Law is the system of rules that a society or government develops to deal with crime, business agreements, and social relationships. It can also refer to people who work in this system, such as police officers and lawyers.
The rule of law is the principle that all people are subject to a governing authority and must obey the laws that are made by that authority. This is contrasted with autocracy, dictatorship, or oligarchy, in which rulers are not subject to the law.
Legal theory is a subfield of philosophy that deals with how law works. It includes theories about how the legal system works, and how laws can be interpreted by courts.
Legislation, executive action, and judicial decisions are all examples of law. These can be divided into three main categories: civil law, criminal law, and international law.
Commonly, civil law systems focus on legislative statutes; whereas, in criminal law systems, a court’s decision is the official law. In both systems, however, there is a “doctrine of precedent” that requires courts to uphold decisions by lower courts in order to assure that future cases reach similar results.
Justification is an important topic in law, as it provides the foundation of legal norms that give rights their validity. The legal basis for justification is usually a normative one, such as “every person has a right in their good name,” or the rule that “every legal act has an effect.”
According to the Will (or Choice) Theory, rights function to provide a measure of normative control over oneself and others. This control is given by the power to a) annul, waive, or transfer duties that are owed to one, and b) to appoint others to take legal actions in one’s place.
The will theory is a major theoretical influence on legal philosophy, and it has had an important impact on the development of property and tort law. It has also influenced the emergence of the field of jurisprudence, which studies how people exercise their legal rights.
This is an increasingly popular area of study, focusing on the relationship between individuals and their legal obligations. It also includes the study of property and estate law.
Often, a lawyer is required to have a special qualification. Typically, this involves a bachelor’s degree in law or a master’s degree, and it is sometimes followed by a law doctorate.
Modern lawyers are regulated by governments or independent regulating bodies such as a bar association, bar council or law society. This is done to maintain a professional identity for the lawyer.
Practice and professionalism is a major concern of the lawyer, who must adhere to specific ethical standards, such as confidentiality or the right to work in private practice. It is the lawyer’s duty to protect clients’ interests and to ensure that the client’s rights are not infringed by the law.
In addition to these core subjects, there are many sub-areas of law. For example, labour law deals with industrial relations and the rights of employees. It is also a field of social justice and focuses on issues such as collective bargaining regulations and the right to strike. Family law focuses on issues such as divorce and child custody. It is also a field of international law, involving the rights of foreigners and stateless persons.