The Oxford Reference Dictionary of Law

Law is the system of rules a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members. It covers all areas of human endeavor governed by a code of law, including criminal, civil, and international affairs.

The Oxford Reference Dictionary of Law provides more than 34,000 concise definitions and in-depth, specialist encyclopedic entries across this broad discipline. Written by trusted experts for researchers at every level, this indispensable resource covers major terms and concepts in law from the UK, US, and Australia—from criminal law, tax and social security law, and human rights law to international law, family and employment law, and major debates in legal theory.

About the Entry:

The law is a set of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science or as the art of justice.

Definitions and Examples:

Defendant – The person who has been accused of a crime. Judge – The person who is responsible for hearing the case. Jury – A group of people who decide the outcome of a trial.

Jurisdiction – The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case.

Venue – The geographical location where a case is tried.

A court of law is a body of judges who decide a lawsuit in a courtroom. It can be a state or federal court. It is usually a judge who hears the case, but sometimes a jury is used.