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The two legal senses of "law"Edit

This distinction between "A written or understood rule" and "The body of written rules" is wrong and needs to be changed. A better distinction is between "The body of legal rules" (not written!; just remember customary law!) and "A written rule or set of rules". But we should do even better... Velho 03:18, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

The 5 or probably more major legal senses of "law"Edit

There are further senses, such as:

Sense 3: "administrative law", some of which is typically neither written nor customary but executive, even ad hoc, and some of which has the nature of policy rather than rule sensu stricto, and this is in addition to "standards" which now appears in the "legal senses" section, and "understood" does not always pertain to ad hoc law especially, created on the fly as situations demand, besides the question of whether any "understanding" is by the general constituency for a law, special subconstituencies including experts of various kinds, subportions of governmental agencies, or the mind of particular administrators.

Sense 4: There are also jurisprudence systems as well as variant philosophies and traditions endorsing various kinds of latitude beyond "natural" and "common" and "traditional" rules and principles for judges as desirable aspects of law systems, so we may add a 4th category of "adjudicated law" in addition to executive "administrative law". Judges in the Peoples Republic of China, in Turkish and Middle Eastern traditions, in parts of Africa, and elsewhere have not always been officially expected to use either only particular rules nor always extant rules, while usually they have been expected to use but also sometimes to elucidate principles which might undercut many parts of "understood" law, and these mentioned cultures range from modern communist atheist to imperial, religious princely, and cosmopolitan. Large latitude might be given courts for adjudicated law and outcomes and orders following outcomes of trials and cases, as by intent and under considered propriety but then also condemned by some,in the workings of the Courts of Star Chamber and Castle Chamber in English and English-governed Irish tradition. And let's not forget, even in nursery tale judgments, judicial innovation is often applauded, admired or desired, as King Solomon improvising the investigative proposition that a child be cut in half (a pseudo-law-offering ruse!) to expose which woman is the child's biological mother according to her emotions, the canniness of the Turkish sage-judge "the hodja", the Greek Goddess chicaneries of the Judgment of Paris which was contest judgment in which manipulation of putative rules was perhaps expected in most directions, or beyond "legal senses" of law, even the social judgments of ethical "law" implicitly or explicitly conveyed by Aesop (perhaps personification of Sumero-Akkadian lore masquerading as fictional slave in Ancient Greece).

Sense 5: As a fifth category, monarchial and other personal sovereign law, in monarchies and chiefdoms and empires historical and extant have "law by sovereign fiat" in some (most traditional) cases which within their systems is not considered "executive" or "administrative" as they are not promulgated by, for example, a prime minister or vizier or viceroy and departments these manage but from other official sources of law through the sovereign including, very often, divine status of fiat, personal ownership of realms, demesnes, peoples, assets, and functions, or even in highly constitutionally limited monarchies such things as creation of peers as a discretion and privilege of monarchs, which create status, territory, obligations, and relationships in law. Sovereign-decreed law may or may not use the forms of senses 1 through 3 (or even 4 where the sovereign acts as judge or decision-maker or principle promulgater) in the container, content, type, recording and publishing or secrecy of laws. Yes, secrecy, for there are secret laws, secret tribunals, both domestically within a nation and its departments and territories and in clandestine international treaties.

Sense 6 or more: There are probably other major legal senses of "law" to be noted in order to fill out only the "legal senses" portion of this article.

Pandelver (talk) 06:31, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

And conflicts among the species of the legal senses of law are rife, because perhaps never are general terms like "understood" meaning for example "recognized", "interpreted" and "endorsed" entirely consistent among the subconstituencies and then factions involved in each of the major senses at play, so it is far oversimplified to speak only of "general understanding" without distinguishing the conflicted natures which actually occupy much of human legal life, not only disputes within the frameworks of each single major sense (or smaller subsets) of law.

