Legal System

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to Legal System: common law, civil law, English legal system

Legal System


the structure of any functioning body of law, which reflects the inner unity and coherence of the juridical norms composing the body of law and which expresses the division of the norms into components as objectively necessitated by the particular features of the social relations subject to such norms.

A society’s legal system is ultimately determined by its economic structure. Thus, owing to the economic base common to slave society, feudal society, and bourgeois society—the domination of private property—law in all such states was divided into public law and private law. In this system private law includes the norms that protect the private interests of individual property owners; public law includes the norms that regulate the structure of the state apparatus and its relations with citizens, that is, the norms that thereby protect the interests of the class of property owners as a whole (see alsoLAW PUBLIC LAW, and PRIVATE LAW).

The unity of socialist law stems from the dominance of social ownership and the socialist economic system, and from the united will of the working class and all working people in the USSR, as expressed in the law.

Because the social relations subject to the law are so diverse, each country’s legal system is subdivided into branches of the law and “legal institutes.” A branch of the law is a body of legal norms that regulate social relations in a particular sphere of social life. As a rule, in order for a separate branch of law to be established, the social relations it regulates must constitute a single interrelated complex, a complex qualitatively distinct from other groups of social relations and requiring separate legal regulation. Such branches of socialist law are state law, administrative law, financial law, civil law, labor law, criminal law, and criminal procedure.

A “legal institute” consists of a group of legal norms that regulate some homogeneous and interconnected set of social relations. For example, labor law has such distinct legal institutes as wages and labor time. Family law has such distinct institutes as guardianship and curatorship.


Alekseev, S. S. Struktura sovetskogoprava. Moscow, 1975.
References in periodicals archive ?
These countries should make legal system at par with the developed countries to resolve such disputes quickly.
A chaotic legal system cannot deliver on its very raison d'etre; it deserves a thorough overhaul.
While Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System offers great positive value, I have two sets of concerns.
He said: "One of the things you need to have a thriving economy is a legal system that is trustworthy, not too expensive and efficient.
Some argue that the presence of multiple legal systems at the same time threatens political unity.
Commenting on the workshop, Ali Al Hashimi said: The uniqueness of the UAE legal system is that it follows the common, civil and Sharia laws which is unprecedented in the world.
In our legal system tough there are slight variations from the Islamic laws.
The adversarial system of law, which is the prevailing legal system in most English-speaking, common law countries, is premised upon the assumption that the best method for eliciting truth and attaining justice is through a confrontational encounter in which disputing parties, through an advocate, compete for the support of a neutral and passive decision maker (i.
An introduction to the Mexican legal system is included, outlining the historical roots and development of that system, including the creation of the constitutions of 1824 and 1857, and the current constitution of 1917.
DOHA FOR the first time ever, the French civil code, whose laws form the basis of the legal system of the majority of Arab countries, including Qatar, is available in the mother tongue of these countries, the Arabic language, and in a fine reference edition published by Dalloz, renowned French publishers of legal works.
Dr al-Merri discussed the importance of the separation of the judiciary, legislative and executive authorities for a state to achieve a fair and just constitution and legal system.
Their opinion could be based on a recent publication of the Law Society in which Jack Straw, the Minister of Justice of the UK, boasted the superiority of the British judicial and legal system.