The law is legal law made and enforced by governmental or social institutions to govern behaviour, with its exact definition again a matter of long standing debate. In the United States it is primarily regulated by the US Congress. In many ways the law has much influence over the private lives of Americans than most people probably realise. For instance many Americans have day-to-day financial relationships with big businesses, which are controlled by large corporations.
The law provides citizens with the means by which they can work to establish standards of behavior that are required by the law and by other citizens as well. At the same time the law provides a mechanism for resolving disputes so that each citizen can meet their responsibilities to those who are legally obligated to protect them. It is not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, but the level of stability that the law enjoys in the United States is a stark contrast to many other societies around the world.
A great deal of research has gone into developing what we know today about the evolution of the law in the United States. One of the areas that has come to the fore in recent years is tort law. This part of the legal system addresses damages that are caused to another person by another party. The concept of torts has evolved from the traditional common law courts that were set up in the courts of common law around the 12th century. Common law courts operated to settle disputes between individuals, such as disagreements over property ownership, divorce, and child custody.
The evolution of the law through the ages has largely been the result of changes in the composition of the legislature. Changes in the makeup of the legislature have also resulted in changes in the formulation of law in the jurisdictions where those changes have occurred. The evolution of the law has also been the result of the establishment of new federal and state constitutional laws, as well as alterations to the meaning of some of the existing federal and state constitutional and common law laws.
As mentioned above, one of the most important areas of law that has seen an expansion in recent decades is that of administrative law. This part of the law pertains to all matters that are governed by administrative law. Examples include matters such as labor laws, consumer protection laws, environmental protection laws, intellectual property laws, and Medicare. In addition to these statutes, there are numerous administrative organs within the government, such as the Small Business Administration, Department of Labor, and the Office of Consumer affairs. Many of these bodies function independently of other parts of the government, while many others are part of agencies of the executive branch.
Historically, civil law systems were developed by the jurisdictions in which local concerns were dealt with. This means that even though the United States has separated into two main political entities (the federal government and the states), there are many common law jurisdictions that continue to deal with issues that are addressed to local interests. Civil law is therefore commonly referred to as “common law.” For example, one major area of civil law involves the trial of civil offenses, including murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, and other criminal acts.
Constitutional law is that body of law that exists primarily for the protection of the constitution of the United States. Unlike civil law, it is entirely a creature of the will of the legislature. There is no common law outside of the constitution, making it one of the most stable and consistent aspects of the legal system. Civil laws tend to be very complicated, involving things like property rights, substantive due process, and felony crimes.
The basis of the separation of powers is the idea that the executive and legislative branches of the government are allowed to make decisions about the functioning of the legal system. While this certainly is the case, it does not give them absolute power. In fact, over time, many laws have been codified so that the courts can restrict the powers of the legislature. Among the many branches of the legal system, there are five that are almost considered vestiges of checks and balances, which are also known as the judicial branch of the legal system. This includes the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Commission on International Relations.