Law is a set of rules that are enforceable by social institutions. Law can be used as a tool to shape politics, economics and society. The modern practice of law is generally overseen by an independent regulating body, although the government has the power to make state-enforced laws.
Legal procedures include a trial, a judge, a jury, an attorney, a subpoena, and evidence. Evidence can be physical evidence such as weapons, or documents, photographs and testimony. Judges may rely on the decision of a previous case, known as precedent, to guide them when deciding a new case.
A lawsuit is a lawsuit in which two or more people disagree about whether they have a right to a particular action. In most cases, one of the parties to the suit is called a plaintiff, and the other is a defendant. When a court decides that the plaintiff has a right, it makes a judgment for the plaintiff. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is punished. This can occur in the form of a sentence, in which the court orders the defendant to pay a certain amount of money to the plaintiff.
Trials usually start with an arraignment, in which the accused is brought to court for a hearing. During the trial, the defendant is presented with charges, which are statements of what the police believe the defendant did. He or she is then asked to plead guilty or not guilty, and is given the option of appealing the case.
Juries are a group of people who hear and decide a case. They are chosen from a pool of people who have registered to vote. Often, they are randomly selected from the voter registration banks.
The courts of the United States, for instance, are organized by the Supreme Court of the United States. These courts have the power to overturn unconstitutional laws, and to declare laws invalid if they don’t agree with the constitution. Other types of cases can be heard in the federal and state courts.
A lawyer, on the other hand, is a person who provides legal advice to a client. Modern lawyers must have a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctor. Lawyers often have special qualifications, such as a Master of Legal Studies. Usually, lawyers also must pass a qualifying examination.
In some jurisdictions, the courts have the authority to review laws that are passed by the legislature. There are three basic categories of laws: federal, common law, and civil procedure. Each category is made up of a variety of judicial decisions and legislative statutes.
Common law, which originates from England, traces its roots to the medieval Lex Mercatoria. It includes the doctrine of precedent, a rule that states that a court’s decision in a similar case is binding on future cases.
Civil law, which originated in the 18th century, has a more direct approach. Legal systems under civil law are less elaborate and require less judicial decisions.