Articles on Law

Law is a social institution that regulates human conduct through the imposition of sanctions for violations. It can be imposed by a group legislature, through statutes; by the executive, through decrees and regulations; or by judges, through precedent (known as stare decisis). In common law countries, courts’ decisions are explicitly acknowledged as law, on equal footing with legislative statutes. Individuals may also create legally binding contracts, known as private law.

The precise definition of law has long been a subject of debate. John Austin, for example, held that law is “commands backed by the threat of sanctions”; Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian theory was that it serves social wants. Others have argued that the concept of law contains morality, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s argument that the “law of nature” reflects the desires of natural humans.

Legal articles discuss how law works in practice, including legal theory and history. They can also cover a range of specific subjects, from tort law to criminal law and beyond. In the latter case, an article may comment on a recent change to the law or present arguments about a particular aspect of the law.

Modern lawyers, whose professional identity is derived from their status as legal professionals, typically achieve distinct professional identities through specified legal procedures and education (typically, a legal degree, such as a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Civil Law or a Juris Doctor). Some articles may discuss the ways in which lawyers can influence society, for example, by advocating specific reforms.

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