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POLI 212 (235)
Lecture 7

POLI 212 Lecture 7: Chapter 7

2 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 212
Anthony Imbrogno

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Courts Civil law - Origin in Roman law - Law is a body of codes that apply equally to all citizens - Legislatures make laws (statutory law) - Judges enforce laws but don’t interpret the law - Judges actively participate in seeking evidence, examine witnesses - Room for local traditions, customs Common law (mainly in UK) - Origin in English medieval law - case law based on precedent: like cases decided similarly - Legislatures make laws (statutory law/codified precedents) - Judges, in contrast, interpret and enforce laws, which become precedent, or they base themselves off precedents. Judges have much more political power - Judges are impartial - Courts org in hierarchy - Unwritten constitution = UK law is complex and dense body of legal rulings, precedents, customs and conventions - courts apply law using established legal procedures and precedents - Statutory judicial review: courts render an interpretation of constitution but do not declare law ultra vires - Judicial review: act of enforcing constitutional rules - Canada, US and Australian supreme courts may declare legislations ultra vires- emanates from their federal system - Prior to 2009, Judicial of the Privy Council - Today, UK Supreme court • highest civil court in Uk, highest criminal court in England, Wales, N. Ireland • Cannot overturn primary legislation but may overturn secondary legislation (implementation of primary legislation) • Only parliament has power to change the law, voters can change parliament. Constitutional Courts - Failure of courts in civil law systems to check abuses of legislature and exec (german courts upheld Nazi takeover of laws) - Reforms established constitutional courts that are separate from court system (not hierarchical) - Case of Switzerland: European Court of Human rights is above Federal Supreme court • People are final arbiters of constitutionality • National co
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