Law is the body of rules that a country, society or group recognises as regulating the actions of its members. These are enforced through a government or other controlling authority.
In general, the law serves four purposes: to establish standards; to maintain order; to resolve disputes; and to protect liberties and rights. Some legal systems are more effective at these tasks than others, and the legal system of a nation depends on its culture and traditions.
Civil law is the legal system used in most countries around the world today, and its authoritative sources include legislation–especially codifications in constitutions or statutes passed by governments–and custom. It has been refined to meet the needs of modern society, although it remains based on the principles of the Roman Republic and Empire.
Religious law, on the other hand, is largely based on a precepts of a particular religion. Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia are examples of this type of law.
Criminal law is the area of the law that deals with offenses against a state or local community, such as theft or murder. This includes the prosecution and punishment of individuals and companies for committing these offences.
International law covers the relations between states in other regions of the globe. The United Nations, whose members include the majority of the world’s population, plays an important role in this field.
Public health is another major aspect of the law. In public health, a person who commits a crime against another person or their property may be liable to compensation for the injury. This can be in the form of money, a physical harm, or a violation of privacy or personal reputation.
This area of law is also concerned with environmental protection, which aims to prevent pollution. It is becoming increasingly important in light of the Kyoto Protocol and the threat of global climate change.
The science of law is a complex discipline, and it has many branches. Some areas of law are based on scientific evidence, while other areas rely on human opinion or experience.
Law is a social science, which means that it is studied and analyzed using research methods, such as statistics, history, economics, psychology, sociology, and political science. It has a broad scope and can be applied in different fields of study, including education, business, politics, and social work.
Some people who have a degree in law choose to become lawyers, which is the profession that handles the legal cases that arise in the daily lives of people. These professionals are often called attorneys, barristers, or judges.
A lawyer may be employed by a government or a private firm, or they may practice independently. They are usually required by law to have a specific qualification, such as a degree in law, or to be admitted to the bar.