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Quotes of the Day True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Milan Kundera, Czech author What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. Freidrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher
Law is powerful Affects all people, from CEOs to children Affects most of life, from work to leisure Law is important But which is more important -- written law or the people who enforce it? Law is fascinating Complex, but never just theoretical
Origins of Our Law -- Many Sources Inherited much from British law. Founding Fathers created a multi-level government which guaranteed citizens rights. Accumulation of precedent in legal cases makes up the common law. Statutes are passed by legislative body. Substantive rules state parties rights. Procedural rules determine how courts should settle disputes.
Sources of Our Law Today United States Constitution -- Law of the Land Establishes Congress, the Presidency and Courts Gives to states powers not given to Federal govt Guarantees basic rights to all citizens State Constitutions Create state executive, legislative and judicial systems Statutes -- passed by federal & state govt Common Law -- established by precedent, or earlier cases decided by courts Administrative Law -- created by agencies
Classifications of Law Criminal LawCivil Law Dangerous behavior outlawed by society Government prosecutes accused Guilt is determined Punishment or fine is imposed Regulates rights and duties of parties Victim, not govern- ment brings suit Guilt not determined Compensation is ordered vs.
Classifications of Law (contd) Substantive LawProcedural Law Defines the rights of the people Establishes processes for settling disputes Public LawPrivate Law Sets the duties of government to its citizens Regulates duties between individuals vs.
Actions may be legal, but immoral to some people. Actions may be moral, but not required by law. Actions may be required by both moral standards and the law. Owning slaves in Colonial America was legal, but this violates most peoples moral standards today. Helping a hurt person is required by moral standards, but is not mandated by the law. Drunk driving is both immoral and illegal. Law and Morality LAW MORALITY
Jurisprudence, or What is Law? Jurisprudence, or What is Law? Legal Positivism Natural Law Legal Realism Law is what the sovereign says it is. Decisions stand, regardless of morality. An unjust law is no law at all and need not be obeyed. Laws must have a good moral basis. Enforcement of the law is more important than the law itself. Enforcers determine if the law is applied in a fair and consistent way.
QUIGLEY v. FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST 65 Cal. App. 4th 1027, 76 Cal. Rptr. 2d 792, 1998 Cal. App. LEXIS 677 California Court of Appeal, 1998 Case Analysis Facts: Gayle Quigley and James Wantland had divorced. They had joint custody of their 12-year-old son, Andrew, who lived with his father. James was a member of the Christian Science church, a religion that regards disease as an error of the mind and discourages the use of traditional medicine. Members of the faith… Issue: Did the defendants have a duty to summon medical help for Andrew? Excerpts from Judge Bedsworths Decision: [The judge began by mentioning an earlier California case, in which the states highest court ruled that one person generally has no duty to protect another from harm, unless there is a special relationship between the two, such as custody or control... PLAINTIFF: the party who is suing DEFENDANT: the party being sued LEGAL CITATION: where to find the case in a law library Where and when the case was decided. FACTS: background information on the case ISSUE: the question being decided EXERPTS: the decision -- also called the holding -- and the courts rationale
We depend upon the law to give us a stable nation and economy, a fair society, a safe place to live and work. …But while law is a vital tool for crafting the society we want, there are no easy answers about how to create it....Legal rules control us, yet we create them. We depend upon the law to give us a stable nation and economy, a fair society, a safe place to live and work. …But while law is a vital tool for crafting the society we want, there are no easy answers about how to create it....Legal rules control us, yet we create them.