A Brief Introduction to Branches of Law
Law is part of everyday life, in fact, there’s very little that you do that
is without some form of legal repercussions. In this article, we’ll cover some of the more common forms of law as well as some of the most famous cases in each branch of law.
International Law branches out into 3 forms of law, namely; public international law, private law (also known as conflict of laws), and law of supernational organizations.
Public international law
Public international law applies to the relationships that nations have with each other. Treaties are the most common forms of relationships between nations and they impact the economies of the nations concerned.
Interesting fact: The United Nations was created after the fall of the League of Nations, which failed to prevent the Second World War.
Conflict law or private international law is concerned largely with the resolution of legal disputes and the jurisdiction that holds president. That means that in a case between two organization in different countries, conflict law will determine which country the case will be heard in, and consequently which laws will apply to the case.
Supernational law relates to a nations ability to make judicial decisions by the creation of treaties presented to a tribunal. One of the most famous tribunals is the United Nations Security Council.
Criminal law, also referred to as penal law, relates to the punishment for crimes. The punishment for crime is determined by the negative impact a crime has on society. Even though crimes are committed, the criminal justice procedure must be adhered to. This is where the common saying “innocent until proven guilty” is most applied.
Some of the most prominent criminal court cases are:
- The Trial of OJ Simpson
- Jack The Ripper
- The Sam Sheppard Murder Case
Contract law relates an agreement that becomes enforceable by law. The common elements of a contract are;
- Offer and acceptance: this is the promise of something in exchange for another thing or service
- Considerations: this is the actual exchange that the parties complete as part of the agreement
- Intention: this is the mental attitude with which an individual act. Due to the nature of intent, being difficult to ascertain, it therefore cannot ordinarily be directly proved but must be inferred from surrounding facts and circumstances
In 1892, there was a case that related to the core of contract law. Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company was based on an offer made by Carbolic, which was found to not be true. Carbolic advertised a flu remedy called “carbolic smoke ball”. The flu remedy was advertised to be a cure for influenza and also touted that they would pay 100 pounds to any customer the flu remedy did not cure. Carbolic’s advertisement therefore was found to constitute a promise and therefore met the criteria of a contractual agreement. The flu remedy did not work, therefore Carbolic lost the case.