I feel like it’s safe to say that some of
our favourite movies cover aspects of life we either admire or wish to be
associated with. The representatives of various professions, for instance
firefighters, doctors or, alternatively, housewives have received substantial
attention from film directors and have been depicted in numerous films and TV
shows that are mainstream hits or timeless classic. One profession that is not
to be overlooked in this context is lawyers. They are on TV screens quite often
and many well-known TV series and films choose to feature them due to them
being an invaluable part of maintaining order in the society. So without
further ado, let’s take a look at films that make all of us want to be lawyers.
Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
Mick Haller, a knowledgeable defence lawyer,
finds himself working a rather controversial case that is given a lot of
attention by the public. He is defending a son of an influential and madly rich
realtor who is accused of very serious crimes. While initially Haller believes
the innocence of the young man and dives into defending him at all costs, later
on he starts discovering evidence that sheds doubts on whether the realtor’s
son is truly innocent. The film is an adaptation of a novel with the same name written
in 2005 by Michael Connelly. If the plot isn’t enough, consider giving it a
shot because of the spectacular acting done by Matthew McConaughey.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
If you don’t know the film, you must know
the book. If you don’t know the book, it’s about the time to open up the novel
of that same name by Harper Lee and see for yourself why it is considered one
of the greatest books ever written that cover topics of social equality and
innocence of children. About the film – set in the era of the Great Depression,
it follows two storylines. One is a story of a black man who is standing trial
in a time and place where everyone is determined to sentence him just because
of the colour of his skin. His lawyer, Atticus Finch, is unlike most of his
generation and comes to defend the young man, who is evidently innocent. The
second storyline follows the day-to-day lives of Finch’s two children, Scout
and Jem, who find themselves spying on their strange neighbours. The two
stories intertwine to create a picture that will leave an impact on everyone.
A Few Good Men (1992)
This one is for everyone fond not just of law, but also military and war movies. A US military lawyer by the name of Lt. Daniel Kaffee stands in defence of two other US members of the US military, marines, who are on trial for the murder of another marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. The evidence and gut feeling are suggesting the murderer is someone else, someone you can’t touch very easily.
First things first –
if you are researching this topic, you are probably interested in starting or
pursuing your studies in the field of law. It is important to emphasize one
aspect of law, which is that unlike medicine, for example, law is not as
universal country to country. Each state has its own legal framework and
chooses to govern itself in different ways. Thus, depending on the branch of
law you choose, you might have a hard time practicing law abroad (you’ll need
to pass exams, complete supplementary courses, take additional tests and so on).
Thus, I suggest you think carefully about where you envision yourself in life
and how your career as a lawyer should look like. All that being said, there
are a couple of law schools with which
you simply cannot go wrong.
Harvard Law School
There is no denying
that Harvard Law is famous all around the world – many TV shows feature lawyers
from Harvard, you can find Harvard Law alumni in some of the most prestigious
courtrooms and working some of the most difficult and famous cases. All of that
is not without a reason. Founded in 1817, it is the oldest law school in the
entire of United States. The school has nearly 400 staff members, all of whom
show extreme passion for law and hope to instill it in the students. Harvard is
famous for making the large class idea work (some contain as many as 80
students) as well as creating study programs that are rigorous and require
students to dedicate most of their energy to their studies. However, one must
agree that oftentimes this is how the greatest field experts are born – from
extreme passion to their subject and relentless work. It is also fair to say
that the image of Harvard aids the student success – most who go there are
truly determined to reach greatness.
University of Oxford
world-famous giant of intellectual achievements, Oxford has been the top
destination for many who wish to associate their life with law and do it well.
Its Faculty of Law is a federation of thirty law schools from colleges across Oxford.
Its main areas of focus include: security,
rights and justice; penal culture, policy and practice; politics, legitimacy
and criminal justice; crime and family; psychology, criminal justice and law, victims
and victimisation; and criminal justice, citizenship and migration – evidently,
there is something for everyone, as long as you are good enough to get in.
