What Is Law?


Typically, the practice of law is overseen by a government or independent regulating body. However, private individuals can also establish legally binding contracts.

Law is a set of rules that are enforced by social institutions. These rules are usually set by statutes or constitutions. They are based on legal reasoning and interpretation. They shape politics, economics, history, and society.

There are three main categories of legal systems: common law, civil law, and international law. Civil law legal systems are more concise and often require less judicial decision making. The doctrine of precedent, which means that decisions by higher courts will bind lower courts, is common in these systems.

International law is based on a number of treaties and conventions. These treaties often govern the relationships between nations. It includes areas such as human rights, international humanitarian law, disarmament, and international environmental law.

The International Law Commission, or ILC, is an organization of 34 members representing the world’s principal legal systems. It promotes the progressive development of international law and works to codify it. It also prepares drafts on aspects of international law. These drafts are then considered by the UN specialized agencies.

The International Court of Justice, or World Court, is the main dispute settlement body of the United Nations. It has issued numerous judgments and advisory opinions. It was established in 1946.

There are a variety of other treaties that are deposited with governments. These include the Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Environmental Protection. These treaties are often signed by countries to achieve international peace and development.