Law is a set of rules that is enforced by social institutions and governmental organizations. It serves as a mediator between individuals and society, providing peace, order, and human rights. Whether a legal system is civil, common law, or criminal, its purposes are often similar. For example, law regulates property, contract rights, and public services. This includes issues like water, gas, energy, and telecommunications.
Laws vary greatly between nations. Some are more effective at meeting these objectives than others. In general, laws are made by government or a single legislator. However, the ability of a nation to make its own laws is dependent on political power.
Legal systems can be divided into three main categories: common law, case law, and statutes. Each category is based on the same fundamental principles, but differs in some ways. Common law, for example, is defined by its explicit acknowledgment of the decision of a court as “law.” Case law, on the other hand, is a collection of precedents. Statutes, on the other hand, are written in a more abstract manner. Depending on the jurisdiction, they may vary from a simple statement to a comprehensive law.
Law is based on the doctrine of precedent, which means that a judge’s decision in one case binds future decisions. For example, if a court decides that a person has a right to divorce, this ruling is binding on all subsequent couples that file for divorce. Similarly, if a court decides that an individual has a right to asylum, this ruling is binding on all individuals who seek asylum.
The authority of a case also depends on the age of the decision and its closeness to the facts. Common law judicial decisions are often based on persuasive precedent, while case law is based on binding precedent.
Although legal systems can be different in many ways, they all have four universal principles: justice, impartiality, public access, and efficiency. These principles were developed in accordance with international standards and have been tested by a wide range of experts worldwide.
A lawyer is an individual who specializes in the practice of law. Typically, a lawyer has a Bachelor of Laws or a Master of Laws and passes a qualifying exam. Those who become lawyers are often supervised by a government or an independent regulating body. Others are allowed to practice law pro bono.
A legal issue may arise from an incident, a planned event, or a problem that is happening at work. Issues may also arise from family problems, such as divorce or inheritance. Regardless of the situation, an individual must adhere to the law in order to avoid legal penalties.
Law is a complex discipline and requires special training and qualifications to practice. Modern lawyers are required to obtain a Bachelor of Civil Law or a Doctor of Juridical Science. They also need to be impartial and accessible to their clients, and are subject to professional standards.
Depending on the jurisdiction, courts can declare a law invalid if they do not agree with its constitution. There are various institutions that allow law students to practice pro bono, working on real-life cases.