The study of law involves looking at how a set of rules can govern and control societies. It is a very broad field, covering everything from criminal justice to business regulation to social welfare laws. Generally speaking, though, the study of law focuses on four key areas: establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.
The first thing that is important to note about Law is that it cannot be empirically verified, at least not in the way that other natural processes can. Whether a given set of rules is actually a law or not remains entirely contingent on human action and mental processes. Moreover, it is also completely contingent on the shape of the physical world and the limitations inherent in that shape.
Those who argue that the legal system is inherently unfair or biased are often overlooking this crucial point. While there is much debate about the proper balance of power between a state and its citizens, most agree that the existence of law is a necessary part of any modern society. There are, however, many debates about what the law should contain and how it should function.
The most basic definition of a law is that it is the “rule of right and wrong.” The rules are created and enforced by some authority, be it a sovereign state, a group of citizens or a corporation. The law is a collection of rules that define the behaviour of all members of a society. Moreover, these rules are designed to protect the rights and liberties of all people within a society.
Laws are based on a variety of different sources, including legislation, custom and policy, case law and the common law. The primary source of laws, however, is the constitution or legislation of a state or nation.
In most countries, laws are a mix of different sources, which makes them a complex and constantly evolving area. Typically, they consist of both statute and case law, and a number of other factors may influence the outcome of a dispute such as precedent, political and economic pressures, social attitudes and the prevailing philosophy of the judiciary.
Another important factor is the way in which laws are interpreted and applied. Blackstone, for example, argued that judges should be the depositories of the law and should act as living oracles, who must decide every question of doubt on the basis of previous decisions. He also argued that, unless a former decision was “most manifestly contrary to reason; much more, to divine law,” it should not be followed by judges in a subsequent case.
The fact that laws are constantly changing and evolving has led to a growing need for lawyers, who can interpret, apply and defend them. The profession of Law is an increasingly attractive one to young people who are interested in careers that have the potential to be both financially rewarding and intellectually stimulating. Those who wish to pursue a career in this field should consider the following points: