Glossary of Law and Society

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Definition: anarchy
lawless society; no government
Definition: morality
values that govern a society's attitude tward right and wrong
Definition: ethics
attempts to develop the means to determine what those values should be
Definition: law
rules of conduct established by the government of a society to maintain stability and justice in that society
Definition: constitution
spells out the principles by which that country's government operates
Definition: common law
decisions of the early law courts developed in Englnd, based on customs. They are characterized by practicing of deciding cases on precedent
Definition: precedent
a body of cases developed allowing judges to refer to the past cases in making their decisions - doctrine or state decisions
Definition: statutes
laws specifically passed by a government bady - created fro that purpose (legislative)
Definition: legislature
law making body that pases statutory law
Definition: unconstitutional
laws determined to be in violation of the constitution
Definition: administrative law
laws passed by administrative agencies set up by legislative bodies
Name the three ways ethical decisions are made
1. feelings and opinions
2. the greatest good
3. the golden rule
Why are laws necessary?
because people do not always do what they ought to do
What is empathy?
putting yourself in the other person position
Name the five sources of law
1. Federal and state constitutions
2. English common law (civil law)
3. Statutes (criminal law)
4. Court decisions
5. Administrative law (most laws come from this)
Describe the principle of popular sovereignty
government by the consent of the governed - people are the only source of power
Describe the principle of limited government
government is not all powerful, government can do only those things that people empower them to do
Describe the principle of separation of powers
three branches of government:
Article I: Legislative
Article II: Executive
Article III: Judicial
Describe the principle of checks and balances
each branch is subject to a number of constitutional checks, or restraints, by the other two branches
Describe the principle of judicial review
the court has the power to determine the constitutionality of government actions (Mayberry vs. Madison)
Describe the principle of federalism
division of power among central government and several regional governments (state and local)
Describe source of law in federal and state constitutions
fundamental law of the nation or a state
US Constitution
State Constitution
Describe source of law in english common law (civil law)
originated in England because there was no written law, judges traveled in circuits deciding cases based on the customs and traditions of the people. Efforts were made to share the laws "in common" throughout England.
Describe source of law in statutes (criminal law)
laws specifically passed by a governing body created for that purpose
laws passed by US Congress, state legislature; city councils and town meetings pass ordinances
Describe source of law in court decisions
court made law is also called case law, court decisions and judge made law
made by judges interpreting statutes and by judicial review
Describe source of law in administrative law (most common laws come from this)
administrative agencies are set up by federal, state or local governments to regulate a particular activity in publics interest. administrative agencies (regulatory agencies) are departments of government who make and enforce their own laws - EPA, OSHA, FCC, FDA

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