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courts lecture

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SOC 3730
Sarah Ciotti

January 252012 Courts and Society Judicial Decision MakingAccountabilityFamily LawJefferys case possibly a question on the midtermRule of Law the government must act through recognized legal channels parliament and not arbitrarily and is bound by its own laws as enforced by an independent judiciary Legal constructions of crimeo Every person regardless of demographic factors is equal under the lawo The law must be made publicly accessible before its enforcemento People must knowingly violate the law in order to be prosecutedo Judges must apply the law fairly and consistently without biasSociolegal studieso Laws have more to do with socioeconomic power and the discretion of judgeso Some researchers argue that judges have already made decisions before hearing a case y May make sentencing decisions prior to findings as welly Personal feelings can impact their sentences ex how they feel about domestic violence how they feel about the YCJ Conventional Viewo Judges only apply the lawo Judges are passive bound by the law that preexists their judgementso Changes to law made by judges are corrections rather than alterationso Only legislatures can make new lawo Judges are to impartially apply the law which others makeRealist Viewo Judges are not impartialo There is no law that preexists the judgement of judgeso Judges make and change the lawo Statutes and other sources of law are not law until courts say they are law by enforcing and applying ito What a statute requires cannot be specified until courts interpret ito Courts have a great deal of power in societyTrial Court Decisionso A lot of the trial judges job involves activity outside the courtroom
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