Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations.
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.
The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas.
Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined.
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.
He said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings.
The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein.In medieval England, royal courts developed a body of precedent which later became the common law.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.Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; this became known as the Codex Hammurabi.The most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, and has since been fully transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian, German, and French.