Private and Commercial Law UNSW School of Private and Commercial Law is home to world-leading experts in the areas of law that govern our commercial dealings with and obligations to each other. We asked eight members of our faculty about the big ideas that drive their work, how these ideas can be used in our society today, and how legal scholarship can make a real impact. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘law.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.
A judiciary is a number of judges mediating disputes to determine outcome. Most countries have systems of appeal courts, with an apex court as the ultimate judicial authority. In the United States, this authority is the Supreme Court; in Australia, the High Court; in the UK, the Supreme Court; in Germany, the Bundesverfassungsgericht; and in France, the Cour de Cassation. For most European countries the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg can overrule national law, when EU law is relevant.
Around 1900 Max Weber defined his “scientific” approach to Law, identifying the “legal rational form” as a type of domination, not attributable to personal authority but to the authority of abstract norms. Formal legal rationality was his term for the key characteristic of the kind of coherent and calculable law that was a precondition for modern political developments and the modern bureaucratic state. Weber saw this law as having developed in parallel with the growth of capitalism. Other notable early legal sociologists included Hugo Sinzheimer, Theodor Geiger, Georges Gurvitch and Leon Petrażycki in Europe, and William Graham Sumner in the U.S. This case is used to support the view of property in common law jurisdictions, that the person who can show the best claim to a piece of property, against any contesting party, is the owner.
Legal systems vary between jurisdictions, with their differences analysed in comparative law. In civil law jurisdictions, a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates the law. In common law systems, judges may make binding case law through precedent, although on occasion this may be overturned by a higher court or the legislature. Historically, religious law has influenced secular matters and is, as of the 21st century, still in use in some religious communities. Sharia law based on Islamic principles is used as the primary legal system in several countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. Suffolk Law graduates are leaders in state and federal government; they are general counsel of global companies; they are judges, prosecutors, and criminal defense lawyers; and they make a social impact through a wide range of other public interest and public service careers.
Administrative law is the chief method for people to hold state bodies to account. People can sue an agency, local council, public service, or government ministry for judicial review of actions or decisions, to ensure that they comply with the law, and that the government entity observed required procedure. The first specialist administrative court was the Conseil d’État set up in 1799, as Napoleon assumed power in France. European Union law is the first and so far the only example of a supranational law, i.e. an internationally accepted legal system, other than the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Given the trend of increasing global economic integration, many regional agreements—especially the African Union—seek to follow a similar model. In the EU, sovereign nations have gathered their authority in a system of courts and the European Parliament.
The creation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. Roman law was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were highly sophisticated. In medieval England, royal courts developed a body of precedent which later became the common law.
Yet classification is a matter of form rather than substance since similar rules often prevail. Emory Law’s academic centers and interdisciplinary programs provide students with access to leading legal scholars in policy and research, in-depth seminars and conferences/symposia by renowned experts, and access to respected practitioners. As pandemic-related eviction suspensions began to expire, Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor reached out to other law schools to enlist their support in responding to a looming housing crisis nationwide. At the Law Center, through clinics and volunteer opportunities, students helped local residents facing housing insecurity.