Law is a structured system of laws developed and enforced by governmental or civic institutions to regulate societal behavior, with its exact definition again a matter of long-standing debate. In the United States it is defined as the collection of the judgments of a body of law, also known as the legal tradition or law. It is a body of knowledge and practices developed out of centuries of experience, tradition and ideal. It is used to describe principles, rules and regulations developed by societies and civilizations throughout the world for the purpose of helping people live together in harmony and maintain social order. It is also used in the political systems of many countries to promote or limit freedom, privacy and safety.
The use of law goes back to the earliest times when man began to develop organized communities. Later, after the development of written law, writing became necessary to record and transmit legal decisions and other matters of importance to ensure compliance by the people. However, with developments in technology and the ability to communicate information, these matters were transferred from the judicial systems to the courts. This transfer of responsibility for making legal decisions has occurred throughout history; for example, in legal systems of Ancient Asia and ancient Greece, judges were the only people who could decide legal issues and would be respected as the ones who derived the final say in all matters.
Later in the development of democracy, the role of judges was limited to defining what the law is, how it should be interpreted and how it should be applied. Because the legislature cannot create the law, judges are given the duty of interpreting what the legislature means and applying it in the context of their jurisdiction. The wide-range of issues that are considered for review under the Jurisprudence of a country includes tax, criminal law, corporate law, family law, civil law, procreation law and environmental law. The extent of the jurisdiction of the courts varies widely among countries. In some countries, the courts have wide-ranging powers and jurisdiction over virtually every area of the law; while in other countries, the courts may not have broad powers and jurisdiction over any and all issues within their jurisdictions.
The jurisdiction of the courts also changes according to the nature of the law being reviewed. For example, in civil law there are several branches of courts including the Family Court, Civil Courts, High Court and the Magistrates Court. In criminal law, there are the Sessions Court, the Crown Court, the County Court and the Magistrates Court. Therefore, although the courts vary significantly in the areas of jurisdiction that they exercise, the role of the courts generally remains to define the parameters around which laws and issues are to be dealt with within a certain area.
In essence, the role of the law is to determine how human rights are protected and to determine who among us has the power to control the use of force and violence within the polity. For example, when there is an alleged abuse of human rights, one should make sure that the victim has the ability to seek legal help from someone who is qualified to handle such a case. In civil law, victims can seek compensation for their physical, emotional and mental injuries as well as monetary compensation for loss of income and reputation. Similarly, victims of crime can seek retribution or justice from those who have perpetrated the crime against them. Likewise, in criminal litigation, victims can seek redress for the harm that they have suffered. There are even cases where the victims of an alleged criminal activity can hold the accused responsible for his or her actions through the processes provided by the legal system.
Some of the most important things like property, contract law, corporate law, real estate law, family law and intellectual property law are governed by judicial law. Conversely, there are some other things like penal law, executive law, regulatory law,commerce law, immigration law, Proceeding law,as well as patent and trademark law that are governed by administrative law. Administrative law therefore, encompasses things like labor law, civil law and criminal law.