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CRIM 135
Graeme Bowbrick

TOPIC #1 - THE NATURE OF LAW 1. What is law?  Rules that government human conduct  Laws are rules, rules are not laws  Laws are rules that are made through a formal process for establishing and enforcing these laws  Formal processes include courts 2. Values: The foundation for laws (a) What are values?  Our general beliefs of right and wrong  What we value and what we don’t Where we get these values?  We get these values from our parents (major roles parents play)  Community leaders help shape our values (people we look to having a leadership role in a major or minor roles, such as media, politician, celebrities, teachers… etc.) (b) The role of values in the law/legal system  All laws based on values, all laws reflect on values  No such thing as a “value free” law Who’s values do they reflect? - Many laws reflect the value of the people (we’re the ones who turn and make the laws, we’re the one who choose and elect) o Such as people vote for government, government makes the law o However, government isn’t as popular, therefore do not reflect the broad population o Judges (how do judges apply those laws? Their own values influence how they apply and interpret the law o Legislators, politicians 3. The Major Theoretical/Philosophical Perspectives on the Law Where fundamentally where these come from? Philosophical base of where these values come from, why the world is this way, how is it should be different? - Major source: Religion (historically played a major role), a form of philosophy, ideologies (ex: communism, capitalism) (a) Positivist Perspective  Maintain that process is more important than substance  Using a proper process to make the law is more important than the moral content of the law  Separation between law and morality  Sometimes the law will reflect morally correct or morally wrong, but it is the law  As long the law went through the valid process, than it is the law o Although it might be unjust or invalid, it is a law o Made by the sovereign (king or queen, aka people through parliament)  Concerned of what the law is rather than what it ought to be  If we encourage and accept the law what it ought to be, we’re questioning the validity of the m
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