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Lecture 2

LAWS 1000 B - Intro to Legal Studies - Lecture 2: How We Know The Law Part 1.docx
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Fall 2014
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Department
Law
Course Code
LAWS 1000
Professor
Steve Tasson
Lecture
2

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LAWS 1000 B – Intro to Legal Studies – Lecture #2: How We Know The Law Part 1
Technical Stuff:
PASS Workshops:
Facilitator Rhys Walker
- Tuesdays  4:05-5:25pm (CB 3208)
- Wednesdays  6-7:30pm (PA 215)
Office hours: Thursdays  4:35-5:25pm (ML 464)
*See e-mail sent out for more information on PASS workshops*
Lecture Content:
Notes Key Points & Questions
1.How We Know The Law:
- We can’t begin understand the law without theories and framework that attempt to
explain it
- There are some things that we think are law, but that really aren’t (ex: our Prime
Minister) (customs, conventions)
- Law is like a mirror of the society it is found in (it mirror’s society’s issues, values,
culture, etc.)
- When something goes wrong, one of the first responses is that a law should be
made to ensure it doesn’t happen again (ex: the issue of pit-bull biting)
What can the law do for
us?
What kind of aspects of
society does law reflect?
How does (or doesn’t) law
effectively help solve
issues that arise
throughout societies?
Should law be more
reactive or pro-active?
What are the advantages
and disadvantages to
each?
2. Law and Society:
- Not all societies across the world understand and use law in the same way (ex:
when the French and English first met the Native Americans they thought the latter
were “lawless” because their laws weren’t written down like those of the
Europeans)
- Traditional societies depend on customs
- Relying on customs in a heterogeneous society doesn’t work because there are
many competing customs
Just because a society
doesn’t have the same
type of laws as another,
doesn’t mean they don’t
have any at all
What is modern law?
What types of societies do
we think of when we think
*Note that these notes are meant to be read and studied along with the Professor’s lecture
slides (available on CULearn and I will post them with these notes). The notes I take here are
generally the Professors additions to the lecture that is not necessarily found on the slides. For
any questions or additional information feel free to contact me: [email protected]
LAWS 1000 B – Intro to Legal Studies – Lecture #2: How We Know The Law Part 1
- However, modern law has come to value the use of informal law (ex: shaming)
- Sociologists are interested in how law is used to maintain order and when order is
disrupted
- In essence, law and society are kind of the same thing
modern law?
How subjective is the term
“modern law”
To what extent does law
influence society? To what
extent does society
influence the law?
What role should
sociologists have in
studying and helping to
develop laws in various
societies?
3. What is law? :
- Law is written (ex: codes)
- Law comes from judicial decisions
- There are also laws that aren’t written down
- There are six main characteristics of law:
1) Authoritive  it imposes its will
2) Reactive  it doesn’t do anything until it needs to
3) Problem-solving  it focuses on immediate problems
4) Black & white  it has to decide on moral issues, no probabilities
5) Instrumental  deals with an issue, then steps back
6) Never challenges its own assumptions  ex: the assumptions that we are all
reasonable, equal and that the law is always good
* Remember these ^ for the exam*
- Cordozo  says law is very predictable
- Holmes Jr.  says that if you want to know what law is, go sit in a court room and
watch it being applied. Law written in a book or in codes means nothing if it is being
applied differently
What are the advantages
and disadvantages of law
that is written, unwritten,
or based on judicial
decisions?
How effective is reactive
law?
Which characteristics of
law are most effective?
Which aren’t?
*Note that these notes are meant to be read and studied along with the Professor’s lecture
slides (available on CULearn and I will post them with these notes). The notes I take here are
generally the Professors additions to the lecture that is not necessarily found on the slides. For
any questions or additional information feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Description
LAWS 1000 BIntro to Legal StudiesLecture 2 How We Know The Law Part 1Technical StuffPASS WorkshopsFacilitator Rhys WalkerTuesdays405525pm CB 3208Wednesdays6730pm PA 215Office hours Thursdays435525pm ML 464Email rhyswalkercmailcarletoncaSee email sent out for more information on PASS workshopsLecture ContentNotesKey PointsQuestions1How We Know The LawWhat can the law do for us We cant begin understand the law without theories and framework that attempt to explain it There are some things that we think are law but that really arent ex our Prime What kind of aspects of Minister customs conventionssociety does law reflect Law is like a mirror of the society it is found in it mirrors societys issues values culture etcHow does or doesnt lawWhen something goes wrong one of the first responses is that a law should be effectively help solve made to ensure it doesnt happen again ex the issue of pitbull bitingissues that arise throughout societiesShould law be more reactive or proactive What are the advantages and disadvantages to each2 Law and SocietyJust because a society doesnt have the sameNot all societies across the world understand and use law in the same way ex type of laws as another when the French and English first met the Native Americans they thought the latter doesnt mean they dont were lawless because their laws werent written down like those of the have any at allEuropeans Traditional societies depend on customsWhat is modern lawRelying on customs in a heterogeneous society doesnt work because there are What types of societies do many competing customswe think of when we think Note that these notes are meant to be read and studied along with the Professors lecture slides available on CULearn and I will post them with these notes The notes I take here are generally the Professors additions to the lecture that is not necessarily found on the slides For any questions or additional information feel free to contact me charissaferescmailcarletonca
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