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Lecture 2

LAWS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Jargon

Course Code
LAWS 1000
Ozsu Faik

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Week 2 – Sept 16th – Lecture
What is law:
- Isn’t a black and white answer
- Has certain properties/characteristics
- Different people have different understandings of law, but there are generally agreed
upon standards
Some properties of law:
1. Law is distinguished by distinct and readily forms
- formal procedures = crucial
- law isn’t law without these formal procedures
- way to distinguish law from non-law
- (owning something = have the proper documentation, meaning authorized by the proper
- all law is shot through with forms of different, specific kinds (formal title in property
2. Law demonstrates a commitment to the cultivation and reproduction of a specific
- To craft a legal argument/gain respect in a debate = work with a highly distinct set of
terms and definitions
- Law is a language (so is politics, religion, etc.)
- Know the vocabulary/terms to communicate in law
- Law has its own grammar, jargon, expressions, sayings (some in Latin, or Latin roots)
- Languages don’t always make sense – they change over time, evolve
- Millions of people throughout history (jurors, judges, lawyers etc.) have had a hand in
changing/adding to the language of law)
- Mastering law = mastering the language
- Jurisdiction – jus = law, diction = to speak
To have jurisdictional power or authority over a person, matter or dispute = literally to
speak/honour the law
- Arguments can be ascending or descending (always can be reduce to these 2 different
kinds of arguments)
3. Law is informed by specific substantive principles
- One theory: claims you have 8 substantive principles when you boil it all down
- The principles = “the spirit” of law
- The foundational rock bottom ideas/commitments law has in order to be law
- Ex: need to be laws, need a legal system, proper forms and procedures, protocols, no
random arbitrary decisions
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