Law is a system of rules that people use to make decisions about crime, business agreements, and social relationships. It also refers to the people who work in these systems, including lawyers, judges, and others.
The word law comes from a Greek word meaning “commands or regulations.” It is derived from the Hebrew word kodesh, which means “what God commands” and is closely related to the verbs “keep” and “do.” In both the Old and New Testaments, the term law refers to the commands of God to his people.
In the modern world, laws are made by governments and are enforced by courts. These can be local, state or federal.
Civil law (not to be confused with criminal law jurisdictions above) deals with lawsuits between individuals or organizations, and disputes about property rights and other issues.
Common law, sometimes called statutory law, is a system of legal principles that are agreed upon by courts of law in each country and adopted through the legislative process. In common law, judicial decisions are binding on lower courts, and future court rulings must reach similar results to assure the rule of law.
Codes of law are collections of unified rules in small bookforms, typically organized by subject matter. They are designed to be easy to translate into other languages and for judges to understand.
Law embodies many aspects of human behavior and experience, including social norms, morality, economics, culture and religion. It is also a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology.
The concept of law is also important in political theory. In a democracy, laws must be written to protect certain basic rights and establish limits on the power of governmental authorities. These ideas are often based on natural law, the premise that governments have only legitimate powers when those powers are reflected in the underlying values of a society.
In the United States, Congress creates and passes laws, which are then signed by the president. These laws are then compiled in the United States Code, which is published each year in a separate edition and is updated with the latest legislation.
Legal ethics, a field of study that seeks to explain the proper ways in which lawyers should conduct themselves, is another important area of law. It involves the ethical standards that are expected of attorneys and other members of a law firm, such as confidentiality, professional responsibility, and conflict of interest.
Lawyers are professionals who represent and advise clients, usually defending them in court. They are regulated by a government or independent regulating body such as a bar association or bar council and may be licensed to practice by law.
Generally, lawyers are highly qualified and trained to provide legal services. They are required to have a degree from a legal institution or to have passed an examination in order to gain professional status.
The legal profession is a multifaceted and highly respected career, and it is becoming increasingly attractive to young people. A career in the legal profession can lead to a lucrative and satisfying life.