What Is Law?


Variously described as “science”, “art of justice” or “moral laws of nature”, law is a set of rules enforceable by social and governmental institutions. It affects everything from politics to economics. Laws are divided into three main categories: civil law, common law, and religious law. Each category has its own set of rules for legal interpretation. In common law legal systems, the decisions made by judges in the courts are recognized as “law” and have an impact on subsequent decisions. In civil law systems, the judicial decisions are less formally recognized as “law” but are nonetheless binding on future decisions.

Law is a political construct that reflects the will of the people and is enforceable through social and governmental institutions. It serves as a mediator between the people and their relationships. Laws are shaped by the constitutions of countries. Laws are also influenced by religious traditions and consensus. For example, the Quran serves as a source of further law through the application of Ijma and Qiyas.

Legal systems are generally divided into three categories: civil law, common law, and mixed legal systems. Civil law systems are typically shorter and less detailed than common law systems. However, argumentative theories are found in both types. For example, civil law legal systems usually employ a doctrine of precedent. This means that a court decision by a higher court binds subsequent decisions by the lower courts.

Common law legal systems also employ the doctrine of precedent. In civil law systems, judges are writing only for the purposes of deciding a single case. The outcome of a case depends on the court’s interpretation of the law. In common law systems, the rules of legal interpretation include directives of linguistic, systemic, and teleological interpretation. These rules allow a court to make a judicial decision that is enforceable by the government, judicial and social institutions. In other words, a common law court may decide that a person is ineligible to hold office or to receive a particular amount of money.

The concept of “natural law” emerged in ancient Greek philosophy. It later became a mainstream cultural concept through the writings of Thomas Aquinas. In some religious communities, canon law still exists. Religious law is explicitly based on religious precepts. For example, Jewish Halakha is a religious law that remains in force.

The practice of law is usually regulated by governments or independent regulating bodies. Modern lawyers typically have a bachelor’s degree in civil law or law, and must pass a qualifying examination. Typically, a lawyer will work in a law firm. In some countries, a lawyer may also be a judge.

The United Nations has been involved in legal work since its founding. Its legal work has addressed issues such as human rights, environmental protection, and combating terrorism. The organization has also been active in the field of international humanitarian law and drug trafficking. The Charter of the United Nations calls upon the Organization to encourage the progressive development of international law.