The law is the law made and administered by governmental or social institutions to legally regulate behavior, usually with a wide defined area of expertise, and its precise definition a subject of ongoing debate. It can be classed in three different ways, each with a different focus. In theory, it can be seen as both an art and a science of justice, while in practice it is often only seen as the science. The law’s critics, however, maintain that it is much too abstract and theoretical to be of service to real-life problems and that its function is therefore limited. However, the law has significant power and influence in our society, and it affects almost all aspects of our lives from healthcare to taxation.
A law degree is therefore a vital route to take for anyone interested in pursuing a career within the legal system, whether this be for private law firms public service or the government. There are two main areas to focus on once you have completed your undergraduate degree. These are law theory and law practice. The first area addresses areas such as civil law and family law, criminal law and penal law. The second focuses on areas of administrative law, including regulatory law, which concentrates on issues such as labor laws, environmental law, intellectual property law and client law.
Within the academic study of law, there are numerous sub-fields, including constitutional law, civil law, contract law, international law, criminal law, pro Bono law and corporate law. Within these categories, there are numerous sub-fields as well, depending on the area of law that one is focusing on. These include: property and casualty, corporations, franchises, trusts, litigation, family law, probate, real estate and corporate law. While these are by no means the only fields of law, they are among the most common, and each one has its own focus and unique characteristics.
The area of criminal law encompasses all crime, guilty and innocent, hearsay, statements obtained through torture or consent, evidence, hearsay and immunity laws. Civil law is the area of laws that address disputes between individuals and organizations. This includes: contract law, business law, divorce law, criminal law, personal injury law, property law, family law and civil procedure.
In order for a person to understand what is needed for a successful defense of a criminal charge, it is important to understand the distinctions among the different types of cases that fall under the umbrella of criminal law. Most state constitutions begin with the words “legislature,” which clearly point to the state legislature. Other forms of law may be found in the supreme court, although they are not called “capital crimes.”
Criminal law is divided into seven different degrees, from the most minor crimes such as robbery to major felonies. The first degree is the felony, while subsequent degrees carry penalties of more jail time, and fines. Misdemeanors, or “minor offenses,” are different from felonies and carry penalties of a year or less in jail. The penalties become harsher when there is an element of mental incapacity. Criminal defense lawyers defend clients on the basis of both moral and legal justification.
The most common defense strategy is to argue that the defendant acted in accordance with moral and legal justifications. A moral justification typically rests on self-defense or self-protection, such as the prevention of death or serious bodily harm. A legal justification may be based on the protection of another person, or group of people, from the commission of a crime. Even if the defendant failed to commit the crime in its totality, the law considers him to have violated the law by participating in the commission of a specific act. The most common justification for wrongful acts is the interest of the state or of private citizens in maintaining their public safety. In this case, the defendant’s actions fall within the area of ethical responsibility and may not be considered as criminal per se.
Criminal law pursues two distinct approaches to resolving the question of what is morally wrong: moral standards or personal responsibility. Those who believe that moral and ethical code must be rigidly defined in order to provide a stable foundation for law, and who favor a free social order in which personal values determine societal behavior, support the strict enforcement of moral standards against immoral inclinations. Those who favor a mixed order in which some moral standards may guide human behavior but not other standards, and where crime is largely a consequence of individual choices, do not support strict punishment as a deterrent to crime. They tend to support the idea that criminals can be deterred but not totally eliminated by the application of universal moral codes.