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Lecture 2

Week 2- Legal Studies.docx

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Department
Legal Studies
Course
LS 101
Professor
Susan Brophy
Semester
Fall

Description
Concepts, types, functions of law Categorizing Law: ­ Different legal systems and traditions ­ Concept, type, function, etc. *Law is a social process, something that evolves in time Questions we will explore (as themes): ­ How do we define law and its functions? ­ Is law neutral? ­ What is “praxis” and how does it inform Legal Studies scholarship? Categorizing Law (Definition:) Law is an abstract term ­Follows no structure ­Perspective ­Always selling different contexts (always changing) 3 Definitions from text: Max Weber: “An order will be called law if it is externally guaranteed by the probability that coercion  (physical or psychological), to bring about conformity or avenge violation, will be  applied by a staff of people holding themselves specially ready for that purpose” Webers 3 features of law: 1. Obedience through external pressure 2. External pressure as coercive force 3. Enforcers are state officials ­ the last one especially distinguishes state law from other types of orders (such as  religion, customs, and conventions).  Definition of law: ­ Informed by opinions about the principles of law Principles of Law: From Oxford English Dictionary: ­“A fundamental truth or proposition on which others depend a general statement or tenet  forming the basis of a system of belief.” Key principles of law in liberal democracies: ­Legal autonomy (If we don’t have legal autonomy how can we say that law is neutral. An overarching  system of the entire system) ­Rule of law (no one is above the law) ­Separation of powers (separation between different parts of government­executive,  legislative, etc) ­Due process (all the little details to make sure professionals according to rules handle  your case. Making sure were administering, developing, enforcing properly) About these principles of law: ­ Implicit in defin
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