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10-9-08 - LAWSO 1 Mensch The History of Mainstream Legal...

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10/9/08 – LAWSO 1 Mensch: The History of Mainstream Legal Thought” Legal consciousness : how people understand law and legality; what is “just” the contents and limits of rights, etc. Social change and law : mutually constitutive developments transform laws and legal consciousness. Terms and Concepts : Natural law : laws, rights and justice derived from theories about universal principles and divine justice. Positive law : written/enacted laws passed by legislatures (statutes). Common law : English legal tradition in which local customs and practices are basis of law and are legitimized by “long usage”. Public, administrative law : regulating public institutions and the administration of the public sphere. Civil (or private) law : laws governing relations among people and non-state institutions (eg businesses). Popular sovereignty: state power vested in “the people” through elected governments that make and enforce laws. Public –Private distinction : boundaries between domains of the state (public) and liberty and rights of people. Examples: women, families as “private sphere”. Preclassical Consciousness (1776-1885) *Role of lawyers” “priests in the temple of justice”, “trustees” for the interests of the whole community.
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