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What is the definition of Law
Law is a body of rules of action or conduct that has binding legal foce. Laws must be obeyed by citizens, subject to sanction or legal consequences.
Functions of Law
- Keep the peace
- Shape moral standards
- Promote social Justice
- Maintain the status quo
- facilitate orderly change
- Facilitate planning
- Provide a basis for compromise
- Maximize individual freedom
What is Fariness of the Law
The laws must be flexible to meet social, technological and economic changes in the United States and the world
Shools of Jurisprudential Thought
Natrual Law School - Postulates the law is based on what is "correct." It emphasizes a moral theory of law- that is, law should be based on morality and ethics.
Historical School - belives that law is an aggregate of social traditions and customs.
Analytical School - maintains that law is shaped by logic
Sociological School - asserts that law is a means of acheiving and advancing certain sociological goals
Command School - believes that law is a set of rules developed, communicated, and enforced by the ruling party.
Critical Legal Studies School - maintains that legal rules are unncessary and that legal disputes should be solved by applying aritrary rules based on fariness.
Law and Economics School - beleives that promoting market efficiency should be the central concern of legal decision making.
History of Amercan Law (English Common Law)
The english common law (judge-made law) forms the basis of the legal systems of most states in the United states. Louisiana, however, bases its law on the French civil code.
Sources of Law in the United States
Consititutions - US Constitiution establishes the fedral government and enumerates its powers. Powers not given to the federal government are reserved to the states. State constitutions establish state governments and enumerate t heir powers.
Treaties - the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may enter into treaties with foreigh countries.
Codified Law - statutes are enacted by the federal congress and state legislatures. Ordinances are passed by municipalities and local government bodies. They establish courses of conduct that must be followed by covered parties.
Executive Orders - issued by the president and governors of states, executive orders regulate the conduct of covered parties.
Regulations and Order of Administrative Agencies - Adminstrative agencies are created by the legislative and executive branches of government. They may adopt administrative regulations and issue orders.
Judicial Decisions - Federal and state courst decide controversies. In doing so, they issue decisions that state the holding of each case and the reasoning used by the court in reaching its decision.
Doctrine of Stare decisis - This doctrine provides for the adherence to precedent. Stare decisis means "to stand by the decision"
Briefing a Case: the IRAC Method
- 1. case name, citation, and court.
- 2. Summary of the key facts in the case.
- 3. I - issue presented by the case
- 4. R - Rule of law that applies to the case
- 5. A - Summary of the court's analysis
- 6. C - Conclusion reached by the court.
English common law can be divded into cases decided by what courts?
Law courts -
Chancery (equity) courts