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on 5 August 2011
I am a qualified barrister and wanted something to give to my sister who was interested in studying law but wasn't sure because she didn't have any past experience. She thought the book was great which gave me the idea of ordering it for myself, its so nice to see a book which still explains well but without the legal jargon. I would recommend this book to everyone because its not too short but not too long, and its really well made and to be honest...I prefer it to some of the larger 780 page textbooks which are still cluttering my attic.
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VINE VOICEon 3 August 2013
Law, what is it good for? Quite a lot, actually, it turns out.

I found this book very well written and covering many aspects of law. The author has experience of various legal systems, so we learn not only English law, but about US, European, South African, Hong Kong, Chinese and various others. The book covers the difference between common law - which we have in the UK and US - and civil law which is on the continent. It looks at the different branches of law - criminal, company, environmental etc - gives us some history and also looks into the future, with fascinating discussions on the law and human rights with respect to surveillance, and also legal issues that arise from the internet.

The book looks at different criticisms of law - for example what of the fact that the greedy bankers who gambled the stability of the economy just to make themselves even richer were not charged with any crime, never appeared in court, and did not go to jail; whereas the poor who rioted as a result of the harsh austerity measures imposed by the Con-Dem Government were sent to prison for stealing a bottle of water. How is that fair?

The answer is it isn't, but that isn't the whole story of the law. It was the law that took companies in court in the early twentieth century for lying on their advertisements. Have you ever seen these old adverts from Victorian or Edwardian times? "This is guaranteed to make your hair grow", "this tonic will stop you getting ill" - why don't we have them any more (or not as obviously false, anyway). The answer is someone took one of those companies to court and won, and now the claims made about a product have to be substantiated in some way.

Another example is MacDonald's coffee. I know on the few occasions I have bought it, it was ridiculously hot and I burnt my mouth. I didn't realise someone has actually taken MacDonald's to court after they spilt the coffee and got third degree burns - MacDonald's had to pay out millions.

So law is really the measure of what people are prepared to fight for in society. If we want a better environment, fairer employment laws, equal rights, the ability to send greedy bankers to jail, we have to fight for these laws, and have to challenge political parties to promise to pass these laws.

Law is really about justice, if we want a fairer society we need to elect the right politicians who will work for the 99%, not the 1%.
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2013
A well done and concise primer, that attempts to answer the most fundamental tenets of the Law, by looking at structure and function of the legal system. This AVSI edition is done in a very manageable fashion that is readable without getting technical in its approach. Cram packed with a plethora of information, without going into `overload, any person new to the subject matter will not be daunted with this edition. While useful for those interested in the subject for its own sake, as well as those that maybe looking into a career in Law as a career path. This is a rather well done edition that espouses the very ethos of the `A Very Short Introduction' series.
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on 22 May 2015
I bought this for a teenage grandchild potentially interested in studying law. I have a law degree and, just paging through the book, it looks like a good overview of what law is about in many countries and jurisdictions.
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Upon learning that I have read this book, a friend of mine (who happened to be a law student) remarked that "there is no such thing as a very short introduction to law." She was referring of course to the voluminous cases and laws that all law students are supposed to study and even memorize in many instances. This is a daunting process that requires many hours and hard work, and on a surface it would seem inconceivable that it could be condensed into a very short book that does justice to it. In the light of that, it is quite remarkable that something like this has been accomplished in the form of this book. The important thing to keep in mind is that the subject of this book is law in general, and not any particular instances of it that are dealt with here. Raymond Wacks does a remarkable job narrating the story of law: its origins, history, different legal systems that exist in the world, and the future of law. The two major legal traditions in the world - the common and civil law - are described and explained at some detail. Even so, there are many jurisdictions around the world that mix elements from both traditions, and within each tradition there are many subcategories and peculiar practices. Thus, US legal system in particular, although it belongs to the common law tradition, has many characteristics that are at odds with the rest of the common law universe. The visually most conspicuous one is the lack of any special attire that is required of lawyers at trials. Even the very profession of a lawyer is somewhat particular to the US, and does not quite exist in other jurisdictions.

Overall, this is a very readable and informative book that does not require much preexisting knowledge of the law, and it does not overwhelm the reader with the legal language. It is an excellent introduction to a very important aspect of the way that the world operates.
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VINE VOICEon 23 May 2015
A well done and concise primer, that attempts to answer the most fundamental tenets of the Law, by looking at structure and function of the legal system. This AVSI edition is done in a very manageable fashion that is readable without getting technical in its approach. Cram packed with a plethora of information, without going into `overload, any person new to the subject matter will not be daunted with this edition. While useful for those interested in the subject for its own sake, as well as those that maybe looking into a career in Law as a career path. This is a rather well done edition that espouses the very ethos of the `A Very Short Introduction' series.
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on 23 April 2015
My daughter liked this so much she is now planning to become a barrister.
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on 23 March 2013
It's good if you are looking to get into law, will give you some insight. As I found after reading it law is something that wouldn't appeal to me to study, it's a complicated subject.
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on 25 October 2013
This little book introduces some of the basic questions and problems of law, as well as outlining areas of practice and the legal system. Unlike some of the VSI series, it is very accessible and well leveled for the casual reader. I bought it when I was looking into law as a career and although I decided not to pursue it, it has still provided some interesting basic knowledge.
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on 1 August 2014
Short, to the point, great vocab and easy to understand. I am not a law student so I don't know just how useful it may be to someone actively studying law but as an outsider it was great.
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