Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by a combined legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and system, or by judges through binding precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions.
Law provides a rich source of learned inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning parity, fairness, and justice.
The philosophy of law is commonly known as jurisprudence. Normative jurisprudence is basically political philosophy, and asks “what should rule be?”, while analytic jurisprudence asks that what is law? Austin’s utilitarian answer was that law is “commands, backed by threat of sanctions, from a sovereign, to whom people have a routine of obedience”. Natural lawyers on the other side, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argue that law reflects basically moral and unchangeable laws of nature. The concept of “natural law” emerged in early Greek philosophy concurrently and in entanglement with the notion of justice, and re-entered the mainstream of culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas, notably his Treatise on Law.
Sociology of law is a different field of learning that examines the interaction of law with society and overlaps with jurisprudence, philosophy of law, social theory and more specialized subjects such as criminology. The institutions of social, social norms, dispute processing and lawful culture are key areas for inquiry in this knowledge field. Sociology of law is sometimes seen as a subdiscipline of sociology, but its ties to the educational discipline of law are equally strong, and it is best seen as a transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary learn focused on the theorization and empirical study of legal practices and experience as community phenomena. In the United States the field is generally called law studies; in Europe it is more frequently referred to as socio-legal study. At first, jurists and legal philosophers were suspicious of sociology of law. Contemporary research in sociology of rule is much concerned with the way that law is developing outside discrete status jurisdictions, person produced through social interaction in many different kinds of social arenas, and acquiring a diversity of sources of authority in communal networks existing sometimes within nation states but increasingly also transnational.
- Legal systems
In universal, legal systems can be split between civil law and common law systems. The term `civil law` referring to a lawful system should not be confused with “civil law” as a group of legal subjects distinct from illegal or public law. A third type of legal scheme—accepted by some countries without separation of church and state—is religious rule, based on scriptures. The exact scheme that a country is ruled by is often determined by its history, relations with other countries, or its adherence to global standards. The sources that jurisdictions accept as authoritatively binding are the important features of any legal system. Yet classification is a matter of figure rather than substance, since similar rules often prevail.