Pandelver (talk) 06:36, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Recht / Gesetz; ius/lex; droit/loiEdit

This page is getting absurd... In German, law is either Recht or Gesetz; in French, Droit or Loi; in Latin, ius or lex; in Portuguese, direito or lei. How come did this page get to give two senses of "law" that someone is translating only by the latter?! Velho 04:39, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Synonym: TheoremEdit

In neither science nor mathematics is "theorem" synonymous with "law". They are related, but misunderstanding/conflating these two terms is a very significant and commonly-made mistake. I realize that a dictionary may not be particularly responsible for such nuances, so I don't want to go and edit this myself, but I think that stating that "theorem" is a synonym for "law" is a very poor choice. Is there a similar category that is used on Wiktionary, for "related" words or something? --DragoonWraith 23:06, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

"One-sided contract"?Edit

In what sense is the word law supposed to mean a "one-sided contract"? I'd like to see a source or quotation for that assertion. In the meantime I'm deleting that definition; it can be reinstated if and when. It's pretty amazing that that nonsensical "definition" has been sitting there unchallenged since 27 May 2004. Milkunderwood 00:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)


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Rfd-redundant: The two definitions for scientific law seem redundant, but there might be some worthwhile elements in the newly added sense, however tendentious it may be. The contributor of the new sense evidently believed it the previous scientific sense to be redundant to his. DCDuring TALK 02:03, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

That's kinda funny, we should give him the Eric Cartman award! That way we can tell him he's being a punk while at the same time complimenting him.Lucifer 02:13, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Good grief. I just didn't have the time or energy to fix his ramblings. SemperBlotto 08:11, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I was talking to another user the other day (offsite) and was saying I would be surprised if I hadn't blocked him within 24 hours. That was more than 24 hours ago, and I've gotta say, I was right. I'm surprised. It would be one thing if the community were tolerating a poor editor who weren't so lazy. Recent examples: the one horrid quotation on tribbing, a quotation for throat-gagging where the two words were technically not connected to each other, a completely wrong inflection on be a man, adding superfluous and unverifiable information to the etymology of pussyboy which only applies to one of the several definitions...[Ric Laurent] — 12:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that there's a misunderstanding. The new sense was a modification of the old one, but then the old one was brought back in this edit. You can tell because they both have the same wording. —Internoob 06:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

deleted -- Liliana 21:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

RFV discussion: November 2011–February 2012Edit

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Rfv-sense: A one-sided contract. DCDuring TALK 01:58, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I have never heard law used in this manner. bd2412 T 03:39, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that's a cynical definition of the usual sense of law (viewing it as a contract between two parties, the government and the governed, but imposing obligations only on the latter), rather than a neutral definition of a distinct sense. —RuakhTALK 03:46, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with both of the above. I expect that there won't be citations, but I would welcome them. We have lots of attempts to add tendentious senses, whether one with some usually negative valence, some superspecialization, or one that embodies some specific cause-and-effect mechanism (a theory about how the world works). Generally the senses are just wrong, but sometimes there is an actual sense behind it. In this case, is there a class of downtrodden English speakers who actually use the word this way? I doubt it, but.... In the meantime, the entry needs work to fill in missing senses. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
RFV-failed. - -sche (discuss) 04:16, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

removed "see also language appendix"Edit

I removed this from the top of the article: {{also|Appendix:ISO 639-3 language codes}}

which printed this: See also: Appendix:ISO 639-3 language codes

I removed it because it means nothing. I came to this page looking for a certain definition of law, and I'm told to see an appendix. I click on it and I get a list of languages and I have no idea why I'm supposed to be reading this list.

If someone thinks it should be re-added, please use a clearer tag and say why the reader might want to read that appendix. Gronky (talk) 16:22, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

RFC discussion: November 2011Edit

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Tendentious definitions, missing senses/subsenses. DCDuring TALK 01:57, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I accidentally archived this thread before cleaning up the entry, but I have substantially overhauled the entry now. - -sche (discuss) 23:17, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

RFV discussion: January–February 2018Edit

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  • RFV-sense "An oath, as in the presence of a court. See wager of law."

And if anyone wants to try to find citations of them, there are three senses we don't currently have, but which Century has:

- -sche (discuss) 23:12, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

I have cited the challenged meaning, and added some more to the citations page for additional possible meanings. Kiwima (talk) 02:28, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, the citations (and more I see at google books:"perform his law"; thanks for finding that collocation) certainly attest something in this vein, so I reckon this passes RFV, although the absence of "swear his law" or other phrases where one could directly substitute in "oath" makes me suspect the definition needs refining. @BD2412, do any of your legal dictionaries say anything about this sense? Unrelated but as long as I'm pinging you, you might also want to look at Talk:alternative fact and whether or not its legal sense is attested. - -sche (discuss) 21:05, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
Black's Law Dictionary, 2d ed. (1910), p. 701: "5. In old English jurisprudence. "law" is used to signify an oath, or the privilege of being sworn; as in the phrases "to wager one's law," "to lose ones law." bd2412 T 01:43, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

RFV-passed Kiwima (talk) 19:32, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Return to "law" page.