Law is a body of rules developed and enforced by governmental or social institutions to govern behavior, with an exact definition also a matter of long-standing debate. It is frequently defined as the art and science of civil law. It covers a broad range of human behaviors and also involves the study of various legal systems around the world. Civil law encompasses the body of laws that affect the political organizations of a country such as the U.S. It also involves private law, which is the area of law dealing with matters between a person and his/her fellow men. The other area of law is a professional law, which is that area of law that deals with matters between an attorney and his/her clients.
Civil and criminal laws are the body of law related with individuals and the administration of government. Civil laws protect the rights of individuals to enjoy freedom of speech and to pursue legal proceedings. Criminal laws are laws that involve punishment for behavior. In the American legal system, the U.S. Congress passes laws and the U.S. Supreme Court interpret and uphold these laws. In addition, the states also pass their own laws to govern their criminal systems.
In some instances, both the legislature and the courts can institute legal remedies. The legislature, through statutes, establishes penalties and liabilities for conduct. A penalty may be a fine, imprisonment, or other form of retribution; the courts, through rulings, impose sentences for criminal conduct. When a civil law case goes to trial, the jury who are selected must be unanimous in its verdict in order for it to be upheld by the court.
Two main types of laws exist at the state and federal levels: civil law and criminal law. Civil law is the area of the law that concerns disputes between private parties. For example, disagreements over property ownership or related issues are civil matters. Criminal law, on the other hand, is the area of the law that involves disputes between government agencies or the government and private parties. Criminal cases can be state or federal in nature. Civil cases can be brought against individuals, corporations, the government, or the media.
Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Canadian Charter does not provide for an expansive interpretation of rights. In addition, unlike the English common law, Canadian jurisprudence does not distinguish between private and public law. Rather, all laws are held to be within the jurisdiction of the legislature. The same is true of the courts. Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, the Canadian Supreme Court does not have the power to interpret or apply certain laws or the rulings of previous courts.
Although there are a number of differences between Canadian and international law, a good analogy would be to liken Canadian intellectual property law to that of copyright or patent law. Just as there are different levels of infringement, there are different types of laws that deal with the creation of works of creativity or intellectual property. This is further compounded by the fact that the creative component of many works of creativity often requires the intervention of the legal system in order to prevent its unauthorized distribution. Thus, the creation of new works of art and creativity requires the assistance of intellectual property attorneys.