John Austin’s utilitarian answer was that law is “commands, backed by threat of sanctions, from a sovereign, to whom people have a habit of obedience”. Natural lawyers on the other side, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argue that law reflects essentially moral and unchangeable laws of nature. The concept of “natural law” emerged in ancient Greek philosophy concurrently and in connection with the notion of justice, and re-entered the mainstream of Western culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas, notably his Treatise on Law. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology.
- However, in a presidential system, the government is usually formed by an executive and his or her appointed cabinet officials (e.g. the United States or Brazil).
- For articles that discuss the importance of law regarding social justice and other social issues, see human rights; land reform; and social service.
- In a parliamentary system, as with Britain, Italy, Germany, India, and Japan, the executive is known as the cabinet, and composed of members of the legislature.
- The military and police carry out enforcement at the request of the government or the courts.
- Often the implication of religion for law is unalterability, because the word of God cannot be amended or legislated against by judges or governments.
The most prominent economic analyst of law is 1991 Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase, whose first major article, The Nature of the Firm , argued that the reason for the existence of firms (companies, partnerships, etc.) is the existence of transaction costs. Rational individuals trade through bilateral contracts on open markets until the costs of transactions mean that using corporations to produce things is more cost-effective. His second major article, The Problem of Social Cost , argued that if we lived in a world without transaction costs, people would bargain with one another to create the same allocation of resources, regardless of the way a court might rule in property disputes.
Coase used the example of a nuisance case named Sturges v Bridgman, where a noisy sweetmaker and a quiet doctor were neighbours and went to court to see who should have to move. So the law ought to pre-empt what would happen, and be guided by the most efficient solution. The idea is that law and regulation are not as important or effective at helping people as lawyers and government planners believe. Coase and others like him wanted a change of approach, to put the burden of proof for positive effects on a government that was intervening in the market, by analysing the costs of action. European Union law is the first and so far the only example of a supranational law, i.e. an internationally accepted legal system, other than the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
Law & Business
Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, was based on the concept of Ma’at and characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements (“if … then …”). Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; this became known as the Codex Hammurabi. The most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, and has since been fully transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian, German, and French.
There are also many other arguments and cannons of interpretation which altogether make statutory interpretation possible. Professor Marshfield teaches and writes in the areas of local government law, state constitutional law, and constitutional change. His research has appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, Boston University Law Review and the Michigan Law Review, among others. His state constitutional law research has been cited by the New Jersey Supreme Court, and his research into constitutional change has been cited by leading scholars in law reviews, textbooks, and academic journals. Professor Marshfield has also served as a consultant to foreign officials regarding issues of constitutional revision, and he has advised public policy groups regarding voter awareness and ballot issues. Around 1900 Max Weber defined his “scientific” approach to law, identifying the “legal rational form” as a type of domination, not attributable to personal authority but to the authority of abstract norms.
Chicago is a city of global status and unsurpassed beauty as well as one of the most vibrant legal and business communities in the world. A hub of commerce and government, the city provides an ideal setting for the study of Law News. Students benefit from access to law firms, the courts, large corporations, government agencies and local non-profits. Two Law School faculty members have received named professorships and one has received a distinguished service professorship. Space law is a relatively new field dealing with aspects of international law regarding human activities in Earth orbit and outer space.
Our impact Our researchers are driving law reform and policy, and benefiting communities with their thought leadership and advocacy. Intellectual property law aims at safeguarding creators and other producers of intellectual goods and services. These are legal rights which result from intellectual activity in the industrial, literary and artistic fields. Once accredited, a lawyer will often work in a law firm, in a chambers as a sole practitioner, in a government post or in a private corporation as an internal counsel. In addition a lawyer may become a legal researcher who provides on-demand legal research through a library, a commercial service or freelance work. Many people trained in law put their skills to use outside the legal field entirely.
Translations of law
Canon law (from Greek kanon, a ‘straight measuring rod, ruler’) is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority , for the government of a Christian organisation or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.
Since the mid-1940s, efforts have been made, in country after country, to bring Sharia law more into line with modern conditions and conceptions. In modern times, the legal systems of many Muslim countries draw upon both civil and common law traditions as well as Islamic law and custom. The constitutions of certain Muslim states, such as Egypt and Afghanistan, recognise Islam as the religion of the state, obliging legislature to adhere to Sharia.