There are many ways to divide law into diﬀerent types. Putting law into categories is like putting people into categories – it can be done in diﬀerent ways and for diﬀerent purposes. If you take 100 random people in a crowd you could sort them into groups according to height, or weight, or age, or occupation, or skin colour, or blood type, or place of birth, or any number of other criteria. A 34-year-old, 5 ft 7 in., dark-haired female musician, weighing 8 stone, and born in Hong Kong with blood type O, would be placed among diﬀerent subsets of people from the 100 depending on how people were being categorised. In the same way, law can be put into diﬀerent groups according
to diﬀerent criteria. The quantity of law that applies in the UK today is very considerable. It is contained in thousands of voluminous law reports of decided cases judged over many centuries, statutes and regulations passed by Parliament, and a gigantic quantity of European law and European human rights law. Taking this law as a whole, it can be divided according to whether it
has originated from judicial pronouncement (judge-made law) or legislation (from Parliament). Equally, it could be divided according to whether it is private law (law, like contract law, which applies to people in the private relations they might have as citizens or organisations) or public law (like criminal law which applies to everyone at large).