University of Melbourne
Representing a completely different part of the world, law studies at the University of Melbourne have been sought after ever since the establishment of Melbourne Law School in 1857. It is the oldest and the most prestigious law school in the entirety of Australia and has produced numerous notable alumni who play a significant role not only in Australia, but also internationally. It is infamous for the difficulty of admissions – the class caps at 350 students. However, it is to be understood that Melbourne Law School wants to create and environment where the best of the best can grow even more, and that is to be celebrated.
Trade has been at the
forefront of human development. Back in the day, nations got introduced to
foreign perspectives, methods and ways of doing things primarily through the
people who arrived with the purpose of trading items. That lead to each nation
adopting the most effective practices and encouraged improvement. However,
being a trader was (and to some extent still is) a very dangerous profession.
Long travels and no possibility of ensuring one’s safety caused major issues
for valuable trade items and the people themselves. When the international
relations among nations grew, this translated into governmental levels and so
people started looking for ways to ensure safe and just trade process. This
wish marks the beginning of World Trade Organization.
In fact, it all
started from the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade in 1947, which was
a legally-binding agreement between a large number of countries. Its intention
was to promote even more effective and fast trade by eliminating tariffs and
sanctions associated with importing and exporting goods. It functioned for 47
years and provided the so-needed framework for how international trade should
be carried out.
Organization was founded in 1995, and this foundation marks the biggest
development in how international trade is handled from World War II. On top of
covering trading of goods as supervised by GATT, WTO also included services and
intellectual property, the protection of which under international legal
systems was unheard of up to that point. Frameworks for handling trade-related
disputes were also established. Ever since then, WTO has been putting constant
effort into reducing tariffs for trade with developing countries and making
sure trade is fair on their end. As of now, it includes 164 members and
supervises 98% of international trade.
The WTO focuses on
these main aspects:
Trade negotiations – every country wishing to
join or keep being a member of WTO has to make sure their trade agreements and
tariffs comply with the ones established by the organization and thought to be
Implementation and monitoring – transparency is
among the biggest values of WTO. All member states must have their tariffs and
trade agreements publicly accessible and they also must comply with the
requirements of WTO.
Dispute settlement – probably the most common
function of WTO. Needless to say, disputes among member states occur,
especially when new agreements are put in places. WTO steps in and enforces Dispute
Settlement Understanding to make sure the conflict is solved justly. If the
countries believe the documents infringes on their rights, they are free to
Building trade capacity – this is at the
forefront of all trade associated with the developing countries. WTO tries to
make sure that no country is taken advantage of and that all possible trade
options are being used by the developing countries by providing assistance with
internal process structure and infrastructure.
Outreach – WTO is in constant contact with
non-governmental organizations, the public and the media representatives to
make sure its work and goals are transparent and that everyone is aware of all
the trade possibilities out there.
Established in 1945, The United Nations is an international organization that unites governments of many different countries with the goal of promoting peace and prosperity in the entire world. Over […]
Established in 1945,
The United Nations is an international organization that unites governments of
many different countries with the goal of promoting peace and prosperity in the
entire world. Over the years it has become an inseparable part of maintaining
international security and peace. The majority of sovereign states are
represented in the United Nations and while countries have very distinctly
different understanding of how the world should look like, most can agree that
the United Nations is a crucial instrument that promotes a set of values worth
effects World War II had on the development of the world and on the respect for
human life automatically called for action; the people responded by founding the League of Nations in 1920. Sadly, due to various reasons that
had to do with structure and execution, the organization proved to be
ineffective. This is when the UN charter started being drafted. Not only was it
supposed to achieve the unachievable, that is to unite all nations of the
world, it also had to start operating under the shadow of its predecessor and
make sure it does not step into its footsteps.
