Street Law: Chapter 1 & 2___Notes: Chapter 1 (Pgs 4-18): What is Law?Laws are rules made by the government that tell people in a society how they should act. While every society has some type of law, it can take many different forms depending on the given society. Stable societies depend on government officials to enforce the laws and the citizens to obey them. ➢Laws and Values A.Laws generally reflect people's ideas about right and wrong. B.Not everything that is immoral is illegal. a.Laws often change over time as a society's values change. b.One goal of the law in democratic societies is to respect the majority's wants while protecting the rights of those who have less of a voice in the system. c.U.S. Department of Justicei.Our current legal system is based on the values that our government and society believe are the most important to keep order and fairness in the United States. d.American Civil Liberties Union & Morality in the Media, Inc. i.Both work to change, pass, or uphold laws about free speech and
press. Their positions are based on the values of their members. ➢Human RightsA.Human rights are the rights that belong to people simply because they are human beings. a.Most countries have agreed to recognize and respect human rights by signing the Universal Declaration of Rights. i.The United Nations has developed a system of international treaties that protects specific human rights. Many countries also create laws aimed at protecting human rights. B.Our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other state and federal laws are all influenced by a desire to protect human rights. a.Universal Declaration of Human Rights i.Almost every country in the world agrees to these basic standards for human beings, and the United Nations (UN) accepts and promotes this declaration. ii.Other UN agreements: 1.International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 2.International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 3.The Convention of the Rights of the Child ➢Balancing Rights with ResponsibilitiesA.Americans enjoy many individual rights, but some people argue that these rights must be balanced with social responsibilities to foster a sense of community.