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lecture notes 130

lecture notes 130 - POSC 130g law politics and public...

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POSC 130g law politics and public policy professor jeb barnes [email protected] office hours - vkc 310 tuesdays and thursdays 12:30 to 2:00 and by appt. jan 17, 2008 Basic definitions law - a body of rules enacted by the govt. backed by the force of the state rule of law - the Norm - or expectation - that legal disputes will be resolved accord- ing to pre-existing rules and procedures regardless of the status of individual litig- ants this is an ‘ideal’ and debated about its legitimacy in today’s political realm litigation - ideally involves the process by which specific disputes are resolved ac- cording to pre-existing laws and in accordance with the rule of law The Promise of Law and Courts orderly dispute resolution tension between these types of action in courts - entirely different processes (resolu- tion = simpler than correction which can be complex) “correcting” political failures “correcting” market failures The Limits on the Law and Courts Doctrinal Institutional Cultural - limited by power of persuasion so the political culture defines how far they can change things Logic of the Triad courts are the third party referees of society ex. Roger Clements vs. his trainer (in dispute over libel about steroids) rule of the law helps preserve stability of triad by establishing neutrality of the court consent, ceremony, law and the rule of the law Roman courts required that the litigants agreed to rules and process of trial be- fore it began Alternative - Godfather and Self-Help ex. opening scene of godfather in which he asks the godfather to bring justice to the thugs that beat up his daughter because the courts would not two problems not all disputes lend themselves to self hel not all self-help scenarios are created equal (these scenarios raise concerns about arbitrariness retribution, escalation, mistakes, etc. “go-it-alone” - L1 acts unilaterally “The Godfather” - L1 goes to a third party who acts unilaterally
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“mutual accommodation” - L1 and L2 work it out without help costs vigilantism can lead to mutual escalation no checks against mistakes or arbitrary actions limited access - not everyone can go to the godfather (only those in the com- munity) advantages efficiency - time and resources ($) tailored/particularized resolution can engender mutual accommodation examples of judicial resolution of high stakes political conflicts in the US The Wategate Tapes Case - settling and issue of political succession contrast to Malaysia example in which Malaysian supreme court challenges the executive (President) and he in turn fires the court and establishes a new one The Libel Cases - siding with civil rights advocates who are seeking to change the existing power structure (in the South) basic elements of libel Falsity - the accuser must be wrong (if Clements trainer is right it isn’t slander) Causation - the libel must do harm
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