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Laws and Their Ethical Foundation

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1 Laws and Their Ethical Foundation
Chapter 1 Laws and Their Ethical Foundation

2 Legal Vocabulary Terms
Case Law – Law made when an appellate court endorses a rule to be used in deciding court cases Civil Disobedience – An open, peaceful, violation of a law to protest its alleged injustice Civil Law – Group of laws that allows individuals to seek legal remedies for wrongs done to them

3 Code – Laws grouped into an organized form
Common Law – Law based on the customs of a group of people Constitution – Document that sets forth the framework of a government and its relationship to the people it governs Criminal Law – Group of laws defining and setting punishments for offenses against society Equity - Fairness

4 Ethics – The practice of deciding what is right or wrong in a reasoned, impartial manner
Jurisdiction – Power of a court to decide a case Laws – Enforceable rules of conduct in a society Ordinance – Legislative enactment by a city Positive Law – Law dictated from above Procedural Law – Group of laws that set forth how rights and responsibilities can be legally exercised and enforced through the legal system

5 Stare Decisis – Doctrine requiring lower courts to adhere to existing case law
Statute – Law enacted by state legislatures or federal legislatures

6 The stages in the growth of a law are:
The laws reflect the culture and circumstances that create them; they differ from culture to culture. The stages in the growth of a law are: Individuals are free to take revenge for wrongs done to them A leader acquires enough power to be able to force revenge-minded people to accept an award of goods or money instead The leader gives this power to a system of courts The leader or central authority acts to prevent and punish wrongs that provoke people to do wrong

7 There are two systems of law in the world
English common law (all of U.S. except Louisiana) Roman Civil Law Laws should be predictable and flexible. Laws that are unpredictable create a climate of chaos, unrest and an unstable society. Laws that are too strict will eventually be overthrown. Common law is usually formed from the rules used by judges to settle people’s disputes.

8 The history of English Common Law
Disputes were settled on the basis of local customs This made it difficult for a central government to follow as people moved from one area to another In 1150, King Henry II decided to improve the situation Each area came together as a court to hear cases King Henry recognized the importance of deciding court cases in harmony with the customs of the people in that are, so citizens were chosen to help interpret each area’s customs. This is what evolved as what we call a Jury today.

9 The English Common Law system achieves uniformity while maintaining an ability to adapt to changes in society. It has been a model for legal systems worldwide, including the United States. The common law courts follow a precedent. This means the courts use prior cases as a guide for deciding similar new cases. This helps provide stability in the law.

10 Think Critically You are on your daily jog when a car negligently pulls out in front of you. Unable to stop, you run into it and injure yourself. Should you be able to recover damages for the harm done to you? Cracked Mirror, a local rock band, contracts to play for your high school dance. A week before the dance, the group cancels its appearance. It is found out that the band booked another concert that pays $800 more. If you sue the band for damages, what would be an appropriate amount and why?

11 What are the sources for law?
Laws in this country are created at all three levels of government – federal, state and local. The forms that these laws can take are: constitutions, statutes, case law and administrative law. A constitution designs the framework of a government. We are governed by the constitution of the United States and our state.

12 The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in this country and has final interpretation of the constitution. Constitutions are the highest sources of law. We elect representatives to act on the state’s behalf. These representatives work to enact laws called statutes. The power that is given to cities and towns to create laws are called ordinances.

13 Case law is made from court decisions in actual court cases.
Example: after a trial ends, someone appeals the decision to a higher court. The higher court uses the decisions made in the lower courts to form case law. Administrative law regulates government agencies. Examples: zoning laws, taxation, immigration

14 The main types of laws are:
Civil law – refers to the group of laws that allows people to seek legal remedies for wrongs done to them. Involves private disputes between people and/or organizations. Examples: not paying your bills, violating a contract. Criminal law – when a crime has been committed against society and disrupts a stable environment and interferes with citizens’ right to live in peace, it is governed by criminal law. Examples: stealing, assault, illegal drug use.

15 Business law covers rules that apply to business situations and transactions.
Business law is mainly concerned with civil law, especially contracts.

16 Ethics is a practice of deciding what is right or wrong in a reasoned, impartial manner.
Business ethics are the ethical principles used in making business decisions.

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