Law is a system of rules created and enforced by government in order to deal with crime, business agreements and social relationships. The law also serves other purposes, including keeping the peace and maintaining the status quo; protecting individual rights; promoting social justice; and providing for orderly social change.
Rule of law – The rule of law is the belief that the laws of a country govern all its citizens, including lawmakers themselves. This idea stands in contrast to dictatorships and autocracies, which may have little or no rule of law.
Jurisdiction – The ability of a court to decide certain issues, such as whether or not the United States Constitution applies in a particular case. Federal courts are often the ones that handle these issues, as well as questions of interpretation and application of acts of Congress and international treaties.
Trial – A hearing in which a defendant pleads “not guilty” to charges and is allowed to present evidence against him or her. Judges and juries consider all the facts of a case, making a decision on whether or not to find a defendant guilty.
Law is sometimes divided into two types, natural law and utilitarian law. Utilitarian laws are based on a belief that human actions should be weighed according to the needs of society and that people have a tendency to obey commands from their rulers. Nature law, on the other hand, holds that moral and unchanging rules govern all human behavior.