Law is the system of rules and guidelines created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate human behaviour and ensure that all members adhere to a common set of standards. The rules can be made by a legislature, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges, in a common law jurisdiction, by their decisions being backed up by the “doctrine of precedent”. Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts with one another. The law shapes politics, economics and history in many ways, and serves a number of important functions: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.
Law is a complex subject, and there are a wide variety of different legal fields. Some of the most well-known fields include contract law, property law and criminal law. Other fields, such as intellectual property law and labour law, have more specialised applications. The field of law is constantly evolving, and new issues frequently arise that were not anticipated by earlier writers. For example, the emergence of the internet has led to the development of a wide range of legal issues surrounding its use.
The practice of law is overseen by a government or independent regulating body, typically a bar association, bar council or law society. Modern lawyers achieve distinct professional identity by completing specified legal procedures (e.g. successfully passing a qualifying examination), and are required to have a special qualification (usually a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Civil Law or a Juris Doctor degree). Lawyers must also comply with the rule of law, which requires that laws are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and that all aspects of a legal system, including the judiciary, are consistent with international human rights norms and standards.
For legal practitioners, a good understanding of the law is essential in order to effectively advise clients on a range of issues. This is especially important in areas of the law which have a greater impact on people’s daily lives, such as property and employment law.
Articles on the law can be found in a wide range of sources, from newspapers and magazines to online publications. Some articles focus on specific topics, while others address general issues that are relevant to most areas of the law. Articles on the law are often written to help people understand complex issues or to respond to recent changes in the law.
A legal article may be written for a number of different audiences, from the layperson to the lawyer. The article’s tone and style will vary depending on the intended audience. For example, a newspaper article will often be more factual and less scholarly than an academic paper. A magazine article, on the other hand, may be more scholarly and use footnotes to explain technical terms and concepts. The author of an article may also try to persuade the reader by using a combination of facts, opinion and persuasive rhetoric.