Despite the importance of law in the realm of public policy, its definition can be complicated. Various legal systems have been developed for different purposes. Some are more effective than others.
There are three main types of law. These are civil law, legislative statutes and judicial decisions.
Civil law is a system that requires less detailed judicial decisions. The decisions are made by judges in a particular jurisdiction. Unlike other systems, the judicial decisions are not subject to individual interpretation.
Legislative statutes include regulations imposed by the government. These regulations apply to industries such as energy, telecomms and water. They also regulate businesses that distort market prices.
There are also laws that govern individuals. These can be nationality laws, such as rights to work and live in a nation-state, or social security laws, such as rights to social insurance.
Another kind of law is religious law, which aims to enforce religion and religious precepts through consensus and interpretation. Islamic Shari’ah is an example of such a law.
In addition to the traditional legal systems, there are other legal systems, such as Soviet law and Chinese law. Each of these systems is different in the way it handles social issues.
These systems include legislation, judicial decisions, and rules for the courts. They are usually shorter than the traditional systems.
Law can be a source of orderly social change. It can serve to protect minorities from majorities, and to preserve individual rights.