Writing About Law


Law is a set of rules or customs that a particular country or community recognizes as binding upon its members and enforced by a controlling authority. This body of rules may encompass a range of topics, from the right to a fair trial and a prohibition on discrimination to a system for resolving disputes. It also includes a number of professional fields, such as legal aid, criminology and forensic science, that deal with defending or enforcing the rights of individuals or groups.

Law affects politics, economics, history and society in a variety of ways and is shaped by a wide range of social needs and conflicts. This is reflected in the wide variety of branches of law, such as contract law, labour law, property law and criminal law.

Some countries, such as the United States, employ a common law system, in which laws are derived from previous judicial decisions on specific cases. Others, such as Japan, use a civil law system in which laws are codified. The law is further shaped by social and cultural influences, such as religion and tradition.

While many people think of the law as something that governs citizens, it is important to remember that the legal system is actually a tool for social control. This is embodied in the doctrine of the separation of powers, which ensures that no one person or group has absolute power. This is important because the Founders of the United States understood that the law can be used as a weapon against individual freedoms, and they sought to prevent that by structuring a government that includes checks and balances on power.

The development of the law has been influenced by the changing social environment and the conflicts that arise over how best to protect individual rights, balance economic interests, satisfy ethical values and promote a sense of justice. This is reflected in a wide range of articles, from those that examine the effect of recent changes in legislation to those that comment on broader social issues and debates.

When writing about law, it is important to remember that the majority of your audience is not going to be a legal professional or student, but is instead a member of the general public who has either been affected by a particular piece of legislation or is interested in the topic for personal or political reasons. This means that you need to write for this audience, using simple language and avoiding legal jargon. You should also avoid overly complex or technical arguments, as these can confuse your readers. Scannability is crucial, so try to break up long paragraphs of text with subheadings, bullet points and clear image breaks. It is also advisable to include an exhaustive FAQ section, answering any questions your reader might have about the topic. This will help to keep them engaged and make your article more authoritative. Finally, it is a good idea to include links to external sources that provide further information on the topic or further reading.