As the formal rules of a society, laws describe what people should and should not do. A ruler, a legislature, or a religious institution can make laws. The word law also refers to the study of laws—how they are made and what they mean. Lawyers and judges are professional experts in law.
Societies make their laws in different ways. Many laws come from religion or people's ideas about what is right. Others are based on traditional customs. Sometimes a supreme ruler, such as a dictator or a monarch, makes the laws. Often a legislature, or group of lawmakers, creates the laws. Legislatures can be part of national, state, or local governments.
Most countries record, or write down, their laws. A collection of written laws is called a code. In addition to codes of laws, the United States and the United Kingdom have a system of common law. Common law is made up of the decisions of judges in past court cases.
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1) What does the word “law” refer to?
2) What ways do societies make their laws in?
3) What are the functions of lawyers?
4) What are the parties in a criminal case?
5) What are the parties in a civil lawsuit?