Dating in the workplace legal liability
defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community; a rule or mode of conduct or action that is prescribed or formally recognized as binding by a supreme controlling authority or is made obligatory by a sanction (as an edict, decree, rescript, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, rule, judicial decision, or usage) made, recognized, or enforced by the controlling authority." The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, and complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are also of great importance." Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used.
State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions.
Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process.
Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined.
Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations.
The history of law links closely to the development of civilization.
The small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class.
However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts.
A Europe-wide Law Merchant was formed so that merchants could trade with common standards of practice rather than with the many splintered facets of local laws.
The Law Merchant, a precursor to modern commercial law, emphasised the freedom to contract and alienability of property.