Law is a set of rules enforceable by social institutions. It forms a basis for political, economic, and cultural systems. There are three main types of legal systems: common law, civil law, and international law.
The first type, common law, is a system of judicial decisions, statutes, and judicial judgments. Common law systems generally make explicit reference to rulings by the court.
The second type, civil law, is a less detailed legal system. In a civil law system, judges write to decide a single case. Their decisions are often influenced by a particular jurisdiction’s history.
The third type, international law, is a body of law that is governed by the United Nations. Its purpose is to protect human rights and promote peace among nations.
Throughout history, societies have acted in different ways to maintain the status quo and preserve individual rights. Some legal systems serve these purposes better than others. However, some of these practices are controversial.
International law involves the formation of multilateral treaties to resolve disputes. These treaties are negotiated and adopted by the General Assembly. Many multilateral treaties are open for ratification.
A common issue in 2020 is the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Other issues include immigration, healthcare, and family law. Governments also have the responsibility of protecting human rights.
While defining law, it is important to distinguish between formal and procedural principles. Formal principles focus on the manner in which the community is governed. They include the way courts work and the laws that govern specific activities.