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Law Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Law Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Law Studies

2 Chapter 1 What is Law?

3 What is Law? Jurisprudence: the study of law and legal philosophy
Law: the rules and regulations made and enforced by government that regulate the conduct of people within a society. What would society be like without laws? Society must be based on the “rule of law”-requires that the rules by which we are governed be known in advance.

4 Discussion Why do societies create laws?
What do they hope their laws will accomplish? What problems in society can laws not solve? How do laws reflect the values of a society?

5 Laws and Values Laws generally reflect and promote a society’s values
Influenced by society’s ideas of right and wrong. Ex. Laws against murder Not everything that is immoral is illegal. We expect our legal system to achieve many goals: Protect basic human rights Promote fairness Help resolve conflicts Promote order and stability Promote desirable social and economic behavior Represent the will of the majority Protect the rights of minorities

6 The Case of the Shipwrecked Sailors
After reading the passage: Should Dudley and Stephens be tried for murder? As an attorney for Dudley and Stephens, what arguments would you make on their behalf? As an attorney for the government, what arguments would you make on the governments behalf? If they are convicted, what should their punishment be? What purpose would be served by convicting Dudley and Stephens? What is the relationship between law and morality in this case? Was it morally wrong for Dudley and Stephens to kill Brooks? Can an act be legal but immoral? Can an act be morally right but unlawful?

7 Human Rights Human rights: rights all people have just because they are human Begin at birth and continue until death. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR) All people have the right to liberty, education, political and religious freedom, and economic well-being. Bans torture and says that all people have the right to participate in their government process.

8 Problem 1.4; Page 10 You have been selected to join a group of space pioneers who will establish a colony on a distant planet. In order to create the best possible society, you and your group decide to make a list of the human rights that all space colonists should have. List the three most important human rights that you believe should be guaranteed. Why do you think some of the rights you listed are more important than others? Do any of the rights you listed conflict with one another? Compare to page Which rights did you include? Are all the human rights you listed also legal rights? When does a human right become a legal right?

9 Human Rights USA; Page 11 Discuss problem 1.5

10 Balancing Rights with Responsibilities
Should our rights be balanced by our responsibilities For example: if you wished to be tried by a jury of your peers, should you also be willing to serve on a jury? If you want a government, you must also vote. Laws require people to act responsibly Parents must provide for their children Drivers must obey traffic laws Workers must pay taxes Just because you have the right, doesn’t make it right. 1st Amendment

11 The Case of the Apathetic Bystanders
Why do you think the bystanders took no action? Did the bystanders commit a crime by not acting? Did the bystanders do the right thing? Should the law hold citizens responsible for not helping out in cases such as this one?

12 Kinds of Laws Laws fall into two groups: criminal and civil
Criminal laws: regulate public conduct and set out duties owed to society. Legal action is brought by the government Laws have penalties and offenders are imprisoned, fined, placed under supervision, or punished in some other way. Divided into felonies and misdemeanors Felony is more than one year in prison Civil Law: regulate relations between individuals or groups Legal action is brought by another person Marriage, divorce, contracts, real estate, insurance, etc.

13 Kinds of Laws ctd. Defendant: person accused of committing the crime
Plaintiff: the person or company harmed Prosecutor: the state or federal government’s attorney. Beyond a reasonable doubt: the level of proof required to convict a person of a crime.

14 Ctd.. Preponderance of the evidence: proof used in a civil suit; the burden of proof that a party must meet in order to win the lawsuit. Must produce evidence that is more convincing that the other side’s. Why is less evidence required in a civil case?

15 Problem 1.7, Page 15 List all the things you think Matt and Kenji did wrong. What laws are involved in this story? Which of these are criminal laws? Which are civil laws?

16 Discussion Why do you think the Framers of the Constitution felt citizens needed protection from government? How does the Constitution protect American citizens from the government? Suppose there was just one branch of government rather than three. Would there be any advantages to such an arrangement? What kinds of problems would develop? Suppose there was no system of checks and balances among the three branches of government. What kinds of problems would citizens face?

17 Our Constitutional Framework
What is the highest law in the United States? Limited government: a basic principle of our constitutional system. Limits the government to the powers provided to it by the people. Separation of powers: the division of power among the three branches of government. Checks and balances: preventing one branch from becoming more powerful than the other. Veto: the president’s ability to refuse to approve a law.

18 Problem 1.8, Page 18 Examine each of the following situations and determine for each whether it involves the principle of separation of powers, checks and balances, judicial review, federalism, or some combination of these principles. A state law requires that a prayer be said each day in public schools. The courts rule that the law violates a First Amendment clause that prohibits the government from establishing a religion. The U.S Congress passes a law that restricts the import of handguns from other countries. The legislature in one state allows the sale of handguns to anyone over the age of 18. Because a prison is very old and overcrowded, a state court orders the state legislature to spend $10 million on a new prison.

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