For other uses, see Law (disambiguation) and Legal (disambiguation).
Lady Justice is the symbol of justice. Lady Justice is depicted as a goddess equipped with three symbols of justice: a sword symbolising the court's coercive power; scales representing an objective standard by which competing claims are weighed; and a blindfold indicating that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of power, money, wealth, or identity. Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition, but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by legislatures through legislation, the executive through decrees and regulations, or judges through binding precedents (normally in common law jurisdictions). Private individuals can create legally binding instruments, though not laws strictly speaking, through for example contractual arrangements, particularly arbitration agreements that exclude the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions (including Canon and Socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and common law systems, where judge-made binding precedents are accepted. Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some countries, particularly Islamic, and some religious communities, particularly Jewish Halakha. The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be...
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