Law is a system of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of human beings. There are several different types of law, including civil law, contract law, and civil procedure. Each type has its own distinct set of rules. Some forms of law are explicitly based on religious precepts, such as Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia. Some forms of Christian canon law also survive today in some church communities. The use of religion as a source of law often implies the unalterability of God’s word, although detailed legal systems are a product of human elaboration. In Islam, for example, the Quran contains some law and acts as a source for further law by analogy, interpretation, and consensus.
The concept of legitimacy helps us understand the place of law within a broader social and political structure. Its role is not solely dependent on its efficiency or convenience, but also depends on its content. For example, courts do not exist because they are inconvenient; they exist because they are legitimate for using force.
Rule of law
The Rule of Law is a set of principles that govern the functioning of a society. The basic purpose of the Rule of Law is to ensure the delivery of justice by competent, independent, impartial, and accountable representatives. These representatives are empowered with the necessary resources to fulfill their responsibilities to the communities they serve. These principles have been developed using internationally accepted standards and are based on a wide range of expert opinions.
Civil procedure is a set of rules that courts follow when holding civil trials. These trials are separate from criminal trials and concern judicial resolution of claims. Federal courts follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, while state courts follow their own rules. These rules govern evidentiary procedures in civil cases, including the questioning of witnesses and evidence by opposing attorneys.
Contract law is a branch of law that focuses on the creation and enforcement of legal obligations. Contracts are intended to be concluded between parties of equal awareness and for purposes sanctioned by society. Most legal systems conceptualize contracts as free negotiations in which the parties show some manifestation of their intention. However, these manifestations can represent mere acquiescence.
Property law governs the ownership of real and personal property. This includes intellectual property. As the name implies, property is any legally protected claim on resources.
Immigration law is the set of national statutes, regulations, and legal precedents that govern the immigration of people to a country. It differs from other legal disciplines such as naturalization or citizenship, although they are sometimes conflated.