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
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