The event considered
to be a milestone in founding of the UN is the San Francisco conference, which
lasted for months and during which representatives from 50 countries tried to come
up with a framework for the organization that would include maintaining
international peace, protecting and promoting human rights, international law,
sustainable development and humanitarian aid. And they succeeded. As of 2011,
the number of member states grew to 193, and the decisions made by the UN have
huge weight on the international development.
Functions and Institutions
The United Nations has
six main organs, each with a precise function and goal. They include:
The General Assembly. It is the only organ in
which all countries have equal representation. The governments discuss matters
related to policy-making, oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the
Secretary-General and the Security Council.
The Security Council. The main goal of the
Security Council is to ensure international peace, recommend that new members
be accepted and approving changes to the UN charter.
The Economic and Social Council. It supervises
most of the economical and social matters of the United Nations, serves to
inform the General Assembly about the international economic and social
situation and make policy recommendations.
The Trusteeship Council. Supervises that the
inhabitants of trust territories have their interests represented.
The International Court of Justice. The main
judicial organ of the United Nations. It offers advisory opinions on legal
issues of international nature and settles disputes among nations.
The UN Secretariat. The executive organ of the
UN responsible for setting agenda and implementing decisions of the other
While just like any
organization of this scope, the United Nations has also seen allegations
regarding corruption and bias, in general its importance for the world is
If you enjoy an occasional Netflix binge-watching session, chances are you’ve been involved with some legal dramas before. Intense scenes of defence lawyers and prosecutors confronting each other in front […]
If you enjoy an occasional Netflix
binge-watching session, chances are you’ve been involved with some legal dramas
before. Intense scenes of defence lawyers and prosecutors confronting each
other in front of a devoted jury is probably an image that arises in most
people’s head when they think about a TV show that has to do with law. That happens
to be the case because the USA happens to produce the most popular and the most
compelling legal shows that are also numerous in quantity. Regardless of
whether you’re looking to add one more of those to your already extensive list
or if you are just exploring some new directions for TV shows to watch, this
list should have something for you.
How to Get Away with Murder
Probably one of the more famous ones, to
say the least. The intense legal drama covers a story of a law professor and
her students that goes way beyond classroom debates and difficult papers.
Annalise Keating, a law professor and a widely known defence lawyer, who is
also probably one of the toughest characters, male or female, to ever show up
on a TV show screen, selects a group of students for her legal clinic. The aim
is to nurture talented minds and do some good work in the process. They end up
being involved in an accidental murder (as the title hints), and things just
escalate from there, to say the least. As of now, there are six seasons in
total, each with a distinct spin to it and exceptional character development.
If you like stories that involve showing how unfair, random and difficult life
can be, all in the context of law studies, this one is for you.
This TV shows stands a synonym to
attractive men and powerful women, all united by their love for law (or
breaking it). Harvey Specter, a lawyer famous not just for his win record at
the court, but also for his excessive arrogance and straightforward character,
hires Mike Ross, who ends up participating in the interview by accident. During
it, Harvey finds out that Mike is no Harvard graduate (which is mandatory if
you want to work for their firm), or any graduate at all for that matter, but
sees a lot of himself in Mike and decides to give him a shot nonetheless. And
yes, Harvey is well aware that a lawyer without an actual license to practice
law can cause enormous issues to the firm. 7 seasons later, a lot has changed,
but one thing remains for sure – and that is the admiration and devotion all
characters have for the discipline of law.
For the People
This might be an interesting one if you
feel like you’ve seen all of the legal TV shows. It depicts the struggles and
triumphs of fresh graduates, who have just joined the Southern District of New York Federal Court
– one of the most prestigious legal centres in the whole of USA. Good and evil,
pro-bono cases and corporate greed, prosecutors and federal public defenders
are just among many binaries that face each other in the never-ending pursuit
of justice driven by young idealism.
