law describes one of three thing: a legal concept, a legal system, a specific set of rules Legal concepts such as justice, morality, equality regularly arise in discussions about legal topics and issues. We make court decisions and laws based on our concept on what is just, moral or equal. Our opinions and views are based on our concepts of right and wrong, good and bad, and on what we think the law should do, rather than what it is and what it does. Legal systems such as courts, police forces, correctional facilities, government branches, offices and committees make up our make up our legal systems. Specific set of rules “did they break the law?” “is that against the law?” these types of questions look at the law not as a concept or a system, but rather as a specific set of rules. Draconian Law: Draco was a citizen of Ancient Greece, he wrote one of the earliest law codes of the Western world. The punishment for most of these offences was death. He had a very harsh approach to penalizing offenders. Law is to provide order
Law is for protection. Protection of people, property, and rights. Law serves the purpose of providing a mechanism for resolving disputes. Law provides a mechanism to try to get compensation for your injuries. Legal concepts: justice, equity, morality
Justice- state or condition when all powers of an individual or society are working together for the good of the whole. Equity- quality of being fair and impartial.
Morality- distinction between right and wrong.
“good laws have their origins in bad morals” – Albert Einstein Jurisprudence- used to describe science or philosophy of law. Refers to being skilled or learned in law. Two main sources of law: primary and secondary sources
Primary sources- influence our ideas and values about laws over many years. They include religious doctrines, social views, philosophical views, and customs and conventions. Secondary sources- laws and cases that have been written down to reflect the values and attitudes in primary sources of law. Specific laws, written judicial decisions and documents like the Canadian charter of rights are examples of secondary law. Customs- long standing customs or commonly accepted practices, are often such important parts of society that they influence the creation of formal laws. These customs are either allowed in law or not allowed in law. Conventions- another primary source of law. Commonly accepted ways of doing things. Often they are unwritten. Religion- many laws of many nations are based on religious principles and values. For example, Mosaic Law serves as the basic for Judeo-Christian moral teachings. As societies change, the significance of religious values may also change. For example, Sunday shopping is not illegal anymore. Social and political influences- laws can change radically depending on the country’s social and political views. (Status of women, political freedoms, individual rights, ability to voice one’s opinion). Social and political values change over time therefore laws may change in order to reflect that. Constitution- highest law of a land. Provides the basic building blocks for all other laws and no law may be inconsistent with it. Sets up the structure of the government and legal system within a nation. Says who has the authority to pass laws in all areas of law. Outlines the procedures for properly passing or changing laws. Ultra vires and intra vires.
Ultra vires- outside the authority of
Intra vires- within the authority of
Constitutions of various nations reflect different values, principles and goals. Theocracy is a form of government in which the law of the state is the law of the dominant religion. (whatever religion is dominant in a country, that is usually what the religion is) Amending formula- a way of changing the constitution so it can adapt to future, unforeseen changes. Residual power- mention of which level of government gets authority to pass laws on items not specifically...
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