Sources of Law

Sources of Law - Sources of U.S. Law the Details Basic...

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Sources of U.S. Law – the Details
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Basic Types: Common Law Constitutional Law Statutory Law Administrative Law
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Common Law Judge-made law; made up of all the decisions made by appellate courts. Common law predominates in tort, contract, and agency law; it is important in property and employment law. Based on stare decisis , meaning “let the decision stand” (previous decisions are generally upheld in similar cases.) Incorporates predictability and flexibility.
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Statutory Law Legislation passed by either a state legislature or the Congress of the United States. All criminal law is statutory Statutes form the foundation of regulatory law Citizens who vote have some control over statutory law. We elect the state legislative representatives and the United States Senators and Representatives.
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Administrative Law Agencies were -- and are -- created to fulfill a need. Someone needs to oversee changing technologies and practices and their effects on society. An agency is created when Congress passes enabling legislation, which describes a problem and defines the agency’s powers. Agencies often have considerable power in their areas of specialty, sometimes leading to controversy. The Administrative Procedure Act regulates agencies, in an attempt to reduce controversy.
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How New Laws are Made Any member of Congress (Senator or Representative) can initiate a bill, or proposed law. A bill is debated in a committee in the
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Sources of Law - Sources of U.S. Law the Details Basic...

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