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perspectives of law.docx

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University of Waterloo
Legal Studies
LS 101
Frances Chapman

LS #3 [Type text] TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 1) Natural Law – Criticisms - what is morality? Everyone’s definition is different 2) Legal Positivism - law should be based on laws - judges only apply laws created by lawmakers and not make own moral decisions - “black letter law”: legal principles that are old/settled should be applied strictly Criticism:  Not flexible system, non-progressive, no complexity in law  Law is man-made (isn’t perfect)  Law is black & white  “habit of obedience”: we learn right/wrong during our childhood  Why is there no morality in positivism? 3) Judicial (Legal) Realism - judge is the most important person (final decision makers) - something more than law (interpretation, sympathy, judge’s thoughts during trial/ judge’s life experience) - “right side of the bed theory”: what happened in judges life that may impact judge’s attitude Criticism:  Random, cannot predict judges  Need aspect of morality  Judge’s too much power Example- No Vehicles in the Park  HLA Hart  “a legal rule forbids you to take a vehicle into the public park. Plainly this forbids an automobile, but what about bicycles, roller skates, toy automobile? What about airplanes? Are these, as we say, to be called ‘vehicles’ for the purpose of the rule or not?” NATURAL LAW PERSEPCTIVE: - if vehicles bring no harm, it’s okay LEGAL POSITIVISM PERSPECTIVE: - find definition of ‘v
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