Law is needed in the society for the smooth functioning of it. Law is fascinating and important because it deals with a variety of people such as Ministers, MP’s, MLA’s, doctors, teachers, and common people and for children too. However, most of the people in India are unaware about the history of law, philosophy of law, functions of the law, applications of the law etc.

The International Journal of Rule Law and Policy
The International Journal of Rule Law and Policy (Photo credit: UNE Photos)
Usually people say that if you want to file case check your wallet first. This may be happening to some people and this was clearly a misunderstanding. Anyone who has knowledge about law can use it in the court and file cases. This type of misunderstanding happens due to misleading information and lack of knowledge about law and court procedure. Therefore, by giving an interesting introduction to law, we can begin a journey of knowing some laws and in the future, use it in the real life.

History of law

We can define law as general standards of conduct, established and enforced to protect society and allow smooth functioning of it. In India, the law is based on Anglo-Saxon judicial system that we adopted from British Government.

Different types of law

There are different types of law such as Public law, Private law

Civil law - Body of law that pacts with rights, duties and responsibilities of parties of two individuals.

Common law – Law that is unwritten

Statutory law – Law that has been passed by state or central legislature.

International law -  Law that has been made by treaties in global meetings by different nations. The laws are made in accordance with the international treaty.

Domestic law- Law that exist within the boundaries of the nation and can only be applied within the nation. Under domestic law there are two laws, Substantive law and Procedural law.

Substantive law - Body of law that defines general rules or principals of how one should not act in the society. Under Substantive law, there are two divisions of law. They are Public law and Private law.

Public law – Body of law that deals with rights, duties and obligations of public. This types of law is mostly used by social activists to file public litigations. Now Indian government adopted the right based framework to all the acts and bills. Public law is again classified into three law, Administrative law, Constitutional Law and Criminal law.

Administrative law – This type of law deals with the relationship of people with Government departments, boards, and other agencies. This type of law guides the Government officials to treat the public.

Constitutional Law – The basic type of law and Government gets power from this law. This law has the most power in a democratic country and no law against this law can stand-alone. If such a law exist it will be non-void or invalid.

Criminal law - Body of law that deals with criminal offences and punishments such as CRPC.

Private law - Body of law that deals with rights, duties and obligations of private individuals. Private laws are classified into 6 laws, Tort law, Contract law, family law, estate law, property law and employment law.

Tort law – Deals with rules and regulations of holding individuals or private establishments accountable for destruction or loss they cause to another individual because of an accident or deliberate action.

Contract law - Guide the relationship between people and businesses.

Family law – Interact with families, marriage, divorce, children etc.

Estate law – Division of estate

Property law – Buying and selling properties

Employment law – Ensures whether workers are getting enough salary, able to adapt to work environment and fix minimum wages for work.

Procedural law - Body of law that deals with laws to administer substantive law.


Hierarchy in law

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

High Courts

District (City Civil) Court / Sessions/ Family / Labour and Industrial/ Administrative Tribunals/ DRT/ Consumer

Chief  Judicial (Metropolitan) Magistrate / Civil Judge or Presiding Officer of Small Causes Court/ Juvenile Court

Judicial Magistrates and Senior and Junior Division Civil Judges

Some good books you can refer to start reading about law.

M.P. Jain (1981), Outlines of Indian Legal History, 4th Edition, N.M Tripathy Private Limited: Bombay

The Indian Law Institute (1978), The Indian Legal System , N.M Tripathy Private Limited: Bombay

J.J.R. Upadhayaya (1994), Administrative Law, Central Law Agency: Allahabad


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