A body of rules that are created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition has been a matter of longstanding debate, and it has been variously described as both a science and as the art of justice. The law covers a vast array of topics, from contracts to criminal justice. The law is a critical part of any society, but it can be difficult to understand.
A judge is a government official who has the authority to decide lawsuits brought before it. A judge’s decisions are called judgments. A court’s jurisdiction – the area of law it has the power to govern over – is determined by its charter. A law school is a university that offers a degree in the legal profession.
The law requires people to obey certain rules and respect other people’s rights. It also imposes certain punishments on people who break the law.
Often, judges must interpret the law to apply it to specific cases. To do this, they use precedent – the previous rulings made by other judges. A judge must follow a precedent unless there is compelling reason or significant differences in facts and issues.
A brief is a written statement submitted by the lawyer for each side of a case that describes how the law should be applied to that particular situation. A transcript is a written record of the arguments made during a trial or hearing. During trials, judges usually ask witnesses to testify under oath. An objection is a protest by an attorney against a question or statement made during a trial. A judge will decide whether to allow the objection.