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Law & Justice, Mr. Brown, Greenup County High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Law & Justice, Mr. Brown, Greenup County High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Law & Justice, Mr. Brown, Greenup County High School

2 Questions to Consider: What is the purpose of law? Who or what should decide law? To what extent is law binding?

3 Purpose of Law: Definition First, lets define it, right from Blacks Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 884: Law: That which is laid down, ordained, or established. A rule or method according to which phenomenon or actions co-exist or follow each other. Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force….That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences is a law. Law is a solemn expression of the will of the supreme power of the State…. The law of a state is to be found in its statutory and constitutional enactments, as interpreted by its courts, and, in absence of statute law, in rulings of its courts.

4 What Is Law? The law consists of rules that regulate the conduct of individuals, businesses, and other organizations within society It is intended to protect persons and their property against unwanted interference from others. The law forbids persons from engaging in certain undesirable activities.

5 Definition of Law That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences A body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force

6 Browns Reasons for Law: 1. To protect you from outside aggression or harm (robbery, assault, etc.) 2. To establish the rules needed for a society to live and work together (traffic laws, contract law, etc.) 3. To protect the fabric of society as agreed upon by the voice of the people or their representatives (pornography laws, marriage laws, drug laws, etc.). 4. To ensure that justice is served, and criminals are punished. 5. To maintain social order.

7 CLASS ACTIVITY Partner up with someone and respond to the following question: Suppose you were writing the laws for a nation (or state) – what would you include in those laws? OUTLINE the basic laws governing your society

8 Purpose? The obligations and purposes of law and government are to protect public health, safety, and morals, and to advance the general welfare. Law must protect people's fundamental rights and basic liberties. But what is the basis of our legal system?

9 Ancient Law Standards CODE OF HAMMURABI, 1750 BC The people of Mesopotamia lived under the rule of the Babylonian king, Hammurabi, who created his code of 282 laws. It was inscribed on stone, and encouraged people to accept the authority of a king who was trying to give common rules to govern the subjects' behavior.

10 Ancient Law Codes The Code of Hammurabi applied to the entire Babylonian society. The purpose was to use political power to create common bonds among diverse peoples of society. It was a conscious effort to exalt the king as the only source of earthly powers, and unified the empire by offering the standards for moral values, class structure, gender relationships, and religion. It was the most important of all Mesopotamian contributions to civilization.

11 Ancient Law Codes The actual laws range from public to private matters, with humane approaches to human problems, and included almost everything - marriage and family relations; negligence; fraud; commercial contracts; duties of public officials; property and inheritance; crimes and punishments; techniques of legal procedure; protection for women, children, and slaves; fairness in commercial exchanges; protection of property; standard procedures for adjudicating disputes; debt relief for victims of flood and drought; etc.

12 Ancient Law Codes Until Hammurabi, there really were not any wide-spread laws that unified such a large group of people. Before this, justice in many places would have been in the vigilante style. Or differing: the punishment for stealing might have been being lashed with a whip in one town, yet five miles away in another town the punishment was having a hand cut off. Under the code, everyone was eligible for the same punishments and fines. There was one law from the king on down, and lesser risk of being hanged or stoned for something relatively minor, or starting a never-ending feud between families over a disputed punishment.

13 Ancient Law Codes THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE LAW OF MOSES, 1200 BC Written by Moses for the nation of Israel. These laws regulated mans behavior toward God and toward his fellow man, and included punishments to enforce the code within the nation to order civil society. Example: Exodus 20 ff & Deuteronomy 5 ff.

14 Ancient Law Codes ANCIENT GREECE Helped develop the philosophy that a nation should be ruled by law, not by men They developed laws governing property, contracts, and commerce.

15 Ancient Law Codes ANCIENT ROME Twelve Tables published in Rome, 450 BC Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law), 560 AD – most complete collection of laws up until that time, and influenced other nations which had been controlled by the Roman Empire

16 A List of Ancient Law Codes Cuneiform law (2,350-1,400 BC) Cuneiform law Code of Urukagina (2,380-2,360 BC) Code of Urukagina Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (ca BC) Code of Ur-NammuUr Laws of Eshnunna (ca BC) [2]. Laws of Eshnunna [2] Codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (ca BC).Lipit-IshtarIsin Code of Hammurabi (ca BC) Code of Hammurabi Code of the Nesilim (c BC) Code of the Nesilim Hittite laws (ca. 1650–1100 BCE). Hittite laws Hebraic law / Hebrew Bible / Old Testament (see Mosaic Law) Hebraic lawHebrew BibleOld Testament The Draconian constitution (7th Century BC) The Draconian constitution Gortyn code (5th century BC) Gortyn code Twelve Tables of Roman Law (451 BC) Twelve TablesRoman Law

17 English Common Law English common law was very significant to the British isles and to the development of American law. MAGNA CHARTA 1215 – basic civil rights English law prior to the American Revolution is still reflected in many of our legal practices, codes, and traditions.

18 English Common Law Law developed by judges who issued their opinions when deciding a case The principles announced in these cases became precedent for later judges deciding similar cases. Courts, trial by jury

19 English Common Law Common Law involved the following things: Custom Tradition Decisions by judges Acts of Parliament This system was well established when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, 1620

20 . Adoption of English Common Law in America All states except Louisiana base their legal systems on the English common law. Case Law – law based on earlier decision reached by a court in similar situations Statutory Law – written laws or acts Most U.S. courts permit the aggrieved party to seek both law and equitable orders and remedies.

