The law is basically law developed and enforced by governmental or social institutions to control behavior, in the most basic sense a legally binding contract between two parties. In the broadest sense it is simply a code of conduct prescribed by governments or other regulatory bodies to ensure compliance by citizens. It has largely been differentially defined by various philosophers over the course of time, with some referring to it as the philosophy of right and others rejecting this as a human project. Still, whatever label we put on it, the law is important to individuals and society, holding both in restraint.
The laws regulating private conduct are referred to as civil law, while those governing public conduct are known as criminal law. Common law jurisdictions include U.S., Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The jurisdictions differ in many aspects such as their degree of personal accountability, property regulation, the role of juries and their role in resolving disputes. In countries that utilize a hybrid model, the courts typically combine civil and criminal law, often creating a “jurisdiction” for the same act. Many other countries use a homogenous model, whereby the courts supervise similar laws across the board.
Civil law governs conduct in the private sphere such as private property, actionable damages, contractual relations, negligence, adult intimate relationships and the scope of human rights. Criminal law encodes conduct in the criminal sphere including felonies and misdemeanors. It is also responsible for the administering of justice, which includes the apprehension, investigation and prosecution of criminals. Most states have a penal code that includes sections on crimes and penalties for each. Criminal defense lawyers represent clients who are charged with criminal offenses and are granted the right to request the courts to take on the case.
Tort law covers offenses against persons and property, including slander, libel, malicious prosecution, intentional wrong, etc. Common law has been heavily influenced by European law and English common law. A common law lawyer represents clients who have been accused of crimes arising out of acts during the course of private transactions. These laws are inclusive and cover negligence, even when the conduct does not take place in the state.
Commercial law encompasses all legislation that affects a business or the commercial sector. Examples include copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade names, brands, corporate identity, advertising, licensing, government contracts, and rules governing corporate integrity. A corporate affairs attorney, a trademark lawyer and a commercial property lawyer are commonly referred to as a commercial attorney. They can specialize in one or more fields of expertise. For example, a Phillips and Costello attorney may focus his or her attention on cases that deal with advertising revenue, such as cease-and-desist orders and injunctions.
Before a person can be admitted to the court system, there are several eligibility requirements that must be met. In order to become eligible, the applicant must be at least 18 years old, employed or otherwise able to receive financial assistance to enable them to attend court proceedings, and meet a number of other procedural requirements. Most people who wish to pursue an appearance before the court system will hire a lawyer, but others may choose to represent themselves. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
Criminal law is the area of the law dealing with punishments for crimes. It includes felonies and misdemeanors, as well as lesser degrees of crime. A defense attorney will represent a client who has been charged with a crime, whether they are being charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Some states have “jailhouse lawyers”, who are experts at criminal cases that cannot be handled by the local courts.
The legal system provides an important role in our society. It provides an essential function in our legal system, providing an opportunity for those accused of wrongdoing to have their day in court. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and fight for you.