If you are planning to travel to Europe
anytime soon and not sure where to start your preparations for the journey –
check out the laws! When you will read about the most unusual or strangest laws
in Europe, you will be able to protect yourself from any unwanted and
embarrassing situations. It doesn’t matter if you are an American traveling
around Europe or a European traveling to a neighboring country. Below you will
find just a few laws from different European countries that, while strange, are
still active, so make sure you don’t break those laws!
When traveling to Greece, where it’s nice
weather and beautiful sites, make sure to wear something other than heels.
Apparently, it is illegal to wear high heels in Olympia or in the Acropolis of
Athens. The reason is fairly simple – by wearing heels you might scratch and
harm the ancient monuments, and if you do that, there is a high chance of you
going to jail. So, remember – wear comfortable shoes and try not to damage
anything around you with them.
If you don’t want to be dragged out of the
ocean and put in jail – don’t pee in the ocean! It is illegal in Portugal to
pee in the ocean, and it doesn’t justify the fact that you are too lazy to find
a restroom. There are enough public restrooms around the beach, so when nature
calls, don’t ignore it. Go and use the restroom that is located on the beach and
you won’t have to spend half of your vacation in a Portuguese jail.
This country is not as strict as other
countries, and yet it has some weird laws too. If you are driving from the
beach to your rented penthouse in Spain, then don’t be tempted to wear
flip-flops. Apparently, in Spain, it is believed that if you are wearing
flip-flops while driving it has a negative influence on your seating position
and you might lose control over your vehicle. And this is not just a warning
from the Spanish authorities. If you get caught wearing flip-flops, you might
be fined 200 EUR. Be careful on the road and wear the right shoes, or none at
Are you a man and want to wear a skirt while
touring in Italy? Well, you’re out of luck! In Italy, if you are a man and you
are wearing a skirt in a public place, you have a high chance of getting
arrested. Why? Perhaps because Italians are concerned about their manhood.
Moreover, it’s one of the fashion hubs in Europe, so you cannot offend its
citizens who live in a land of fashion and style with a blatant insult of an
In Switzerland, should you have the urge to
use the bathroom in the middle of the night, you still can. However, you are
not allowed to flush the toilet at night. Weird, right? Well, some people in
Switzerland call this strange law an “urban myth”. Perhaps by flushing the
toilet at night, you might accidentally wake people up who are in a deep sleep.
Switzerland famously hates noise. Regardless, just don’t drink too much water
before bed and you will be just fine!
Are you planning to travel to the United
States of America anytime soon? If you answered yes, then this article is for
you! Sure, in such a progressive country the laws have to make sense to protect
its citizens and visitors. However, not all laws have to make sense, and there
can be some ridiculous ones too, some of which are simply old forgotten ones.
Here are just a few strange laws in some of the most visited US states.
People can do different outrageous and illegal
things, and this is why laws are created. Due to different crimes that happen
in the state, law enforcement has to make sure that people don’t commit those
crimes again, or at least less frequently. As a punishment, people either have
to pay the fine or do community service or spend time in jail. Below you will
read the list of the weirdest laws in Florida. Even if these laws might be
outdated, they are still written down and people should technically abide by
In Miami Beach, you cannot sell
oranges on the sidewalk.
If you go to a hairdresser in the
state of Florida, make sure you don’t fall asleep under a hairdryer! You can be
fined for falling asleep.
Just got out of the public
swimming pool and want to break into song? Don’t! In Florida, it is illegal to
sing in public.
If you are an unmarried woman you
are not allowed to go parachuting on Sunday. For disobeying this law, you may
be fined, arrested or put in jail.
Don’t buy a skateboard, unless you
have a license to use it. Seriously.
If you got tired from moving stuff
into your new place and left a couch underneath the outdoor carpet, you can be
New York State
If you are traveling to the Big Apple, be
ready to be ticketed for the weirdest things ever! Even though all the laws in
New York State are created for your own safety, you might still do something
that is prohibited without realizing its illegal and be punished for it. To
avoid such inconvenient expenses and unpleasant surprises, check out this list of weird laws in the NY State.
