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Law is at the heart of every society, protecting rights, imposing duties, and establishing a framework for the conduct of almost all social, political, and economic activity. Despite this, the law often seems a highly technical, perplexing mystery, with its antiquated and often impenetrable jargon, obsolete procedures, and endless stream of complex statutes and legislation. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks introduces the major branches of the law, describing what lawyers do, and how courts operate, and considers the philosophy of law and its pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality. In this second edition, Wacks locates the discipline in our contemporary world, considering the pressures of globalization and digitalisation and the nature of the law in our culture of threatened security and surveillance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.