Law is a set of rules, enforceable by the courts, which regulate the government of the state and governs the relationship between the state and its citizens and between one citizen and another.
There are various ways in which the law may be classified; the most important are: * Public and private law
* A) Public law is concerned with the relationship between the state and its citizens. Specialised areas are: 1. Constitutional law is concerned with the workings of the british constitution. It covers such matters as the position of the Crown, the composition and procedures of Parliament, the functioning of central and local government, citizenship and the civil liberties of individual citizens. 2. Administrative law has be developed to deal with the complaints of individuals against the decisions of the administering agency. 3. Criminal law
* Private law is primarily concerned with the right and duties of individuals towards each other. * Criminal and civil law
* Criminal law is concerned with forbidding certain forms of wrongful conduct and punishing those who engage in the prohibited acts. * Civil law deals with the private rights and obligations which arises between individuals. * Common law and equity
* Common law is developed by circuit judges from English customary law applying the principle stare decisis * Equity is developed by chancellors, in dealing with petitions addressed to the King from citizens complaining about the rigidity of the common law.
Civil liability are contract and tort.
* Contractual liability arises when two or more persons enter into a legally enforceable agreement with each other. * Tortuous liability = a tort consists of the breach of duty imposed by the law(negligence, trespass) Criminal liability before convicted you have to prove mens rea (guilty mind) and actus reus (prohibited act). Strict liability are wrongful acts where prove of mens rea does not need to be proven.
Law of property: - Ownership describes the greatest rights that a person can have in relation to property.
- Possession consists of two elements: physical control and the intention to exclude others.
Legal changes can be divided into two broad categories according to their causes. The first type of legal change is caused by the law responding to changes taking place in society. The second type of legal change arises from the need to keep the law in good working order.
Legal change and the changing World
While science and technology have been taking great leaps forward over the last century, other less dramatic changes have been taking place (role of the government, women.) Changing in moral beliefs and social attitudes are potent causes of legal change. The law is an adaptable creature responsive to the complex changes taking place around it.
“Lawyers” law consists largely of the body of rules developed over many years by judges deciding cases according to principles laid down in the past cases. The limitations of a judge-led law reform led to the setting up of an official law reform agency, which, along with other methods of effecting change in the law, will be considered below.
Sources of legal change
* Official law reform agencies
The Commissions job is to keep the law as a whole under review, with a view to its systematic development and reform. Its duties include: 1. Codification of the law
2. Elimination of anomalies
3. Repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments
4. Securing a reduction in the number of separate enactments 5. Simplification and modernisation of the law
A law Commission project starts life by appearing as an item in its programme of work which is approved by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. Another law reform agency is the Civil Justice Council which was set up under the Civil Procedure Act. * Government...