The Different Types of Law

The Different Types of Law


Law is a set of rules that govern behavior and are enforced by governmental and social institutions. The precise definition of law is a topic of debate, but in general it is considered to be either a science or an art of justice. In our modern society, law is increasingly used to protect individuals and society from injustice and oppression.

Rule of law

The idea of the Rule of Law has a long history, tracing back to ancient Greece. However, the concept has only recently become an important topic of discussion. For example, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has said that he does not recall hearing the term in law school in the 1950s. This writer was a law student then.

Legal positivism

Legal positivism is a philosophical theory that explains all law and legal norms in a top-down fashion. Its central thesis is that a law exists only in relation to its general principles, and that these principles are recognizable by judges through moral argument.

Legal realism

Legal realism is an approach to law that takes a naturalistic view of the world. It is based on the premise that law should follow the methods of natural science, and that hypotheses must be tested against the world’s observations.


Formalism in law is a theory of law that focuses on how the law works. It is both a normative and descriptive theory.

Custom and practice

Custom and practice in law refers to the rules and practices established by a business or individual. These rules and practices are generally documented in contracts, employment policies or other legal documents. However, employers should be aware of their legal obligations when these practices are not explicitly stated. Failure to do so may lead to workplace discrimination, serious injury and financial penalties. It may also damage a business’s reputation.

Sources of law

The United States has a very diverse system of law. It was developed over two centuries and is considered a model for other nations. There are four sources of law in the United States, and they all interact with one another. The first source is constitutional law, which regulates government action and individual rights, and the second source is statutory law, which defines how statutes should be interpreted.