The law is legal regulation created and administered by governmental or social institutions to govern behavior, with its exact definition having been subject to ongoing debate for over a thousand years. In modern usage it is generally thought of as an independent body, although much of the current discussion regards it as a kind of political system. It is commonly defined as the art and science of civil law. In this article we will look at some of the ways in which the law protects and promotes social interaction and the protection of individual rights.
Law protects individuals from the conduct of other individuals and groups by ensuring that these conduct does not infringe on others reasonable expectations. In some ways this definition of the law mirrors the definition of civil law. Civil law deals with disputes between individuals and groups, including businesses, landlords and tenants, as well as public authorities. While the law may attempt to resolve all disputes, it may not always succeed in doing so. This is because civil law is not necessarily based on impartiality; civil law is based on the power of the state rather than on impartiality. This means that while the law tries to ensure that all individuals are fairly dealt with, it is often unable to prevent conflicts between individuals who are equally entitled to be treated fairly.
The power of the state therefore allows it to use its capacity to set up and enforce laws. If a dispute arises, the first order of business is normally to determine who is to blame for the dispute. In the UK, if the parties cannot agree, then a court of law is likely to resolve the matter. For example, in the civil divorce process, where the husband and wife cannot agree, the court will decide which one of them should get more money, or whether they should live in the same house, for example. The court’s ability to set out and implement rules therefore stems from the supremacy clause in the civil law – rule of law – allowing it to do whatever it wishes provided it can show that a majority of people agree.
Because the courts are ruled by law, there are two main branches of the law: civil and criminal. Civil law involves disputes between private parties about a range of issues, including property law, breach of contract law, family law, probate law and so on. Criminal law deals with conduct that is either unlawful on the part of the person charged with the offence, or criminal acts, such as murder, theft, violence, child abuse and so forth. There are two main branches of criminal law: juries, which decide guilt or innocence, and courts, which decide sentence. Criminal law also includes other areas such as insanity, rape, murder and so forth.
As well as the courts, law involves three main bodies: government, politics and the medical profession. The government can choose which laws to implement, or have them implemented. Politics can include issues such as taxation, devises national policy and regulation, and national security. Medicine is involved in issues such as pharmaceutical drugs, malpractice, nursing home abuse and germs. Lawyers are involved in disputes over malpractice, negligence, errors and omissions, and so forth.
The purpose of the American legal system is to ensure fairness in the application of law. In addition, the system seeks to protect the rights of citizens while respecting their rights to enjoy certain rights protected by the Constitution and other federal laws. This includes freedom of speech, press, religion and the right to trial by impartial judges.