What Is Law?


Law is a set of rules that a society develops to deal with crime, business transactions, and social relationships. It also refers to the people who work in this system, such as lawyers and judges.

A lawyer is a person who practices law, which means he or she advises clients about legal issues and represents them in court. A judge is a person who decides lawsuits and criminal cases. Some people study law in college or university to prepare for a career as a lawyer or judge.

There are many different types of laws in the world. Some of them are specific to a country or region, such as local or civil laws. Others are broader, such as international or common law. The philosopher Thomas Aquinas argued that there is natural law and positive law. The former is based on reason, morality, and religion while the latter is the result of divine revelation and the will of God.

Some examples of laws are contracts, oaths, and statutes. Other examples are the court system, judicial decisions, and rules of evidence. A judge or jury decides what facts are true or false in a case, and whether or not someone committed a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government, and public defenders represent defendants who cannot afford their own attorneys in criminal cases. Evidence includes testimony and documents presented in court, and is usually examined before trial by the lawyers for each side.