Law is the system of rules that a society develops in order to deal with crime, business agreements and social relationships. It also refers to the people who work in this system, such as lawyers and judges.
Legal dictionaries often have many different definitions of law, and it can be confusing to know what is meant by each one. Here is a quick look at some of the terms and their meanings:
1. A set of laws that a community recognizes as regulating its conduct; enforced by a controlling authority, usually through penalties such as jail sentences.
2. A body of rules, a set of standards that guide the conduct of citizens in an organized community; a regulatory framework for individual actions; sometimes based on moral values and viewed as providing a sense of justice or fairness to the entire population.
3. A code or law that sets out the conditions under which a civil case can be brought to court and the punishment for violations; used by judicial authorities as they assess facts in each individual case.
4. A legal procedure that courts must follow as they try to build a case; used in a number of civil and criminal cases.
5. A field of study involving the legal rules and procedures that govern people, organizations, businesses, and other entities in a society; includes many subdisciplines.
6. The process by which legal norms and legal action develop to create a wide variety of legal institutions that exist throughout the world; studied by jurists, anthropologists, and sociologists.
7. A system of rules that a society develops to guide the behavior of its members; enforced by a controlling authority, typically through penalties such as jail sentences.
8. A system of laws that regulates the rights, duties and legal liabilities of individuals and groups in a society; involves various branches such as property, contract, employment and business law.
9. A system of rules that a society develops for the protection of human rights and the promotion of justice; includes a variety of subdisciplines.
10. A legal discipline or profession, requiring special qualifications for obtaining practice; overseen by a governing body; and characterized by an extensive training program.
11. A legal career that focuses on the practice of a particular area of law, often earning an academic degree.
12. A professional who specializes in the law; may practice alone or with others.
13. A specialized field of law that involves the legal rules and procedures that govern people, corporations, organizations, and other entities in a society; is a major part of modern business and commerce; deals with a range of topics including contracts, labor law, corporate governance, environmental law, and international law; and covers a wide variety of areas of interest.
14. A system of rules that a society develops as an attempt to control and organize the behavior of its members; enforced by legal agencies such as police and courts, often through penalties such as jail sentences.