Types of Law


Law is a set of rules that are enforced by governmental and social institutions. The term “law” also refers to a set of specific legislation and more broadly to provisions of constitutional law and international law.

There are four major types of legal systems: civil, common, mixed, and religious. Each of these is characterized by color-coded maps.

Civil law is a legal system which requires less detailed judicial decisions. Judges are not required to take legislative action and do not command armies or police forces. Rather, they make rulings based on the laws they interpret.

Common law is a legal system that includes a doctrine of precedent. This means that previous court decisions bind future decisions. It is an important feature of civil law legal systems.

Mixed and religious systems differ in their rules of interpretation. Religious laws, for example, are explicitly based on religious precepts.

A modern lawyer must obtain a Bachelor of Laws or a Doctor of Laws. They must also pass a qualifying examination. Typically, the practice of law is regulated by a government or independent regulating body.

International law is a legal field involving international relations. It is a set of legal principles, practices, and statutes governing a nation or a group of nations.

Regulation is a set of rules governing the provision of public services and utilities. For example, water and gas are regulated industries. Similarly, energy, telecomms, and other industries are regulated. In some countries, environmental protection serves as a means of penalizing polluters.

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