5.1.5 Classification of Legal Power
Previous sections have defined the elements of the legal system and set it in the context of other forms of power. The analysis continues in the following segments:
(5.2) The individual elements of a legal system are examined: the nature of laws, how they are made and enforced, the legislature, the judiciary, and the separation of powers between government and the law.
(5.3) The subsidiarity of the legal system is examined, including national laws with regional variations, multinational legal systems such as the EU, and the role of the United Nations in international law. Some contentious items are included: the role of religious law, the operation of law across national boundaries, and national compliance with international law.
(5.4) Laws can be slow to adapt to a rapidly-changing society but, although changes in legislation are possible, there is some latitude for interpretation within existing laws. Laws become unsustainable, though, if too many people find them unacceptable. Human rights law is particularly contentious, for example raising issues with protection of minority cultures and freedom of speech.
At this point, readers who are just seeking an overview of this book’s contents may wish to move to the next chapter (6). Alternatively, they may wish to go directly to a particular segment by following the above links or continue to read sequentially.
This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books. An archived copy of it is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/515.htm