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Chapter1 - Chapter 1 Introduction to Law IMPORTANT IDEAS...

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Chapter 1- Introduction to Law IMPORTANT IDEAS ABOUT LAW POWER: The law touches each of us everyday in countless ways. Whether you are shopping in a grocery store, reading a magazine, driving to class, walking down the street, or standing in your living room, the law is out there directing your life. Because of this the law is incredibly powerful. And knowing the law makes you powerful. Knowing your rights and obligations under the law is priceless. When you finish this class, you will possess legal knowledge, which is something you can use in your daily lives. You will be able to discuss your opinions and views on legal issues from a different perspective. You will be able to spot a legal issue a mile away and this makes you a valuable asset to your family, your employer, your community and yourself. IMPORTANCE: Law is also incredibly important. The purpose of law is to maintain order, stability, harmony and justice. Most societies from ancient times to today have or have had a system of laws. We need rules to curb behaviors that society deems undesirable. People are not perfect, and they are not always nice. Law gives us a way to peacefully settle our disputes and to right injustices. The law also helps prevent disputes from occurring and tells us our rights and obligations as citizens. FASCINATION: How many of you have seen a TV show or movie revolved around the law or the courtroom? How many of you watch court room dramas or true crime shows on a regular basis? We are fascinated by the law as a society and as a culture. We rely on courts to solve our disputes and to vindicate victims rights. We love to litigate and we love to watch others in the litigation process. The law is a huge part of our lives and we are wise to know at least something about it. ORIGINS OF OUR LAW COMMON LAW: Our roots are in England, middle ages to be exact. This is where our common law comes from, and upon which many of our statutes are written. . SOURCES OF CONTEMPORARY LAW 1
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When you have a legal question, where can you find the answer? Can you look it up in one book? Of course not! Our laws come from many different sources: each state has its own laws, each city and town has its own laws, and the federal government has its own laws. We have administrative agencies creating law, presidents creating law and judges creating law. The law is a complicated web. CONSTITUTIONS The U.S. Constitution, which is the Supreme Law of the Land, which trumps any other law that may ever come into existence. There are three central points that need to be made about the Constitution. The Constitution creates the separation of powers, meaning we have three branches of government, the legislative, the executive and the judicial in the national or federal government.
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