Law is the set of rules enforceable by governmental institutions and social organizations. The term can refer to a nation’s entire laws or a subset of its laws. In addition, law can also refer to people who work in the law system, such as lawyers.
Law can be divided into civil and common law. Civil law is the legal system of continental Europe. It is less complex and requires fewer detailed judicial decisions. A common law legal system, such as the United States, explicitly acknowledges that courts make decisions that are “law.”
Common law systems are generally shorter, require a greater number of articles of law, and do not include a doctrine of precedent. The doctrine of precedent means that a court’s rulings will be binding on future decisions of the same court. If you are accused of a crime, you will probably have to get a lawyer to represent you.
Law is an inescapable fact of life, influencing social and political structures. For example, when a person breaks a law, he or she is subject to fines or imprisonment. People need to know about the laws of their community and be careful about breaking them.
Legal issues can arise for a variety of reasons. They may come about from sudden events or from problems that arise at home or at work. These can include debt, immigration, family, and housing issues.
Law can be applied to virtually every area of life. For instance, water and energy regulations, tax law, and financial regulation all set standards for how to do business. Commercial law covers the rights of property, including personal, intellectual, and real property. Consumer law is the practice of protecting consumers from unfair contractual terms. Similarly, telecommunications and gas industries are regulated.
Many legal issues are influenced by political structures, such as the constitution. Laws can also be influenced by religion, especially Islamic law. Religious laws, such as Jewish Halakha, are based on religious precepts.
Some areas of law are relatively new, such as space law. Space law, however, has emerged from an international law perspective, addressing aspects of human activities in space. This includes aspects of commercialisation and property, as well as liability issues.
Other types of law include religious law, such as Muslim and Jewish law. Religious laws are based on certain religious principles and are often interpreted in ways that make them consistent with the Quran and other religious texts. Often, these laws are referred to as Shari’a.
Modern lawyers need to obtain a special qualification, such as a Juris Doctor degree or a Bachelor of Laws. They must pass a qualifying examination and a law school personal statement to become a member of the profession. Although the number of people practicing law has declined, it remains an important part of the public’s access to justice.
While many legal issues are straightforward, others can be more complex. For example, a family case can involve granting adoption or terminating parental rights.