Psychology & Psychiatry

Fewer youth attempt suicide in states with hate crime laws

When states enact hate crime laws that protect LGBTQ populations, the rate of suicide attempts among high school students drops significantly, and not just among sexual and gender minority students, but among heterosexual ...

Medications

Could time limits on opioid prescriptions reduce misuse?

Most people who get a prescription for opioid painkillers to ease the pain of an operation or dental procedure fill it right away. But a new study shows that some fill these prescriptions more than a month later—long after ...

Medical research

Study reveals that kidney cells don't filter blood, they pump it

Human kidneys are an intricate network of tubes that process roughly 190 quarts of blood every day. Lining these tubes are epithelial cells that transport blood through the kidneys and circulate it back into the body. How ...

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Law

Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator in relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law defines rights and obligations related to the transfer and title of personal and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security, while tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's rights or property are harmed. If the harm is criminalised in penal code, criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the perpetrator. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies, while international law governs affairs between sovereign nation states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or military action. Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual."

Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, which codify their laws, and common law systems, where judge made law is not consolidated. In some countries, religion still informs the law. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry, such as legal history and philosophy, or social scientific perspectives such as economic analysis of law or the sociology of law. The study of law raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, liberty and justice. "In its majestic equality", said the author Anatole France in 1894, "the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, a government's bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress.

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