POSCNOTES

POSCNOTES - Jeb Barnes POSC 130g Office Hours: Tuesday...

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Jeb Barnes POSC 130g Office Hours: Tuesday 2-3:30, Thursday 11-12:30, 310 VKC 09/04/07 Part I Overview Promise of Law and Courts -Orderly dispute resolution -“Correcting” political failures -“Correcting” market failures Ex. Enron Limits on Law and Courts -Doctrinal (constraints) -Institutional (they way its structured) -Cultural Working Definitions -“ Law ”: a body of rules, enacted by the government, backed by the force of the state -“ rule of law ”: the norm – or expectation – that legal disputes will be resolved according to pre-existing rules and procedures, regardless of the status of individual litigants -litigation : involves the process by which specific disputes are resolved according to pre-existing laws and in accordance with the rule of law -status : place in society What is the role of courts in society? -The Logic of the Triad -Courts = referees -What is the role of law and the rule of law in this relationship? Helps preserve the logic of the triad (which is unstable) So what? What if no courts or courts fail? Self-help Some costs of Self-Help -No procedural checks against mistakes or arbitrary action -Limited access -Escalation Some Advantages of Self-Help -Tailored/particularized -Efficient -Can engender mutual accommodation Oh yeah? Some examples of the power of the law and rule of law in the United States -The Watergate Tapes Case – settling an issue of political succession (compare with the Malaysia example) -The Libel cases – siding with civil rights advocates who are seeking to change the existing power structure Understanding NY Times v. Sullivan : The Law of Libel Basic elements of libel: 1. Falsity 2. Causation 3. Standard of care The Politics of Libel – One Interpretation -Politically, what is going on here? Press Freedom Press Diligence No Liability Malice Negligence Strict Liability The Court consent ceremony Law/rule of law Litigant 1 Litigant 2
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Civil rights groups are challenging the status quo via civil disobedience They hope to use the media to build political support nationally and pressure the federal government to act Existing political elites in the South are using the law of libel to censure the media and blunt this political strategy The Courts (eventually) side with the civil rights groups, providing dissenting groups a broad right to criticize public figures 09/06/07 Review: So what? Why not live in a world of self-help? At least two problems: -Not all disputes lend themselves to self-help -Not all self-help scenarios are created equal: 1) “Go-it-alone” – L1 acts unilaterally 2) “The Godfather” – L1 goes to a third party, who acts unilaterally 3) “Mutual Accommodation” – L1 and L2 work it out without help -These scenarios, especially, raise concerns about arbitrariness, retribution, mistakes, etc.
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POSCNOTES - Jeb Barnes POSC 130g Office Hours: Tuesday...

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