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Lecture

Basic Concepts Continued

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones
Semester
Summer

Description
May 20, 2008 Basic Concepts Continued Law • Scientific Laws o Rule or regularity in behaviour of any body in the universe  Ex: law of gravity (unbreakable) • Societal Laws o Rules of human conduct (breakable) o Humans must obey laws through instinct, intellect, custom, or coercion • The enforcement of law is necessary to achieve: o Retribution o Restitution o Rehabilitation o Restraint • All law in modern states is the creation of politicians although it is often the courts which give the impact and shape of law Main Types of Law • Customary Law o “Evolutionary” law based on tradition and custom which may have had origins in a “divine” source  Unwritten • Often passed on in oral form  Main form of law in less complex or developed societies • Common Law o Based on judicial interpretation of customary laws o Characterized by judicial precedents o Mostly unwritten o Required by more complex societies o Is flexible but often uncertain • Legislation o Written law o Consciously created o Can exist with/replace common law o More certain than common law, but “letter of the law” still requires interpretation o Applies to:  Private law • Legal relationship between citizens o Ex: business contracts  Public law
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