Types of Law


Law is the system of rules governing the social and legal relationships of people. It is the means by which we protect and promote individual rights and maintain order and peace in our society. There are hundreds of different types of law systems in the world. Some serve the purposes better than others.

Typical types of laws include civil law, common law, criminal law, private law, international law, and other legal systems. These are defined by the different rules that govern the actions of individuals and corporations. The laws that exist within a country may be referred to as the constitution.

Constitutions are written to define the relationship between the government and the public. They usually contain the Bill of Rights. However, some constitutions are not contained in any particular text. Nevertheless, they often address the international scene in generalities. Other constitutions have specific language or address serious internal ethnic differences.

Constitutions also serve the purpose of determining who is the executive and who is the legislative authority. In addition, they often provide the method by which disputes over conflicting laws can be resolved. Typically, a special Constitutional court is set up to handle these matters.

Another type of legal system is the purely common law system, which is based on judicial precedent. It is most often seen in the United States. This type of legal system is influenced by the great codes of civil law.

Generally, a person can own property. Property is usually categorized as movable or immovable. Personalty is another type of property that can be held by individuals. Usually, tangible property is characterized as being immovable and personalty is characterized as being movable. People can also incur obligations, such as torts, on their own behalf.

Private law is a broad field of legal relations between individuals. This type of law covers issues of liability, obligations, and assets. Individuals can use their property for business and for personal use.

Many of the states in the United States have a federal system of law. Those that do not have a federal system can have a dual system, which is the case in Israel, Pakistan, and India. Dual legal systems are typically found in countries that were once occupied by the French and British.

Secular legal systems were in place in England until the 1850s. However, in the last century, the development of nations such as Germany, France, and Spain created empires, which imposed a peace on their nations. A few of these empires created their own systems of law.

Religion is an area of legality that abounds in both secular and religious legal systems. Religious systems tend to have an officer of religion presiding over all legal proceedings. Often, these courts adjudicate family and religious matters.

Traditionally, there were two types of legal systems: civil and common law. Civil law is more formal, whereas common law consists of statutes, case law, and regulations. Typically, a purely civil legal system is based on statutes.