Understanding the Basics of Law


Throughout history, law has shaped the political, economic and social landscape of societies around the world. Laws can be defined as “a sequence of phenomena that are invariable under a specific set of conditions.” They are also a means of maintaining the status quo, protecting individuals from majorities and minorities, and providing orderly social change. These are the purposes that some legal systems serve better than others.

In many societies, the practice of law is overseen by a government. Modern lawyers must earn a degree in law, usually a Juris Doctor, or they must acquire special credentials. In addition, they must pass a qualifying examination. In some jurisdictions, they are governed by a bar association.

Some common legal issues include debt, immigration, consumer rights, family law and housing issues. The outcome of a legal issue depends on the judge’s interpretation of the law. Often, a legal issue can be caused by unforeseen circumstances such as a sudden illness. A lawyer can help you to determine whether you have a case.

There are three categories of law: civil law, statutes, and case law. Civil law systems are usually shorter, and require less detailed judicial decisions. They are based on regulations, statutes, and judicial decisions. The doctrine of precedent means that decisions made by a higher court will bind lower courts. However, persuasive precedent is not as binding.

A state-enforced law can be created by a group legislature or by the executive through decrees. In most OECD countries, the government regulates water and energy industries. In the U.S., anti-cartel statutes from the turn of the 20th century provided the basis for modern competition law.

The concept of “natural law” originated in ancient Greek philosophy. It was re-emerged in mainstream culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The concept of law as a divinely ordained order was also developed by John Austin. But Montesquieu and his contemporaries could not have foreseen the problems that modern accountability poses.

In some societies, laws are based on constitutions, but in most, they are created by a legislature. This is why people must believe that rulings by judges are the result of legal processes and not of intimidation. In some societies, judges are elected to office. In other countries, the president is the chief law-making officer. In many of these jurisdictions, the term “judges” is used to refer to impartial, accessible representatives.

The word attorney derives from the Middle English word to act on behalf of someone else. An attorney has a formal title of ‘attorney at law’. Typically, a lawyer has a Bachelor of Civil Law or a Bachelor of Laws. Other legal degrees are available. Students interested in studying for one of these degrees can contact the bar association in their state of practice. They should also consider the length of time they want to spend in a law school.

In addition to the three basic forms of law, there are also religious, custom, and customary law. These forms of law are largely rooted in religion and are based on religious precepts and beliefs.