POSC 130 midterm note compilation

POSC 130 midterm note compilation - 1/8 I. Common Law -...

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1/8 I. Common Law - (stare decisis- precedent) presumption of innocence a. 1884 royal Queen’s Court bench i. Captain Dudley aboard Minionet charged for murder 1. precedent for homicide; deals with necessity/duress 2. 4 men ( Dudley, Stevens, Brooks, Parker: killed) 3. a. overcome by storm, stranded for 19 days, ate Parker on 21 st day b. Brooks claimed witness, other 2 argued necessity i. Other 2 received death sentence & Brooks walked 1. Public stood behind defense 2. Law audience against b. Huddleston (1 st judge) worried about public opinion i. Jury decides facts, judge decides law ii. Appealed to high court c. Defense i. Radical Thesis – in such events, extreme circumstances place men outside the law (necessity) ii. Not truly voluntary : crime must have deliberate act (volition absent) iii. Utilitarian argument : with a choice of 2 grim alternatives, it is better to favor the majority ( the greatest good for the greatest number) iv. State of nature - Desperate circumstances are justified/excusable 1. i.e. killing in self defense (force of hunger was irresistible) d. Result i. Pardon given with 6 months imprisonment (Dudley died 2 yrs later) ii. No more belief in legal system e. Questions raised i. Is the value of life absolute ii. Did it matter that there was no fair procedure? 1. How much does it matter to analysis of act iii. Assisted suicide is illegal = lottery is illegal iv. What value does an individual’s consent have? v. This illustrates the tension between law and public value 1. Alder Windle Homes – social instinct < law vi. Should justice follow law or social values vii. If justice and law area at odds, does law lose credit? I. Nature of a Legal system a. what is the basis of its legitimacy? a. it must be moral and just i. guaranteed rights (civil and social – negative) 1. 2. proper representation and right to counsel 3. right to life, liberty and happiness 4. speech, privacy rights, religion 5. presumption of innocence (i.e. common law) ii. other legal systems guarantee positive rights 1. humanitarian rights such as food, shelter b. does law have to reflect a value system of a particular society or should it be one universal law? II. Relationship between law and justice a. Williams v. Walker Turner Furniture Company i. (District Court of appeals of Columbia) (as long as there is no fraud, gov will rarely oversee contracts) b. Court of appeals by Scelly Right – where the element of inconsolability at the time the contract is made, the contract should not be made (1957-62) b. Contract: monthly payment plan paid for a portion of each piece i. ii. Williams contested that the contracts were unconscionable 1. She lived on $218/month for a family of 8
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1/8 2. Court decided not to enforce the contract c. Ruling: while there is no precedent, it is not a novel idea that a contract be canceled based on inconsolability violations
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2008 for the course POSC 130g taught by Professor Below during the Spring '06 term at USC.

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POSC 130 midterm note compilation - 1/8 I. Common Law -...

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