The Oxford Companion to Law

Law is the set of rules that govern a society and are enforced by its government. Its precise definition is a topic of intense debate and many fields of study revolve around it. Law influences relationships, governance, commerce and individual rights and is a major contributor to human civilization.

The word “law” is derived from the Old Norse lag, meaning “laying down order.” It refers to a system of rules and standards that govern behavior in a social environment and promote peace or discourage violence. The most obvious function of laws is the criminal justice system which deals with offenses against a community or individual, such as murder or burglary. The law also provides a framework for business activities, including the legal structure of corporations and partnerships, contract law, property law and labor law.

It is also important to note that the legal system varies from one country to the next. Different political and economic systems create unique legal environments. Regardless of the system, however, there are some basic principles that must be observed in law. For example, an ideal legal system would be transparent and open to all citizens. In addition, it would be understandable and stable, with core human, contractual and procedural rights enshrined in the law. Finally, it would be free of corruption and able to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

While there are many different theories and opinions about what exactly law is, most agree that it is a social institution used to control and direct society. It is also viewed as a tool of social engineering that is coercive in nature.

Because of its complex and varied nature, law is a fascinating field to study. There are numerous books and journals that examine its many facets. The study of law involves a variety of subjects, from history to philosophy and from sociology to political science.

The Oxford Companion to Law provides a clear, concise definition of law and offers an in-depth look at the major concepts, processes and organizations of the legal system. It contains 34,000 entries written by experts and is designed to be a reference for students and professionals at every level of the discipline. It covers topics ranging from crime, tax and social security law to family and employment law as well as the major debates in legal theory. This is an essential companion to any serious student of law. The encyclopedia also includes thousands of primary sources, bibliographies and a glossary. It is available as both a hardcover and digital version. The digital version allows users to access key terms and definitions, as well as search and navigate the entire content of the encyclopedia with ease. In addition, this edition features full-color images, a table of contents and an index. This is an essential resource for anyone studying law or the broader subject of human culture. It is available through most book retailers and online. Oxford University Press is proud to offer this invaluable scholarly tool for research and study.