Law is a set of rules and regulations that govern the actions of individuals and groups in a society. The study of law involves the analysis of a wide range of topics, from criminal law and human rights to environmental regulation and animal law.
Legal issues largely concern the relationships between people and their property, whether they own tangible or intangible things. Law also covers such everyday aspects as buying and selling goods, arranging financial transactions, or making a medical claim.
Common branches of law include contracts, which regulate the relationship between parties that make or break an agreement; property, which defines people’s rights and duties towards their possessions; and criminal law, which protects people from harm in the form of crime and involves the justice system. Other major subjects include international and domestic law, tax law, labour law, and social security laws.
In addition, the law is a complex social construction that is shaped by a variety of forces. It serves the interests of society at large, but it also affects individual lives and reflects the values of different cultures.
The inverse of law is the deviation between an individual’s tale and the communal narrative. The more a tale differs from the community narrative, the less binding the law is (Pound 2001).
Law can be used to keep the peace in a nation or maintain the status quo and protect individual rights, but it can also oppress minorities or political opponents. It can also promote social justice and provide for orderly social change.
Some legal systems serve these purposes better than others. Those that are authoritarian may keep the peace, but they can oppress or suppress political opponents.
It can also help to promote social justice in a country and protect minorities. For example, if an oppressive government enacts laws that limit the freedom of minorities or violate their rights, those laws can be used to combat them.
Religion is another source of law, with examples including the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia. These are interpreted through Qiyas (reasoning by analogy), Ijma (consensus) and precedent.
There are also living7 cultures that use a non-modern scientific system of law, such as the Inuits who live in the Arctic. This culture focuses on a shared reality, not on the separation of natural and non-natural.
The field of law is a huge one, with dozens of topics to explore. It is up to you to decide which sphere of law you want to focus your research on. This will depend on your personal preferences and on what you hope to achieve as a future lawyer.