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Chapter 1 – Laws & their Ethical Foundation

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1 Chapter 1 – Laws & their Ethical Foundation
Lessons: 1-1 Laws and Legal Systems 1-2 Types of Laws 1-3 Ethical Bases for Laws

2 Lesson 1-1 Laws & Legal Systems
Goals: Explain the stages in the growth of law, Describe the differences between common law & positive law, Identify the origin of the U.S. legal system WHAT IS LAW? - should be PREDICTABLE & FLEXIBLE Laws – enforceable rules of conduct in society, reflect … Code – laws grouped in organized form; Ex: Criminal Law, Property Law, Business Law, Personal Injury Law

3 Stages in the Growth of Law
Most societies go through 4 stages in forming their legal systems: Individuals take revenge for wrongs done to them, matters of personal revenge, those wronged feel that justice can be done only through personally punishing the wrongdoers The resulting chaos often leads to…. An individual acquires enough power to be able to force above to accept an Award of money or goods, bringing peace to the society, Often called the Sovereign,

4 Stages in the Growth of Law, cont.
leader gives this power to a System of Courts, The sovereign becomes faced with more cases than one person can handle, so as a consequence, The sovereign sets up a system of courts & gives them powers to decide certain types of disputes, (Elders/Priests) Sovereign still presides over most important matters Leader/Central Authority acts to Prevent & Punish wrongs that provoke individuals to seek revenge. tries to prevent breaches of the peace before they occur, Does this by enforcing a set of laws & matching punishments

5 4 Stages Summed Up… Take Revenge… Awards are Substituted…
Court Systems are Formed… C/A intervenes to Prevent & Punish Wrongs…

6 Common Law v. Positive Law
based on current standards/customs of the people. usually marked by judges in settling people’s disputes, (Case Law – follows Precedent) POSITIVE LAW – Law dictated from above, set down by a sovereign/central authority to prevent disputes/wrongs from occurring in first place.

7 What is the Origin of Our Legal System?
The world’s 2 great systems of law are the ENGLISH COMMON Law and the ROMAN CIVIL Law. Roman Civil Law – organized, comprehensive sets of statutes in code form, Typically only changed by the central government, not by judges Louisiana – only state in US that has law based on a civil law system. ENGLISH COMMON LAW – U.S. is based on this… Developed in England, Barons acted as Judges within their territories Disputes - settled on basis of local customs & enforced by Barons, because of this, laws of England differed from region to region. King’s/Queen’s Bench – “ride circuit” holding court, has Jurisdiction Baron’s Court – heard local, minor cases Jury – citizens of the region

8 Law Courts v. Equity Courts
Law Courts – follow Precedent (prior cases) as a guide for deciding similar new cases AFTER harm has actually occurred. Limited to granting money damages Equity (fairness) Courts – have the power to issue Injunctions or to Compel Specific Actions to PREVENT harm from being done. No Jury, Chancellor’s control In most states in the U.S., law & equity courts are Merged. Exception… D/M/T

9 Lesson 1-2 Types of Laws GOALS: Identify the sources of law
Discuss how conflicts btween laws are resolved Compare and contrast criminal and civil law, and substantive and procedural

10 What Are The Sources Of Our Laws?
Laws in this country are created at all three levels of government… Federal, State, and Local The forms that these laws can take include: constitutions, statutes, ordinances, case law, and administrative law

11 Constitutions Document that creates governmental framework & its relationship to the people it governs. U.S. Constitution is superior to state constitution. Constitutional Law – made when constitutions are Adopted or Amended, or when Courts Interpret constitutions. Governed by Both Constitution of the US & state. Federal & state constitutions are concerned primarily w/ defining and allocating powers in our society. The Supreme Court of the United States is the Final Interpreter of the federal Constitution.

12 Constitutions defining and allocating certain powers in our society
Between people & their governments, Bill of Rights Between state governments & federal, Interstate v. Intrastate Commerce Among branches of the government Executive, Legislative, & Judicial

13 Statutes Laws created by state or federal legislatures (Congress). Composed of elected representatives of the people Ordinance Legislation at LOCAL LEVEL, legislation created by a town, city, etc.

