The Different Types of Law


Law is a discipline and profession concerned with interpreting and enforcing the rules of behavior that govern communities. It involves the enforcement of these rules through a controlling authority. The discipline is often divided into different branches, each of which has distinct goals and purposes. Below we will look at some of the main branches of law.

Rule of law

Rule of law is a political philosophy where all citizens and institutions are held accountable to the same laws. All institutions, leaders, and lawmakers must abide by the same laws.

Legal norms

A legal norm is a principle, rule, or regulation that is set forth by a sovereign power. It regulates social relations and determines the rights of individuals within its jurisdiction.


Courts are the central mechanism of a legal system to settle disputes. These institutions are composed of judges and juries. They hear and decide cases in criminal, civil and administrative matters. Everyone has the right to bring a case before a court. In criminal cases, the defendant has the right to present his or her defense.

Legal systems

Legal systems are the systems of laws used by different countries. They have different origins, but all share the same basic principles. Most countries use some form of civil law, such as the French system or the English system. These systems are based on Roman or Germanic law, and cover around 60% of the world. They often combine elements from Roman law with rules and customs from other cultures. In some countries, civil law is a major part of the culture, and it promotes cooperation among different groups.

Common law

Common law is the body of rules that govern our legal system. These rules are the result of an interplay between precedents, moral norms, policies, and experience. Unlike the civil law system, judges cannot simply decide whatever they want, but must follow precedents in order to be considered valid. In addition, common law must satisfy three standards:

International law

International law has been in existence for centuries, dating back to the ancient Middle East. Its roots can be traced to pacts and agreements made by the various empires of the Middle East, including the Lagash and Umma treaty in Mesopotamia, which was signed in 2100 BCE. Other early works on international law include works by Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, who are considered to be the founders of the secular school of international law.

Property law

Property law deals with the ownership of real and personal property. Essentially, this refers to legally protected claims to resources, including intellectual property.

Military law

Military law focuses on regulating the conduct of active-duty military personnel. This legal system helps active-duty military members make the right decisions.