Often referred to as the “art of justice,” law is a set of rules enforceable by social institutions. It shapes history, politics, economics, and society. A variety of different legal systems exist. Typically, these systems are separated into three categories: civil law, common law, and religious law. Each legal system is represented by a colour-coded map.
Civil law refers to legal systems that have been crafted through legislative statutes and court decisions. These systems are usually shorter and less complex than common law systems. Common law legal systems explicitly acknowledge that courts make “law.”
Common law legal systems also share a number of features with civil law systems, including the doctrine of precedent. This means that decisions by a higher court bind lower courts to follow them.
Religious law is based on religious precepts. Some religious laws are based on a single religion, while others are based on different religions. Canon law is a specific type of religious law used by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
There are two major types of law in the United States: civil law and common law. A civil law system is usually blue.
Common law legal systems include judicial decisions that explicitly acknowledge that courts make “law.” This is also known as the doctrine of precedent. This means that if a court decides one case, it binds all future cases in the same jurisdiction.
The concept of “natural law” emerged in ancient Greek philosophy, though it re-entered mainstream culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas. Law is often described as the “art of justice,” but there is also debate about the morality of the law.