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CRIM 135 (165)
Lecture

Topic #1.docx

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Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 135
Professor
Graeme Bowbrick
Semester
Fall

Description
TOPIC #1 - THE NATURE OF LAW 1. What is law?  Rules that govern human conduct  Rules that are made through a formal process – involves legislature and court 2. Values: The foundation for laws a) What are values?  our general beliefs about right or wrong, what’s important what’s not b) The role of values in the law/legal system  All laws are based on values (reflect values)  No such thing as neutral law/ value-free law  Reflect who’s values? o Aspire to have law reflect value of people who elect laws (as broadly as possible) o Also values of politicians, judges who apply the law 3. The Major Theoretical/Philosophical Perspectives on the Law a) Positivist Perspective  Process more important that substance (legal process > specifics of law )  Accepts that there may be separation between law and morality (maybe morally wrong but still the law)  As long as it went through legal process, it is the law  The only valid laws are ones that are made with proper legal authority  Certainty + predictability = stability  We govern ourselves
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