The Study of Law
Law is the body of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It can be codified by a collective legislative process, resulting in statutes, decreed by executive branch officials and officials through regulations, or established by judges through precedent, as in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals may also create legally binding contracts and arbitration agreements. The precise nature of laws varies widely from nation to nation. The study of law has broad implications and is a vital field for scholars in many disciplines, such as history, philosophy, economic analysis, and sociology.
Law encompasses a wide range of issues, from the most serious criminal charges to the smallest details of contract formation. In addition, laws address the relationships between individuals and the public at large. These relations include the rights and obligations of citizens, the duties of businesses and government agencies, the interplay between different types of law (such as criminal, civil, and administrative), and a variety of social issues.
The shape and nature of laws vary greatly between nations, but the main functions they serve are common to most. They are designed to ensure that citizens adhere to the will of a given society, while ensuring the safety and security of the community. They can be imposed by force, such as the power of the state, but they are generally accepted and enforced by voluntary cooperation between the participants. The purpose of a legal system is to protect the individual and the group while still permitting free enterprise and competition.
A wide variety of fields of law exist, ranging from property law to space law. International law addresses the legal relations between countries, while environmental and health laws deal with the impact on human life of pollutants. Taxation laws set minimum standards for corporate and income taxes, while banking and financial regulation sets rules regarding the amount of capital banks must hold. Energy, water, and telecommunications are often heavily regulated industries as well.
The practice of law includes many professional fields, such as lawyering, barristering, and judging. Each of these areas of law requires the training and education of a qualified and skilled legal workforce. The legal profession is a popular career choice for many young people. In addition, there are many ancillary fields that support the main practice of law, such as actuarial work and accounting, insurance, and real estate. Other fields of specialisation in law are based on religious precepts, such as Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia, or on particular religious traditions such as Christian canon law. These fields of law form a rich area for scholarly inquiry and debate.