Law is a system of rules that regulates the behaviour of individuals and organizations within a particular nation or community. It covers such areas as criminal law, taxation and social security, property and contract rights, family law, international law, and legal theory.
Laws serve a wide range of purposes in a society, from keeping peace to maintaining the status quo to protecting individual rights and providing orderly social change. Some legal systems are more effective in these tasks than others.
The study of law encompasses many disciplines, including economics, philosophy and politics. It also involves a great deal of debate, particularly when examining how laws are developed and implemented.
A good starting point for a research paper on a topic in law is to begin with an overview of the key legal concepts. Then, narrow your focus to the relevant factors that will help you understand how the law works in the specific situation at hand.
In legal terms, there are two main mechanisms for creating valid (legal) rights: acts of law and judicial decisions directly bestowing them. In the first mechanism, a right is legally created through an act, usually unilateral.
Alternatively, a right can be legally created by an agreement, such as a contract or last will and testament. In this case, the legal validity of a right depends on whether or not a governing entity recognizes that action as constitutive of a right.
Another primary mechanism for creating legal rights is the existence of a set of legal norms. These norms are generally established by organisations of sovereign power that promulgate and enforce them in order to regulate social relations.
These legal norms determine what legal rights are owed to which parties and how they can be changed. Typically, these norms fall into three categories: claims, privileges and powers.
Claims relate to the ability of a person to claim or to defend against someone else’s claim. Privileged rights involve a right to claim a property interest, and power involves a right to control the actions of other people.
Powers involve the ability to take certain actions, such as the possession of land or the right to hire or fire someone. Immunities are a second type of right that protects the person from the harm caused by the actions of other people.
This can include preventing an individual from being harmed by another’s actions, such as being denied access to medical care or the ability to speak freely in court.
The rule of law consists of four basic principles that are recognized and adhered to in all societies. These include a strong government, clear and publicized laws, fair application of the law and equal treatment under the law.
The rule of law is one of the major objectives of governments and is essential for a society to work effectively. It ensures that people are protected against violence, that they have equal access to justice and that their rights are respected.