What Is Law?
Law is the body of rules and regulations that govern a country or community. Often the government makes these laws, and people must obey them or face punishment.
Laws can be made about a variety of things, from whether it is okay to steal to whether murder is against the law in a certain place or country. There are many kinds of laws and they are written by different groups of people.
Definitions of Law
Some legal philosophers believe that law is a moral and unchangeable set of principles. Others argue that it is a system of commands that must be followed by citizens to protect themselves and their property.
Utilitarians, such as John Austin, maintain that law is essentially the product of political command and threat of sanctions. Natural lawyers, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argue that it is a synthesis of underlying moral and innate laws of nature.
Hart, on the other hand, argued that the legal system is built upon a normative framework. Specifically, he noted that prevailing norms of recognition in a jurisdiction determine which norms possess the status of laws.
Appeals and Judgments
After a trial has ended, parties may ask another court (usually an appellate court) to review the case. Appeals can be filed for a variety of reasons, including improper procedure and asking the court to change its interpretation of the law. Appeals are typically heard by courts sitting en banc, which means that all the judges are in attendance.