Chapter 1 Section 1-1 Laws are: • enforceable rules of conduct in society • laws may be grouped into an organized form called a code Most societies go through four distinct stages in forming their legal systems. These four stages are: •1. Individuals take revenge for wrongs done to them. • those who are wronged feel that justice can be done only through personally punishing the wrongdoers. •2. A powerful leader or other form of central authority substitutes an award of money or goods for revenge. • the leader, often called the sovereign, forces the injured party to accept something in exchange of taking revenge •3. The leader or authority gives power to a system of courts. • sovereign has a number of cases so he gives powers to courts to decide •4. The leader or central authority acts to prevent and punish wrongs. • sovereign begins to prevent wrongs by enforcing laws and matching punishments • Laws should be predictable and flexible • Laws based on the current standards or customs of the people is called common law. • Common law is formed from the rules of judges to settle peoples’ disputes. • Positive law is law based on a central authority. • The world’s two great systems of law are • English common law • Roman civil law • Colonists from England brought the common law system to this continent. In England: • Barons acted as judges and disputes were settled by local customs. • In 1150, King Henry gave appointed judges and let them order wrongdoers to pay with money or goods. • These judges were known as the King’s Bench. • Barons heard small cases; King’s court heard major cases. • Judges hired citizens to help interpret regions customs (jury). • It provided uniformity while maintaining an ability to adapt to changes in society. • A problem with early English common law system was that the harm had to actually happen in order for there to be something done. • For example: • Suppose two farmers were living next door to each other and a stream ran through both of their properties. Imagine one of those farmers decided to build a dam that stopped the stream from getting to the other farmer’s property, therefore cutting off the main water supply that the other farmer used to water his crops and feed his animals. • In English common law, they could not stop the man from building the dam. They would have to wait until the other farmer suffered from the effects of the dam before they would do anything. • They realized that they needed a court to prevent the harm from happening, if it was foreseeable. • Equity courts were established to do this. • In equity (fairness) court, judge can order an injunction, or an order not to do something. • In US legal system, common and equity courts are merged. • US courts can issue injunctions to stop doing things or can deal with a wrong that has already occurred. 1. Substitutions of damages for revenge is the first stage in the evolution of law. True or False? 2. The two systems of law in use today are the English common law and the A. B. C. D. American Constitution French legal code Roman common law None of these 3. A remedy of the English Courts of Equity was the A. B. C. D. Injunction Court order Disputation None of the above 4. Most American law courts can use either damages or injunctions or both as remedies in civil cases. True or False? Section 1-2 Laws in this country are created at all three levels of government: Federal State Local The laws we have in this country all come from either : Constitutions Statutes Case law Administrative regulations • A constitution is a document that sets forth the framework of a government and its relationship to the people it governs. • When constitutions are adopted or amended, constitutional law is made. • You are governed by both the federal and state constitution. • The Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the US Constitution. • Constitutions assign power b/w: 1. 2. 3. the people and the government—lists what power the government has and what power the people have in the Bill of Rights state and federal government— lists who has what powers between the states and the federal government among the branches of government—lists the responsibilities and powers of each branch of government (executive, judicial, and legislative) • The federal Constitution created the Congress of the United States and the Pennsylvania Constitution creates the state legislature. • Congress and the state legislature are made up of elected representatives. • These representatives pass laws called statutes. • All states give some legislative (law making) power to local government (towns, boroughs) • These pieces of legislation are known as ordinances. • Requiring Mt. Carmel residents to keep the snow cleared from the sidewalk in front of their house is an example of a town ordinance. • Case laws come from the judicial branch of the government. • Case law is usually made after a trial has ended and one party did not like the result and has appealed the result to a higher court. • When he appellate (review / higher court) makes and publishes its ruling on that case, that ruling becomes law. Future trials must abide by the decision of that case. • The effectiveness of case law arises out of the doctrine of stare decisis, which means “let the decision stand.” • Federal, state, and local legislatures all create administrative agencies. • Administrative agencies are governmental bodies formed to carry out particular laws. • An example is Pennsylvania’s Division of Motor Vehicles. • These agencies are usually controlled by the executive branch (president, governor, mayor). • Legislatures give agencies legislative power, which is the power to make laws, rules, or regulations. • Legislatures give agencies limited judicial power (holding hearings). Federal Constitution Case Law? State Statutes Local Administrative Regulations • Civil law—the group of laws that make up for doing something wrong to another person • The police do not take action • One person sues another • Civil offenses (wrongs) are referred to as torts • Criminal Law—group of laws that defines and sets punishments for offenses against society • • • • Police DO get involved Someone is arrested Disrupts the environment Fine, imprisonment, execution • Procedural Law—deals with methods of enforcing legal rights and duties • Procedural law provides the process that a case will go through (whether it goes to trial or not). • Laws that specify how and when police can make arrests and what methods can be used in a trial • Stare decisis • Civil procedural and criminal procedural • Procedural law is exactly what the name implies. It sets out the procedure for how a criminal case will proceed. Every state has its own set of procedures which are usually written out in a set of rules called a code of criminal procedure. The basic rules which most jurisdictions follow include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. An arrest must be based on probable cause; A state or federal prosecutor files a charging instrument setting out what you are accused of doing; You are arraigned on the charges; You advise the court whether or not you are seeking court-appointed counsel; A bond amount will be set in your case; You will be sent notice of a court appearance; If you cannot reach a plea bargain agreement, then your case is set for a pre-trial and trial; If you are convicted at trial, you have the right to appeal. • Substantive Law—defines rights and duties • It is concerned with all the rules of conduct except in enforcement • Defines murder, theft, etc. • Substantive law, on the other hand, deals with the “substance” of your charges. Every charge is comprised of elements. Elements are the specific acts needed to complete a crime. Substantive law requires that the prosecutor prove every element of a crime in order for someone to be convicted of that crime. What elements are required will depend on the crime with which you are charged and the state’s substantive laws. For example, for a felony driving while intoxicated charge, most states require prosecutors to prove that: 1. 2. 3. 4. You were driving or operating a motor vehicle; On a public roadway; While you were intoxicated; And that you have prior convictions for driving while intoxicated. • Business law—covers rules that apply to business situations and transactions • Mainly concerned with civil law (one person injuring another), especially in contracts • The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a widely adopted set of uniform business laws. It covers sales of goods, banking, leases of goods, etc. 1. 2. 3. 4. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as _____? Contract law would be considered civil law. True or False? Legislative enactments at the local level are called ________. Stare decisis is the doctrine that requires lower courts to adhere to existing case law in their decisions. True or False? 5. Torts are private wrongs committed against individuals or organizations. True or False? 6. Business activities are at times governed by the criminal law. True or False? 7. Businesses cannot commit torts. True or False?