Legal Update

Law Definition & Meaning

This section has detailed information about various legislations, rules and regulations, legal institutions, commissions and tribunals. You can also get information about the Supreme Court, High Courts, Subordinate Courts, Legal Aid, Profession, Alternative Dispute Resolution etc. The American Bar Association ruefully admits that the legal profession is overcrowded, especially in large cities. Last week an editorial in the New York Law Journal urged a youthful revolt against the city, twanged an idyll of lawing in the country.

Another example of tort might be a neighbour making excessively loud noises with machinery on his property. Torts can also involve intentional acts such as assault, battery or trespass. A better known tort is defamation, which occurs, for example, when a newspaper makes unsupportable allegations that damage a politician’s reputation. More infamous are economic torts, which form the basis of labour law in some countries by making trade unions liable for strikes, when statute does not provide immunity.

  • Private law deals with legal disputes between individuals and/or organisations in areas such as contracts, property, torts/delicts and commercial law.
  • Most countries have systems of appeal courts, with an apex court as the ultimate judicial authority.
  • Real property, sometimes called ‘real estate’, refers to ownership of land and things attached to it.
  • Increasing numbers of businesses opt for commercial arbitration under the New York Convention 1958.

The current legal infrastructure in the People’s Republic of China was heavily influenced by Soviet Socialist law, which essentially inflates administrative law at the expense of private law rights. Due to rapid industrialisation, today China is undergoing a process of reform, at least in terms of economic, if not social and political, rights. A new contract code in 1999 represented a move away from administrative domination. Furthermore, after negotiations lasting fifteen years, in 2001 China joined the World Trade Organization.

This distinction is stronger in civil law countries, particularly those with a separate system of administrative courts; by contrast, the public-private law divide is less pronounced in common law jurisdictions. All legal systems deal with the same basic issues, but jurisdictions categorise and identify their legal topics in different ways. In civil law systems, contract and tort fall under a general law of obligations, while trusts law is dealt with under statutory regimes or international conventions. International, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law, contract, tort, property law and trusts are regarded as the “traditional core subjects”, although there are many further disciplines. Roman law was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were highly sophisticated.

Weber began his career as a lawyer, and is regarded as one of the founders of sociology and sociology of law. Richard Posner, University of Chicago Law School professor and the most cited legal scholar, until 2014 ran a blog with Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker. Consumer law could include anything from regulations on unfair contractual terms and clauses to directives on airline baggage insurance. Competition law, known in the United States as antitrust law, is an evolving field that traces as far back as Roman decrees against price fixing and the English restraint of trade doctrine. Modern competition law derives from the U.S. anti-cartel and anti-monopoly statutes of the turn of the 20th century.

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Leverage the Law School’s extensive support and resources to jump-start your career in legal academia. Join a remarkable community of aspiring lawyers preparing to lead the world. Intellectual property scholar Shyam Balganesh explains why the “Stairway to Heaven” case is taking copyright law in the wrong direction. September 23, 2022 • What happens when you take some of the most powerful people in America — federal judges — and teach them economics? We look at the swanky econ retreats that may have changed American law forever. September 30, 2022 • Former eBay Inc. executives were sentenced Thursday to prison for a scheme to terrorize the creators of an online newsletter that included sending live spiders, cockroaches, a funeral wreath.

However, a few bodies, such as the WTO, have effective systems of binding arbitration and dispute resolution backed up by trade sanctions. In common law legal systems, decisions by courts are explicitly acknowledged as “law” on equal footing with statutes adopted through the legislative process and with regulations issued by the executive branch. The “doctrine of precedent”, or stare decisis (Latin for “to stand by decisions”) means that decisions by higher courts bind lower courts, and future decisions of the same court, to assure that similar cases reach similar results.

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Although the role of the executive varies from country to country, usually it will propose the majority of legislation, and propose government agenda. In presidential systems, the executive often has the power to veto legislation. Most executives in both systems are responsible for foreign relations, the military and police, and the bureaucracy. Ministers or other officials head a country’s public offices, such as a foreign ministry or defence ministry. The election of a different executive is therefore capable of revolutionising an entire country’s approach to government. Our courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level build your understanding of legal reasoning, enable you to critically analyse legal situations, and encourage you to confidently present and debate your interpretations.

Examples include the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia—both of which translate as the “path to follow”—while Christian canon law also survives in some church communities. Often the implication of religion for law is unalterability, because the word of God cannot be amended or legislated against by judges or governments. However, a thorough and detailed legal system generally requires human elaboration.

The other important model is the presidential system, found in the United States and in Brazil. In presidential systems, the executive acts as both head of state and head of government, and has power to appoint an unelected cabinet. Under a presidential system, the executive branch is separate from the legislature to which it is not accountable. Jurimetrics is the formal application of quantitative methods, especially probability and statistics, to legal questions. The use of statistical methods in court cases and law review articles has grown massively in importance in the last few decades.