The Basics of Law

Law is the set of rules that govern human behavior and relationships. Its purpose is to protect people from harm and ensure a safe and peaceful society.

The law serves many purposes in a society, including keeping the peace, maintaining the status quo, protecting individual rights, promoting social justice and orderly social change. Some legal systems are better at these tasks than others.

Civil law, also called continental or Romano-Germanic law, is based on concepts and categories derived from ancient Roman law. Its rules are largely codified and can be supplemented or modified by local custom or culture.

Some countries, especially those in Africa, continue to apply some aspects of these civil law traditions. In some cases, these include the Civil Code of Egypt or Roman-Dutch law in South Africa.

Dispute resolution and settlement are two other areas of law that deal with the resolution of disagreements without having to go to court. They can be done through a negotiation between the parties, or through an official decision by the court.

The court – A group of people who make decisions on behalf of the government. Normally the judge and lawyers are in charge, but the court can allow pro se litigants (people who present their case on their own) or public defenders to represent a defendant who cannot afford a lawyer.

Evidence, testimony and documents are often used in a trial to persuade the fact finder or jury to decide for one side or another. Exhibits are also presented, such as weapons or contracts.