Law is a systematic system of laws developed and imposed by governmental or civic institutions to socially regulate behavior, whose exact definition is still a matter of ongoing debate. It is primarily defined as the art and science of law. In particular, it is concerned with how governments can exercise authority over others, and how they decide how to use that authority. In order for us to properly comprehend the meaning and scope of law, it is essential to have an understanding of what it is not.
A law may be defined as an enactment made by a body of law intended to govern interaction among individuals. This law is expressed in a number of ways, including written, unwritten, implied, and constitutional law. Although laws are commonly referred to as “laws” and “rule”, these formulations do not properly identify all forms of law. There are two basic classifications of law: common law and statutory law.
Common law is that which governs customary law, which is the body of law that developed out of customary norms. For instance, marital rape is considered to be legally wrong according to common law, but would be viewed as such under a set of civil codes. Statutory law, on the other hand, are laws which are codified into legal documents. For example, a legislative act could be called a law, but it would be referred to as a statute, while a decree would be a court order incorporating statutory law.
In analyzing the nature and role of law, two general areas of analysis are needed. The first category of analysis concerns what kinds of laws exist that resolve disputes and which ones are the most important and protective. Within this category, some of the most fundamental rights and freedoms are recognized. A few examples of basic human rights are the right to freedom of speech, press, religion, private property, and freedom from slavery and involuntary servitude. These rights originate in common law systems and are protected by the United States Constitution and are recognized worldwide as fundamental human rights.
Another category of analysis is whether or not certain rules or laws violate the express provisions of the constitution of the united states. There have been many cases in which the court has ruled that some human rights enjoyed by citizens are indeed protected by the constitution of the United States. Some of these decisions have been sustained by the courts, even after the governments of some states have appealed the decisions. One of the cases involved a teenager who was arrested after he climbed to the top of a crane to display for friends a recordable speed-rocketing tower.
A third category of analysis considers whether or not a civil law system provides an adequate mechanism for the resolution of many types of disputes. Some of these types of disputes relate to criminal behavior. Others relate to the establishment of standards for behavior. For example, civil law provides mechanisms for resolving disputes involving employees, landlords, child custody, workers’ compensation, industrial disputes, and commercial disputes.
The fourth category of analysis considers whether or not a given law violates the fundamental human rights guaranteed in the constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States. This category also includes cases that involve freedom of speech and press, religious beliefs, privacy, and other constitutional protections. For example, the landmark case of declared the right to freedom of speech guaranteed in the constitution of the United States involved in the blocking of a newspaper from printing a review of the Johnson case, which involved the removal of a U.S. president. Other important decisions related to the freedom of speech and press included the case of Associated Newspapers v. United States, which established the rights of publishers to reprint news articles without censorship.
The fifth category, criminal law, is the area of most confusion. Although there are criminal laws that differ from state to state, the federal criminal code is highly complex and written in a complex manner. Also, the courts are very split on many issues regarding criminal law, making interpretation of the law extremely difficult for the layman. As a result, many criminal law issues turn up in what are known as tort law suits. In recent years, though, there has been an increasing interest in tort law, particularly in connection to issues such as wrongful death, medical malpractice, and personal injury.