Don’t throw a ball at someone’s
face. Initially, this law has been created for carnival workers to prevent them
from being abused by their bosses. It is also frowned upon of you make someone
ride a bicycle or dance for 8 hours straight.
You cannot sell a dog’s or cat’s
hair. The law has been created to avoid cruelty towards animals and the sale of
their fur. However, the law does not cover wild dogs or wild cats.
If you flirt, you will be fined
$25! This law has been created to fine men who are trying to flirt with women
on the streets, as well as to stop prostitution.
You cannot run a puppet show from
a window. If you were thinking of making your own puppet show for the kids
outside of your apartment – don’t do it! It might result in you getting fined
for $25 or spending 30 days in jail!
It seems like in our modern society for every
situation, be it a dispute between nations regarding their borders or a family
quarrel, there is a law out there which will govern how the situation should be
solved. And indeed, the legal systems all around the world have progressed to
the point where they don’t simply overview how institutions or individuals
should behave towards one another but instead cover a much larger ground.
Naturally, with such great variety of legal matters, a need to classify them
arose. It is important to understand what counts as private law and what
situations and actions fall under the category of public law in order to be
aware of how most of our societies are structured.
In short, public law deals with everything that
relates to a state or a society as a whole. They can be acts committed by
individuals, such as robbery, but by definition those acts are supposed to
affect the entire society, be it directly or indirectly. These laws can
oftentimes be quite abstract and leave space for interpretation. This occurs
because they are supposed to cover a vast amount of situations and create an
unbiased grounds where things of major importance could be decided. Public law
includes some well-known branches of law, such as:
Administrative law –
those laws that deal with governmental institutions, such as the Department of
Education or Ministry of Transportation.
Constitutional laws, in
other words, laws included in the Constitution that are meant to protect the
rights of citizens.
Criminal laws –
laws that decide what happens to those who commit crimes.
Municipal laws –
those that govern cities or towns.
International laws –
the broadest in scope of all, these laws govern how states and international
organizations interact with one another on the world stage.
Private law is a lot more narrow and
specific in scope. It is enforced when, for instance, you decide to throw a
party, don’t warn your neighbours and they call the police because you are
playing music too loudly late at night; you are infringing on your neighbours
right to peacefully rest at home at a time that is legally considered to be
quiet hours. Some categories of private law are:
Contract law –
supervises the process and protects the rights of individuals entering into a
Property law –
ensure everyone has the right to their property, determined forms of ownership
as well as tenant and landlord relationships.
Family law –
governs family-related disputes, domestic issues, such as divorce or child
Tort law –
this includes obligations, remedies and rights of those to whom someone else
has done harm, be it physical, material or psychological.
Succession law –
governs how property is transferred and inherited.
In general, since private law deals
with acts and events of more narrow scope, the fines and punishments related to
disobeying it are usually a lot less serious. That being said, it is also
oftentimes a lot less self-evident. For instance, it is easily understood by
most that robbery is a crime that will be followed by legal consequences.
However, when it comes to private law, countries
tend to have a lot of nuanced and scrutinized laws, thus, when it
comes to individual level, it is crucial to be well aware of everything that
might be considered as a violation of private law.
Today it is
hardly possible to envision a society that is not governed by any form of law;
judicial organs, be they highly bureaucratic and universalized or flexible and
able to consider cases individually, are an intrinsic part of even the most
primitive of communities. There are laws that govern states internally, laws
that govern international relations among states, laws that govern the making
of laws. So how did all of that come to be? Let’s explore the roots of law-making
that allowed us to progress to the complex legal systems we have today.
attribute the beginning of law to the ancient Egypt. A set of civil codes that
were established with impartiality and equality in mind appeared in 30th
century BC. Eight centuries later, in 22nd century BC, the Sumerians developed
the oldest known law code. Known as Ur-Nammu, it is the oldest known and surviving code of
law. It includes punishments for crimes such as murder, robbery and kidnapping,
covers how the marriages between slaves and natives or two slaves function, how
divorces are supposed to be carried out and so on. A lot of the king’s power is
associated with the Sumerian gods, showing the importance of divine powers to
the societies of the time.
