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Lecture 3

CRM/LAW C7 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Precedent, Feudalism, Excessive Bail Clause

Criminology, Law and Society
Course Code
Terry Dalton

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Week 3 Materials
Justice, Making Laws, US Constitution & Bill of Rights, Crime Theories, Violence Theories, Bogira Ch.5-6
Making law
Courts-stare decisis-prior decision should govern future decisions
Feudal law provided the basis for common-law
First part as the douetatio fro the ely estalished ourt of la i the s,
decisions were written down, circulated and summarize
Second part magna Carter (Great Charter) 1215
Drawn up by English barons to limit powers of King John (of Robin Hood fame)
right to a trial by jury, proportionality of punishment, privilege against self-
Stare Decisis - prior decision should govern future decisions, and used to justify future decisions.
This means literally quote Let the deisio stad
All courts and state are bound by decisions of the highest court in that state.
All federal courts are bound by US Supreme court. Only the highest courts in the state are
binding within state but states may give consideration to other states Supreme Court decisions.
Precedent can be overruled by legislature if Constitution permits
William Blackstone English judge and philosopher had a heavy influence on the philosophy behind
Declaration of Independence.
Law in the US was organized in four parts: 1. Torts 2. Contracts 3. Criminal Law 4. Procedure
Legislative Laws (statutes) Executive Agency Laws (Administrative) Judicial Cases (Common Law)
Predecessor to the US Constitution was the Articles of Confederation (1781) ut these did’t proide
much centralized power - no United States
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1787-Continental Congress invited delegates from 13 original states to meet in Philadelphia to
write a new Constitution.
This was to layout powers and limits of federal government, both between branches of the
government in between government and individuals. The Constitution had few protections of individual
The only rights available from the Constitution were a
writ of habeas corpus-challenging the legality of detention,
a prohibition on bills of attainder-legislation imposing punishment without trial,
a prohibition on ex post facto laws-legislation making prior conduct criminal.
When the Constitution was sent to states for ratification several states were reluctant without more
individual protection spelled out in response to this the Bill of Rights is added and this was initially
drawn up by James Madison.
That’s here the Bill of Rights oes i.
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