14 Case Law Made after a Trial has Ended.
Judicial branch Creates case law. Effectiveness of case law ascends out of the doctrine of Stare Decisis (to adhere to decided cases) *Requires that lower courts must follow established case law in deciding similar cases.*

15 Administrative Law Laws created by Administrative Agencies.
Administrative Agencies – governmental bodies formed to carry out particular laws. Examples: SSA, DMV, EPA, CPA, Controlled by Executive branch of gov’t, Given Legislative power, few have judicial

16 What Happens When Laws Conflict?
Constitutions are the Highest Sources of Law, and the Federal Constitution is “the supreme law of the land” which means that any federal, state, or local law is not valid if it conflicts with the federal Constitution. When a law is invalid because it conflicts with a constitution, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL

17 What are the Main Types of Laws?
Criminal v. Civil Laws Procedural v. Substantive Laws Business Law

18 Criminal v. Civil Laws CIVIL Law – group of laws used to provide remedy for wrongs against individuals. Applies when one person has a right to SUE another person. Police Do Not take action in civil conflicts. CRIMINAL Law – group of laws that defines and sets punishments for offenses against society. Crime – an offense against society. Conviction of a crime can result in a Fine, Imprisonment, & in some states Execution. A violation may be Both a Crime and a Civil Offense.

19 Procedural v. Substantive Laws
PROCEDURAL Law - deals with the methods of enforcing legal rights and duties. Example: Laws that specify how and when police can make arrests and what methods can be used in a trial. The doctrine of stare decisis is a procedural law. SUBSTANTIVE Law – defines rights and duties. Concerned with all rules of conduct except those involved in enforcement. Ex: defines offenses such as murder, theft, etc.

20 Business Law Covers rules that apply to business situations &
transactions. Most business transactions involve a merchant & a consumer. Largely concerned with Civil Law, especially Contracts. TORTS – private wrongs (civil offenses) against people or organizations. UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) – a widely adopted uniform business law, governs areas such as sales, & business forms. Ex. of Business Related Crimes: Forgery, Embezzlement, Bribery, Computer Crime, False Pretenses, Evading Taxes, Fraud

21 Types of Law Constitutional Law – based on constitutions,
Statutory law – Enacted by legislative bodies, Administrative law – Rules & regulations made by admin. agencies, Civil law – addresses wrongs done to individuals, Criminal law – addresses wrongs done to society, Procedural law – deals with methods of enforcing legal rights & duties, Substantive law – defines legal rights and duties, Business law – rules that apply to business situations and transactions

22 Lesson 1-3, Ethical Bases for Laws
GOALS: Define Ethics, Compare and contrast consequences-based ethics with rule-based ethics, Discuss ways in which ethics are reflected in laws

23 Ethics Defined… Ethics – a collection of standards of conduct and moral judgment forming the basis for a reasoned, impartial decision as to what is right or wrong. 3 elements of ethics: A decision about a Right or Wrong Action, decision is Reasoned, decision is Impartial

24 Decision About a Right or Wrong Action
To involve ethics, a decision must AFFECT YOU or OTHERS in some SIGNIFICANT way. Many of our decisions have little effect on others or ourselves…

25 Reasoned Decisions To make ethical decisions, we must base our decisions on Reason, not on emotion. Refer to a written authority that provides consistency.

26 Impartial Decisions Impartiality – the idea that the same ethical standards are applied to everyone. Does not value one person or group of people more than any other does. Requires that in making ethical decisions, we balance our self-interest with the interest of others. Behind all organizations there are many people…

27 Business Ethics Why Ethics?? To prepare you to apply ethical concepts to business decision making. Business Ethics – ethical principles used in making business decisions. All too often, ethics are not considered when business decisions are made. The reason - Profit Maximization, optimize the income of business owners, but hurt the common good. Ex – moving factories offshore, having skilled jobs done overseas instead of by American workers NOTE – what is considered ethical behavior in one culture may not be acceptable behavior in another.

28 Basic Forms of Ethical Reasoning
CONSEQUENCES based – rightness or wrongness is based only on the Results of the Action. An act that produces good consequences is Good. Lying produced bad consequences, so lying is Bad. These consequences are then evaluated to see whether action confers the “Greatest Good on the Greatest Number.” MAJORITY – is chosen RULE based – acts themselves are judged as right or wrong. Telling the Truth is Right Standard for judging usually comes from: A Recognized Authority, or Human Reasoning (Universalizing - irrational, illogical, demeaning) For almost all ethical decisions, these 2 forms reach same conclusion.

29 Ethics Reflected in Our Laws…
In our elections, Majority Rule prevails, consequences-based ethics, using this system laws are judged to be right or good when they affect the majority of the people positively. Both forms of ethics conclude that we are obligated to obey the law: When the law is violated, many more people are injured than are benefited Scofflaws – persons who do not respect the law. They assess the risk of being caught and punished. They lack personal integrity. In contrast to the self-serving behavior, others are concerned for justice so much so that sometimes compels them to violate what they consider to be an unjust law. Civil disobedience – open, peaceful, violation of a law to protest its supposed injustice. Goal – is to make legal system more just. May be willing to be arrested in order to test the validity of the law in court.

30 Why Are We Obligated To Obey Laws?
Because ethical reasoning demands it, Because we have agreed to obey it, & Because by obeying it we avoid punishment.

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