Understanding Different Legal Concepts

There are lots of legal categories, such as property, contract, tort, trust, constitutional, criminal, international and administrative. All of these legal rules relate to a particular field of human endeavor. If there were no laws, this would lead to a societal breakdown – often to the extent of an economic standstill if history is anything to go by. People who call for all laws to be abolished are known as anarchists.

Criminal law is concerned with public authority offences. This is different to civil law, which relates to crimes committed against other people, rather than the wider public. Murder, for instance, falls under criminal law because, while there is an individual victim, it threatens the overall public well being. If someone breaches the conditions of a contract though, this is covered by civil law.

Based on a person’s political persuasion, they will typically advocate a larger or smaller number of laws. On the one hand there are left wing liberals, who believe that the government should not intervene much in public affairs. On the other hand are right wing conservatives, who want laws that regulate almost everything. These people think that laws make people more disciplined, which strengthens the nation. In the past, most governments that have attempted to do this have not lasted.

All countries want to stop criminals from doing things that threaten the national or public interest, so deterrence is a big part of the justice system. Because it is impossible to stop crime completely, this system involves dealing with the correct management and containment of felons. This includes rehabilitating people who perform illegal acts. Punishments are a major part of the justice system too, so people who are prone to criminal behavior realize that their life choices have ramifications. Countries with harsher punishments, like Singapore and Saudi Arabia, tend to have lower violent crime rates.