Abstract: When the person-in-the-street thinks of "The Law," she (or he) tends to think of a body of standards of conduct - rules or authoritative precedents - that prohibit this and permit that. When a lawyer thinks of "The Law," however, she (or he) thinks not only of a body of standards of conduct but also of a collection of processes through which those standards are created and applied. These processes are defined in the same way as the rules governing conduct: by legislation, by rule makers acting under delegated authority, by court decisions, and sometimes by constitutions. Some of these stipulated processes consist of details - which court, among all those that have jurisdiction, is the one with proper venue for this particular case? - and some of them embrace very large issues - do the courts as a whole have power over this particular subject, or is it a matter that belongs instead to the legislature?