What Is Law?
Generally speaking, law is a set of rules that are enforced by social institutions. These include government, courts, and other public bodies. These rules are designed to protect citizens’ rights and promote orderly social change.
Laws are created through different processes. Some legal systems are better at serving these purposes than others.
A federal law is a legislative measure that has passed both houses of Congress and been signed by the president. The United States Code is a compilation of the most public laws that are in effect. It is organized by subject matter into 50 titles. Each title is followed by cross-references to the original law and subsequent amendments.
Another type of legal system is a civil law system. These systems require less detailed judicial decisions. They also rely on the doctrine of precedent. This means that decisions made by a higher court will affect lower courts.
The concept of “natural law” arose in ancient Greek philosophy. It later re-entered mainstream culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas.
Among common legal issues are debts, housing, consumer rights, immigration, and family law. These may arise from sudden events or planned activities. It is important to consult a lawyer if you believe you have a legal issue.
A legal issue may be unrelated to money or property. It may arise from sudden illness, a problem at work, or being accused of a crime.
In a society with a political system, laws are often made by the executive, group legislature, or judges. These can be in the form of decrees, bills, or laws.