Law is a set of rules that are enforceable through social institutions and the judicial system. It is used to preserve individual rights and protect minorities against majorities. It is also used to maintain social order, peace, and stability in a nation.
Law has a variety of purposes and varying legal systems serve them better than others. It serves to enforce a government’s authority, protect individuals against oppression, maintain the status quo, and promote social justice. In addition, it can be a way to encourage or prevent change. In some cases, it can even provide protection to the poor against richer or more powerful groups.
Legal matters can arise out of unexpected events or planned events. They can involve issues with money, housing, or consumer rights. Depending on the nature of the issue, they may require the help of a lawyer. There are several sources for information on legal issues, including court websites, government websites, and government publications.
Law can be divided into three categories: civil law, common law, and constitutional law. The difference between the three is based on the jurisdiction in which the laws are enacted. The civil law legal systems usually have shorter statutes. The common law systems are usually longer and more detailed.
The judicial decisions that lead to a statute are referred to as case law. In a common law jurisdiction, the age of the decision affects the authority of the case. For example, a judgment handed down by a judge in the 1980s would be less binding than one handed down a decade earlier. In some civil law jurisdictions, the doctrine of precedent governs the application of the law. This means that the decisions made by higher courts bind the lower courts.
In the common law systems, a person who is accused of a crime must prove his innocence by showing that he did not violate the law. If he proves his innocence, he can be acquitted of the charges. This process of proving one’s innocence is called “proof.”
The laws of the United States and other common law jurisdictions are formally acknowledged as “law.” Often, these laws are established by judges, a group of lawmakers, or the executive branch. There are many statutory and administrative regulations that are not considered “law.”
There is some debate about the definition of law. For instance, some consider it to be a science, while others believe it is a moral law. But, regardless of how one defines it, the concept of law has a profound influence on the society that it forms. It shapes history, economics, politics, and society in general.
In most common law jurisdictions, it is a judicial decision that is based on persuasive precedent. It is different from a statute, which is written on paper and is then interpreted. When a perfect statute is found to be unenforceable, it can be repealed or amended. A good example of an online service is West’s KeyCite.