The Basics of Law

Law is a system of rules created to form a framework for ensuring people live, work and interact with each other in a peaceful manner. It is enforced by mechanisms such as police and courts. People who break these rules may be punished by fines or imprisonment. Law serves many purposes, but four are its primary functions: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights. Different legal systems serve these purposes differently; some are more successful at promoting social justice than others.

Laws are written by the governing body of a nation, such as its parliament or Congress, and voted on and approved by its governed peoples. Most countries have a constitution which sets the overall framework for society, with further laws created for specific areas of detail. People usually have enough freedom within the framework of the law to choose how they will live their lives, although they must abide by the rules.

A lawyer is a professional who studies and argues the rules of law. Lawyers are often called solicitors in the United Kingdom and barristers in Australia. They can be transactional attorneys who write contracts or litigators who go to court.

An appeal is a request to change the decision of a lower-level judge or court. A court can hear an appeal for a variety of reasons including incorrect application of the law, new evidence or a mistrial. A person who files an appeal is known as the appellant.

Jurisprudence is the study of law and the structure of a legal system. The term is derived from the Greek words for “law” and “study of.”

The law can be described as “a system of rules prescribed by some authority and binding on its citizens.” It can also be described as a set of rules that regulates certain activities, such as commerce or military operations. Laws can be written, oral or customary.

A common type of law is an ordinance or statute, which is a formal set of rules made by a legislative body, such as a city council or state legislature. Other types of law include case law, which is the use of previous legal decisions to determine how to decide current cases.

A civil lawsuit is a dispute between two or more people that could result in monetary compensation, such as a car accident or defamation of character. Criminal law involves offenses against a community or state, such as homicide or burglary. In some cases, the perpetrator can be sentenced to death. In other cases, the perpetrator is required to serve a lengthy prison sentence. Other crimes that can be committed under the law include treason and piracy.