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Note Outline - Legal Studies 2700 Outline 3 basic concepts...

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Legal Studies 2700 Outline 3 basic concepts necessary for the private market system in the modern nation o Law Law – tells people what they can and cannot do A series of rules Laid down by the state Backed up by enforcement (police, courts, etc.) Which reflects custom, tradition, morality, and the will of the people or a dictator o Rule of Law Differs from law as command Rule of law – a system where law applies generally and equally applies even to lawmakers Is an ideal rather than a fact in even the most democratic of societies o Property Property – a legal right that allows you to exclude others from your resources Involves exclusive rights to resources, including land, goods, and our persons (services, individual constitutional rights, right not to be injured by others) Exclusive rights include ownership, possession, use, and transfer of resources Protects speech and freedom of religion Property is productive Land is both the physical thing and the actions that you can do upon that land Limitations on property Harm to others Redistribution (tax, etc.) Eminent domain – with just compensation Most law can be understood in connection with the broad definition of property Property is the foundation of private enterprise Sources of Law o Constitutions Federal State o Legislation Federal State
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Local o Administrative Federal State Local o Case law from courts Interprets all of the above Interprets common law and equity Jurisprudence o Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law o Natural law – asserts that law contains universal moral principles o Positive law – believes that law is simply the commands of the state backed up by force and punishments o Historical school – emphasizes that contemporary law should focus on legal principles that have withstood the test of time in a nation o Sociological jurisprudence – law can and should change to meet new developments in society o Legal realism – examine what police, administrators, prosecutors, and judges are actually doing as they enforce, interpret, and apply laws Classifications of Law o Common Law Judge-made law Originated in the decisions of royal judges Became “common” to all of England Brought to the colonies by the British Today involves mostly property, contract, and tort law Tort law – compensation people can get for property infringements; helps specify where property boundaries are Stare decisis – let the decision stand Follow the law of prior cases Contract is any exchange of resources Common law is state law; federal law is not common law o Equity Provides “justice”-based exceptions to law Applies only to remedies other than damages Today, law and equity courts have merged o Other Classifications of Law Common Law and Civil Law Civil law o The predominant kind in the world o
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