What Is Law?


Often described as the art of justice, law is the set of rules and regulations that are enforceable by social institutions and governmental authorities. It has been argued that the concept of law began in ancient Greek philosophy. Its definition has varied through the centuries. One theory was the utilitarian approach, which remained dominant in the law until the 20th century.

In the modern world, there are three primary categories of law. These are civil law, corporate law and international law. Each category has a particular function. Historically, the first two are concerned with the legal relationship between people. In the last, laws are made by governments, either through a legislative or executive branch. In both cases, the law is enforced by judges.

In common law, the courts make decisions that are considered “law”. These judicial rulings are often explicit in nature, and they are accepted as valid in court. However, civil law systems also allow for less elaborative judicial decisions. In these systems, there is a doctrine of precedent, which means that a decision made by a higher court binds lower courts.

These types of systems include the law of agency, which covers property law, as well as commercial law, which covers contract law. Land law, the most complicated type of property law, includes mortgages, rent agreements, and covenants. The law of trusts and personal property, meanwhile, is concerned with movable objects.

In the international legal arena, the United Nations has developed numerous treaties and other forms of law that regulate the conduct of international affairs. These laws have addressed issues such as human rights, the environment, terrorism, and drug trafficking. The United Nations Charter calls upon the Organization to encourage the progressive development of international law.

The International Court of Justice (known as the World Court) is the primary United Nations dispute settlement organ. It has been involved in more than 170 cases and issued over 150 judgments and advisory opinions. Most of its cases have been decided by the full Court, but six have been referred to special chambers.

The International Law Commission is an international body of experts that addresses important areas of international law. It is composed of 34 members from the world’s major legal systems. They serve as experts in their individual capacity and consult with UN specialized agencies. The Commission prepares drafts on aspects of international law and serves as an advocacy group for codification and progressive development of international law.

Some of the most commonly encountered legal issues are issues with money, housing, immigration, and family. These problems may arise from unexpected illnesses, planned events, or from being accused of a crime. A lawyer can help you to resolve these issues.

In the United States, a lawyer must pass a qualifying examination, complete a degree in law, and pass a bar exam. A lawyer can be employed by a government or a private firm. He or she can also work for non-profit organizations.