Law is a system of rules that governs the conduct of people and their relationships. The laws of a country are designed to protect the rights and freedoms of everyone, and often punish those who break them. They are written into a constitution or are created by a government for that purpose.
The legal profession and field of study that deals with the creation and application of a body of laws. It also deals with the relationship between laws and political structures, social justice, and other aspects of the human condition.
Generally, Law is a branch of civil law that regulates the relationships between individuals and organizations, the public and private sectors, and other groups. This includes laws of contract, property, criminal law and torts (including insurance).
It is also concerned with the relationship between law and the other disciplines that study the social sciences, such as sociology and economics.
In a civil law system, decisions of courts are regarded as “law”, on equal footing with statutes passed through the legislature and regulations issued by the executive branch. This means that a court’s decision is binding on lower courts and future cases.
Some legal systems also use a “doctrine of precedent” that means that a court’s decision is taken as final even when it has not been challenged in a higher court. This is called stare decisis, which comes from the Latin for ‘to stand by’.
Among other things, this doctrine aims to assure that similar cases reach the same result in the future. This is important because it ensures that law is fair and accurate, and that the laws are consistent across different jurisdictions.
The legal systems that use this doctrine are called common law, and many have their own unique traditions and practices. In particular, the United States and England have a strong tradition of case-law.
One of the most interesting features of this doctrine is that it is based on precedent and therefore does not involve new cases. It does, however, involve changing the outcome of older cases, e.g., in the case of a court’s ruling on a divorce.
A key issue is the question of whether this doctrine can be applied retroactively. Historically, this doctrine has been criticized for allowing courts to make decisions in the past that were not considered fair, just, or valid at the time of their making.
Another issue is that this doctrine is sometimes used to impose undue burdens on individuals. This is particularly true of poor and working class citizens, who are often unable to afford the expense of bringing their cases before courts.
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain why this doctrine is so controversial and how it can be reconciled with other legal principles. Some of the theories include legal syllogism, analogy and argumentative theory.