21 Class Activity Share with the class the law outline you created yesterday We will make a list of LAWS you think should govern society…

22 What Is Law? The law consists of rules that regulate the conduct of individuals, businesses, and other organizations within society It is intended to protect persons and their property against unwanted interference from others. The law forbids persons from engaging in certain undesirable activities.

23 Definition of Law That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens subject to sanctions or legal consequences A body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force

24 Functions of Law Keeping the peace Keeping the peace Including making certain activities crimes Shaping moral standards Shaping moral standards e.g., enacting laws that discourage drug and alcohol abuse Promoting social justice Promoting social justice e.g., enacting statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment

25 Functions of Law (2) Maintaining the status quo Maintaining the status quo e.g., passing laws preventing the forceful overthrow of the government Facilitating orderly change Facilitating orderly change e.g., passing statutes only after considerable study, debate, and public input Providing a basis for compromise Providing a basis for compromise approximately 90 percent of all lawsuits are settled prior to trial

26 Functions of Law (3) Facilitating planning Facilitating planning e.g., well-designed commercial laws allow businesses to plan their activities, allocate their resources, and assess their risks Maximizing individual freedom Maximizing individual freedom e.g., the rights of freedom of speech, religion, and association granted by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

27 CLASS ACTIVITY How did our list of laws fit with these established functions of law? Let us EVALUATE and DISCUSS…

28 Qualities of the Law Fairness of the Law The American legal system is one of the most comprehensive, fair, and democratic systems of law ever developed and enforced. Fairness of the Law The American legal system is one of the most comprehensive, fair, and democratic systems of law ever developed and enforced. Flexibility of the Law U.S. law evolves and changes along with the norms of society, technology, and the growth and expansion of commerce in the United States and the world. Flexibility of the Law U.S. law evolves and changes along with the norms of society, technology, and the growth and expansion of commerce in the United States and the world.

29 Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case: Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Supreme Court reversed prior precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Court held that the separate but equal doctrine violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14 th Amendment to the Constitution The case demonstrates that one Supreme Court can overrule prior Supreme Court cases to promote justice

30 Schools of Jurisprudential Thought Natural Law School Natural Law School Postulates that law is based on what is correct Law should be based on morality and ethics Historical School Historical School Believes that law is an aggregate of social traditions and customs Analytical School Analytical School Maintains that law is shaped by logic

31 Schools of Jurisprudential Thought (2 of 3) Sociological School Sociological School Asserts that law is a means of achieving and advancing certain sociological goals Command School Command School Believes that law is a set of rules developed, communicated, and enforced by the ruling party

32 Schools of Jurisprudential Thought (3 of 3) Critical Legal Studies School Critical Legal Studies School Maintains that legal rules are unnecessary and that legal disputes should be solved by applying arbitrary rules based on fairness Law and Economics School Law and Economics School Believes that promoting market efficiency should be the central concern of legal decision making

33 CLASS ACTIVITY Consider these schools of thought – WHICH DO YOU THINK ARE MOST CORRECT AND APPLICABLE TO OUR SOCIETY? Partner with someone and make a list of these, with their strength and weakness… SHARE WITH CLASS

34 . Sources of Law in the United States (1) Constitutions Constitutions The U.S. Constitution establishes the federal government and enumerates its powers. Powers not given to the federal government are reserved to the states. State constitutions establish state governments and enumerate their powers.

35 Sources of Law in the United States (2) Codified law Codified law Statutes Statutes are enacted by Congress and state legislatures. Ordinances Ordinances are enacted by municipalities and local government agencies. Both establish courses of conduct that must be followed by covered parties.

36 Sources of Law in the United States (3) Treaties Treaties The president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may enter into treaties with foreign governments. Executive orders Executive orders Issued by the president and governors of states They regulate the conduct of covered parties

37 Sources of Law in the U.S. (4) Administrative agency regulations and orders Administrative agency regulations and orders Administrative agencies are created by the legislative and executive branches of government. They may adopt administrative regulations and issue orders that regulate the conduct of covered parties.

38 Sources of Law in the United States (5) Judicial decisions Judicial decisions Federal and state courts 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.

39 The Doctrine of Stare Decisis (1 of 2) Based on the common law tradition, past court decisions become precedent for deciding future cases. Lower courts must follow the precedent established by higher courts.

40 The Doctrine of Stare Decisis (2 of 2) Thus, all federal and state courts in the U.S. must follow the precedents established by U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Adherence to precedent is called stare decisis.

41 Priority of Law in the United States (1 of 2) The U.S. Constitution and treaties take precedence over all other laws. Federal statutes take precedence over federal regulations. Valid federal law takes precedence over conflicting state or local law.

42 Priority of Law in the United States (2 of 2) State constitutions rank as the highest state law. State statutes take precedence over state regulations. Valid state law takes precedence over local laws.

43 CONCLUSION LAW is the set of established rules enacted to make it easier for people to live together in society. LAW has grown out of thousands of years of experience and is still growing and changing as society grows and changes.

44 CLASS ACTIVITY Partner with someone and think / write about this: 1) Give an example of something you think should be a law but is not, and why that law is needed; 2) Give an example of a current law you think should be changed, and why it should be changed.


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