The Basics of Law


Law consists of many branches that cover a variety of topics. Immigration law, for example, is concerned with the rights of foreigners to live and work in a nation-state. It also addresses the issue of statelessness and the right to asylum. Other branches of law include social security, which concerns the rights of citizens to social insurance. Other areas of law include family law, which deals with marriage and divorce proceedings, rights of children, and property and money. In addition, transactional law concerns the rights of businesses.

Rule of law

Rule of law is an internationally recognized principle that ensures equality under the law. It is the result of a system in which competent and independent representatives deliver justice with appropriate resources, and who reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. The term rule of law is also commonly used to refer to a set of rules that govern the administration of justice. These rules are defined according to a set of universally accepted principles and tested by experts throughout the world.

Legal reasoning

Legal reasoning involves the process of reasoning based on precedents and analogies. Legal reasoning is often used to determine whether a rule applies in one case and not in another. It is also used to clarify legal relationships.

Legal interpretation

The process of legal interpretation begins with input, the legal texts, legal practices, and customs, and then yields an output. It is this output that is the focus of the familiar debate about legal interpretation.


Generality of law is the principle that says the laws that govern human conduct must apply equally to everyone. This prevents discrimination and promotes fairness in society. But opponents say that the principle makes laws that govern one act apply equally to others. This can make laws too broad and unwieldy, and is therefore not a good idea.

Relationship to political structures

The relation between law and political structures is one of the central issues in the field of political philosophy. Both the political system and the legal system are shaped by the ideologies and practices of people. This in turn influences the way the legal system operates.

Substantive values

In law, the application of law is guided by what is known as “substantive values.” These are not procedural rules but values and principles that society considers important. The rule of law should be consistent with these values, and good jurists never ignore them when analyzing a case. For example, advocates of substantive equality in law promote affirmative action and the equal treatment of minorities.