The Field of Law

The law informs and shapes politics, economics, history and society in many ways. It is a complex field and a rich source of debate. It is also a career choice for an increasing number of young people.

Law is divided into a wide variety of fields, ranging from contract law to criminal procedure and civil justice. It encompasses the right to privacy, and the protection of health and property. Law shapes the way we deal with each other and is therefore central to the operation of a democratic society.

Generally speaking, laws are created and enforced by those with political power – as dictated by the constitutions of nation-states. However, this is not always the case and there are many revolts against existing law.

Laws can be broadly grouped into four categories; commercial, family, public and private. Commercial law is concerned with the rules governing business and trade. This includes contracts, banking and finance law. The competition law that is an important part of commercial law governs businesses who abuse their market dominance by fixing prices or restricting supply.

Family law covers the rights of couples, their children and their property in the event of a marriage breakup or divorce. Public law encompasses a wide range of issues from freedom of speech to the protection of the environment. Tort law provides compensation for injuries to persons or property that are not directly caused by a person’s fault. It is a complex area of law and often overlaps with the criminal and civil justice systems.