Law is a set of rules enforceable through social institutions. It includes the law of contracts and the laws governing property rights. Law also covers the criminal law and civil procedure.
Legal systems are often divided into three main categories, including case law, statutes, and common law. Case law is based on judicial decisions and regulations, while statutes are written largely abstractly. Common law legal systems, which are primarily used in the United States and Great Britain, explicitly acknowledge the decisions of the executive branch as “law.”
Law is the body of rules that govern human behavior. It ensures that individuals have the right to live free from oppression. The law serves as a guide for social justice and orderly change. It is important to understand that different legal systems serve these purposes differently. Some serve these functions more effectively than others.
A variety of legal systems exist in the world today, with the most common being civil law, common law, and transactional law. These systems vary in length and complexity. The main characteristics of each are the use of judicial decisions, a political basis, and a human elaboration of law.
Common law legal systems are characterized by explicit acknowledgment of the decisions of the executive branch as “law”. They are also characterized by a doctrine of precedent, meaning that decisions made by the same court bind future decisions.
Civil law legal systems are characterized by less detailed judicial decisions. In general, a civil law system will have only a few judicial decisions, such as cases in which one party disputes the other. Typically, a judge in a civil law system writes only to decide one case.
Common law legal systems, such as in the United States and England, have been used to defend a wide variety of people and activities. Examples include the criminal law, which protects the rights of individual citizens, the immigration law, which addresses the rights of foreigners to work or live in a country, and the law of marriage and divorce, which governs the relationship between a husband and wife.
Property law involves questions concerning the history of ownership, the theory of ownership, and the legal devices used to allocate resources. Property law also examines the tension between public and private rights.
Religious law is a specific form of law rooted in religious precepts. Examples of religions in which this type of law exists are Jewish Halakha, Christian canon law, and Islamic Shari’a. This type of law also has a number of other features. For example, religious law can be based on the Quran or the Talmud.
Regulation involves the establishment of rules for the practice of various industries, such as energy and water. It is a function of the authority of the government, which commands the actions of private companies. Other examples of regulation include environmental law, which stems from federal enactments in the 1970s.
Unlike law, which is often described as the science of justice, religion is not a science. Religions for law often imply the unalterability of God’s word. However, some religious laws are based on consensus and reasoning by analogy.