18th century BC
marks another important cornerstone in law-making. King Hammurabi’s code of law
is one of the oldest and most significant pieces of writing that were
deciphered and can now be used to understand the structure and relations in societies
back in the day. The code of Hammurabi is very lengthy, includes a bunch of
explanations on how to conduct sales, trade, contracts and so on.
Interestingly, it was inscribed in stone and several copies were presented for
the public around the Kingdom of Babylon. It showed the wish to include, or at
least inform, the society regarding the legislative practices of the kingdom.
wasn’t until the 8th century BC that the citizens truly started getting
involved into the law-making process. Ancient Greece, the cradle of democracy,
was the first to create laws that at least attempted to reflect the general
will of the people. Its philosophers were the first to utilize the concept of
democracy in their thought and their society was the first to start practicing
a form of direct democracy, which is a monumental contribution to the way most
understand just law nowadays.
The Roman laws,
strongly influenced by Greek teachings, were also most often focused on the general
public. They changed a lot to reflect the dynamic nature of their society. The
Law of the Twelve Tables was a monumental document that stood as the basis for
the Constitutions of the Roman Republic. It elaborated upon aspects such as
private rights, which were not commonly addressed previously and in general were
a document of great significance back in the day and nowadays. For instance,
many of the concepts of Roman Constitution, such as separation of power or the
right to veto, are still highly relevant nowadays.
ancient times created foundations for law to grow, flourish and become a tool
that societies could use to live in peace and prosperity.
The need for new laws is ever present;
situations that find gaps in legal system occur all the time and the need to
solve that by creating official legal frameworks to guide the decision-making
process arises. Since laws applies to all, it is interesting to find out how
they come into existence. Different countries have their set ways and
procedures that need to be followed in order for a new law to become official.
Let’s explore what two countries with established traditions of modern law have
set in place to guide their law-creation process.
The United States of America
First, it is important to understand the
role of some relevant governmental institutions. The most significant one here
is The United States Congress. Based in Washington, D. C., the Congress
includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The officials in these
two chambers are elected through the general election, although a gubernatorial
appointment might also fill a vacancy in the Senate. There are 435
representatives and 100 senators, all of whom play an important role in the
law-making process in the USA.
The idea can come from pretty much anyone.
If you see a gap in the legal system, you are free to contact elected
officials, point out an issue and propose a law that would help solve it. If
the case proves worthy of attention, the idea will turn into a bill that will
then be introduced to either the House of Representatives or the Senate. After
the bill is debated and finalized, it is sent one of the two ways, either to
subcommittee to conduct more research or the House or Senate floor to be
debated upon. If the bill receives the agreement of majority in one house, it
is sent to the other one for a similar procedure. When, and if, both houses agree
on the same version of the bill, it is forwarded to the President. The
president can veto it and return it to the houses to make amendments, choose no
action, in which case the bill automatically becomes a law, or reject it.
The United Kingdom
The UK has two houses of the Parliament, the House of Commons and the
House of Lords. The former is elected, with 650 members, and the latter is
divided into hereditary peers, the Lords Temporal and the Lords Spiritual, most
of which are appointed or inherited. A proposed law is also known as a bill and
it is first considered in one of the houses. Three readings follow; the First
Reading to introduce the bill and its proposition, the Second Reading to
examine it in scrutiny and consider it on the floor of the House, and the Third
Reading to debate it and vote. If the bill passes by the majority of votes, it
goes to the other house. It must be agreed upon by both houses as well as be
granted a Royal Assent from the Queen. After that, the bill becomes Acts of
Parliament, which is the law of the country.