Law is a set of rules enforceable by social institutions. It has a significant effect on society and politics. These rules are commonly created by governments. However, there are also laws that are made by individuals or groups of people.
Some examples of laws are banking law, competition law, nationality law, water law, environmental law, and more. In general, these laws regulate businesses and the services they provide. There are even specific regulations governing the industry of telecomms.
Law is often described as the art of justice. Although this may be an overstatement, it is true that laws influence the way people behave and the types of services they receive. A person can be held accountable for breaking a law, which can result in penalties or jail time.
The legal system is organized by three major groups: civil, criminal, and regulatory. Common law legal systems explicitly acknowledge that courts make decisions that are “law.” But this does not mean that judicial officers have a monopoly on the making of laws. Indeed, the executive branch can make laws through decrees or by a single legislator.
Legal issues are based on an unresolved question or problem that needs a judicial determination. Usually, the outcome of a case depends on the court’s interpretation of the law. Depending on the context, a legal issue may be something that appears obvious, such as whether an individual’s right to work in a country is a constitutional right, or a less-obvious one, such as whether an individual has the right to receive social services from a government agency.
Law can refer to the entire body of laws that are in place in a country, or to a particular area of legislation. For example, the United States has antitrust law, which controls businesses that manipulate the market for goods and services. Other examples include corporate tax, water law, and financial regulation.
Law is the basis for a nation’s social and political structures. This includes the relationship between law and ideology, as well as the role of the government and the judiciary. The emergence of the concept of natural law is credited to ancient Greek philosophy. Islamic Sharia is also a source of law, and is based on religious precepts.
Criminal law is a field of law that focuses on the rules of the courts. This is typically a complex, highly technical topic that requires a special qualification to practice. Generally, a modern lawyer must earn a Bachelor of Laws (B.L.) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.).
Another area of law is civil law, which includes judicial and legislative statutes and decisions. Civil law legal systems are generally shorter and require less detailed judicial decisions. They also explicitly recognize the adequacy of executive decisions.
Laws are also shaped by constitutions and international agreements. As with military power, there are special problems associated with accountability in these areas. Often, the definition of law will raise questions about the level of morality contained within it.