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Admiralty law also encompasses specialised issues such as salvage, maritime liens, and injuries to passengers. Law and commerceCompany law sprang from the law of trusts, on the principle of separating ownership of property and control. The law of the modern company began with the Joint Stock Companies Act 1856, passed in the United Kingdom, which provided investors with a simple registration procedure to gain limited liability under the separate legal personality of the corporation.

  • A concentrated and elite group of judges acquired a dominant role in law-making under this system, and compared to its European counterparts the English judiciary became highly centralised.
  • Space law is a relatively new field dealing with aspects of international law regarding human activities in Earth orbit and outer space.
  • I call the relevant facts “law-determining practices” rather than “legal decisions” because the term “decisions” tends to suggest judicial decisions in particular.
  • Law and commerceCompany law sprang from the law of trusts, on the principle of separating ownership of property and control.

In 1972, Baron Hampstead suggested that no such definition could be produced. McCoubrey and White said that the question “what is law?” has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word “law” depends on the context in which that word is used. He said that, for example, “early customary law” and “municipal law” were contexts where the word “law” had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word “law” and that it is also equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not ever be abandoned.

Yet they tend to dismiss custom as being of slight importance compared to legislation (Georgiadis, General Principles of Civil Law News, 19; Washofsky, Taking Precedent Seriously, 7). It also forms the basis for the law codes of most countries of continental Europe and has played an important role in the creation of the idea of a common European culture (Stein, Roman Law in European History, 2, 104–107). Aviation law deals with all regulations and technical standards applicable to the safe operation of aircraft, and is an essential part both of pilots’ training and pilot’s operations. Non adherence to Air Law regulations and standards renders a flight operation illegal.


From 529 to 534 AD the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I codified and consolidated Roman law up until that point, so that what remained was one-twentieth of the mass of legal texts from before. As one legal historian wrote, “Justinian consciously looked back to the golden age of Roman law and aimed to restore it to the peak it had reached three centuries before.” The Justinian Code remained in force in the East until the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Western Europe, meanwhile, relied on a mix of the Theodosian Code and Germanic customary law until the Justinian Code was rediscovered in the 11th century, and scholars at the University of Bologna used it to interpret their own laws. Both these codes influenced heavily not only the law systems of the countries in continental Europe (e.g. Greece), but also the Japanese and Korean legal traditions.

For a description of legal training and a general background, see legal profession, legal education, and legal ethics. Articles that delineate the relationship of law to political structures are constitution; ideology; political party; and political system. For articles that discuss the importance of law regarding social justice and other social issues, see human rights; land reform; and social service.

Out of all the laws of salesmanship, the first one to learn is to get a prospect’s name. The laws of good business say you shake hands and make eye contact when you leave. Managers know how to promote a respectful working environment while maintaining the laws of the office. Under the law, private equity is taxed in exactly the same manner as every other investment.

Common law and equity

The most prominent economic analyst of law is 1991 Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase, whose first major article, The Nature of the Firm , argued that the reason for the existence of firms (companies, partnerships, etc.) is the existence of transaction costs. Rational individuals trade through bilateral contracts on open markets until the costs of transactions mean that using corporations to produce things is more cost-effective. His second major article, The Problem of Social Cost , argued that if we lived in a world without transaction costs, people would bargain with one another to create the same allocation of resources, regardless of the way a court might rule in property disputes.

John Austin’s utilitarian answer was that law is “commands, backed by threat of sanctions, from a sovereign, to whom people have a habit of obedience”. Natural lawyers on the other side, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, argue that law reflects essentially moral and unchangeable laws of nature. The concept of “natural law” emerged in ancient Greek philosophy concurrently and in connection with the notion of justice, and re-entered the mainstream of Western culture through the writings of Thomas Aquinas, notably his Treatise on Law. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology.

Harvard Law School provides unparalleled opportunities to study law with extraordinary colleagues in a rigorous, vibrant, and collaborative environment. Justice system must be a key priority for Sunak’s government As Rishi Sunak becomes PM, his in-tray will be bursting with urgent issues. We have collected some of our favorite resources for information on legislative, regulatory, judicial, and executive responses in the United States to the COVID-19 pandemic and collected them here for your use. Readers will welcome the detailed commentary of segregation laws in the first part which makes for a valuable reference tool.