are obligated to follow the law as interpreted by the courts and legislatures, but they are not compelled to change existing precedents (laws passed by previous judges) unless they can demonstrate that those precedents are outdated or biased. Judges are usually appointed by the government, and their decisions can have lasting impact on a case.
For the judge to rule on a case she must understand the law. One way to do this is by reading the case law. A judge may also rely on legal precedents – prior court decisions in similar cases. These can be binding or non-binding, but they are a good starting point for the judge.
Another important tool a judge uses is the jury pool – the group of people from which the actual jury for a case will be chosen. Lawyers for both sides of the case select a pool of potential jurors through a process called voir dire. The actual jury for a case is selected from the pool by the judge during a trial.
During a trial, the judge will instruct the jury on how to interpret the law and how to apply it to the case. The judge will provide the jury with a charge that will help them decide whether or not the defendant committed the offense.
A judge’s understanding of the law and how to interpret it is influenced by her personal experiences and background. She may have grown up in a particular community, or she may have lived through different historical events. Her personal experience and background also influence her beliefs and values, which in turn affect how she applies the law to a particular situation.