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SOSC 1375: Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies Exam Notes

10 Pages

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

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Law and Society Separation Thesis : Many claim that in order to analyze the law, law and morality must be separated, this is referred to as “the separation thesis” and is generally a defining characteristic of legal positivism. Laws and moral values do not always coincide. Legal Positivism: Legal positivists find law to be a human convention, something decided or stipulated at a determinate time by individuals, for a particular purpose, it is an outcome of decisions rather than the issue of something beyond human control. The makers of these laws are people in a position of power. Law should be enforced regardless of morality and whether or not justice was served. The question as to how good or bad the laws are has no bearing on their status as laws. Conventionalist view of law. Natural Law Theory: Belief that justice is integral to the law, basis of law is beyond human control or arbitrary decision. It is something that binds human lawmakers irrespective of what any individual group wishes or decides. Law is the outcome, not of human agreement but of first principles or natural foundations, the value of which runs deeper than the usefulness or expedience of conventions. Laws are discovered rather than made. Human makers of positive law are constrained by objective considerations relating to the intrinsic nature of the laws, considerations of justice that are external to the will of the legislators. If they ignore these constraints they are not making law at all. Foundationalist concept of law. One Juror Verdict Theory: Lawyers will look for a key juror who will be sympathetic to their case and be able to influence the entire group. A juror‟s status and power in the external world is believed to be mirrored in the jury group. Challenge for Cause: Challenge of juror on jury panel, can be made on the grounds that a prospective juror fails to meet the requirements of the provincial statute that governs juries (ex. Person‟s occupation places them in exempted category) Also used to screen potential jurors whose impartiality has been tainted by media coverage of a case. Peremptory Challenge: Allows either the defence or the Crown prosecutor to eliminate a prospective juror without a specific reason Shadow Jury: Simulated juries used to gain feedback for lawyers on how to try their cases, able to show lawyers the probable reactions of the jury Plea Bargaining: An agreement by the accused to plead guilty in return for the prosecutor‟s agreeing to take or refrain from taking a particular course of action Canadian Judicial Council (CJC): Federal body created under the judges‟ act, with the mandate to "promote efficiency, uniformity, and accountability, and to improve quality of judicial service in the superior courts of Canada". The Council is also mandated to review any complaint or allegation against a superior court judge. Narratology: The branch of knowledge or criticism that deals with the structure and function of narrative and its themes, conventions, and symbols. The construction of a story within the law. Legal Consciousness: How legality is experienced and understood by ordinary people as they engage, avoid or resist the law and legal meanings. Understanding of the law that is often imbedded in our culture, experienced through everyday life. Moral panic: A disruption that threatens the social order of a society Customary Law Punishment—payback: established pattern, law generally accepted by members of a particular group/society, in Aboriginal customary law people are often physically punished for their crimes Sentencing Circles: In sentencing circles the court invites interested members of the community to join the judge, prosecutor, defence counsel, police, etc. to meet within a circle, discuss the crime and factors that may have impacted on its commission, sentencing options and strategies through which the offender may be reintegrated into the community Unified Court System: A unified court system consolidates separately run courts into one court system that is centrally managed. Historically, countries with a judiciary based on English common law have established a court system to handle cases under the national laws. Legal Pluralism: The existence of multiple legal systems within one geographic area. Culpability and responsibility as understood in both Western and Aboriginal law; Murder: in western tradition- an offence against the state; in aboriginal custom- an offence against the family/clan of the victim. Also, aboriginals see it as dishonorable to plead “not guilty” to a crime which they committed. Power of the State: In reference to the U.S. Constitution which curtailed the power of the state as a whole by dividing it amongst the states of the US. Treaty of Westphalia: Dictated provisions of state sovereignty, Principle of State Sovereignty – political self determination, Principle of Legal Equality between States, Principle of Non – Intervention Rule of Law: States that no one is above the law Bill C-41: Regulates disparities in sentencing to codify sentencing principles Canadian Criminal Code: The Criminal Code of Canada Law as a Technical Game: Complex rules: players, function, procedures, questions and outcomes. Lawyers: specialists trained in identifying and applying rules, transform litigant‟s complaints into legal disputes, judges also part of the technical game Law as a Containment: Laws prevent people from committing certain acts Medicalization: Much of what we see as abnormal now becomes medicalized. It is no longer an aberration departing from the right path it‟s a medical problem requiring a medical solution Medicalized vs. Moral Vocabulary: Shift from moral vocabulary (normal/abnormal distinction) to medicalized vocabulary (normal/abnormal) distinction. Same process of distinguishing normal from abnormal but different discourses Section 16 of the Criminal Code: Defense of mental disorder – No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong. Common Law: Case law. Law made by judges, law common to all (precedent) Heart Balm Law Suits: Suing someone based on breaking off an engagement, breach of promise actions can be utilized to compensate the individual who has been injured from such a relationship. Targeted killing: Targeted killing is the intentional killing, by a government or its agents, of a targeted person, whom they may consider an "unlawful combatant", who is not in their custody. The target is a person who is allegedly taking part in an armed conflict or terrorism Drone War: First used in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), also known as drones, are aircraft either controlled by „pilots‟ from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission, armed with missiles and bombs sent to seek out those on secret hit lists. Laws of War (LOW) and Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC): Geneva Convention 1949, LOW: Part of International Body of Law dealing with war rules LOAC: Part of International Body of Law regulating armed hostilities 3 Principles of LOAC 1) military necessity, 2) Distinction – lawful/unlawful targets and/or combatants and 3) proportionality – minimization of collateral damage Collateral Damage: In the case of targeting individuals thought to be terrorists, collateral damage refers to pedestrians International Criminal Court (ICC): The Hague, Netherlands. Tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes. Terrorism as a crime or act of war: Criminal Law Paradigm: - Law enforcement, find out if they are guilty - Done through justice - Due process, arrest them the right way try them the right way - Individuals punished for their guilt - Guilt must be proven in a court of law - Due guarantees - Killing is only permitted if used for self defense and/or immediate necessity of saving more lives War Paradigm: - Right to kill anyone - Not guilty of anything, guilt and innocence are irrelevant - Deadly force against combatants is legitimate- irrespective of immediate threat level - Legitimate Targets: combatants belong to an identifiable group-uniform, military bases - Guilt is irrelevant - No attempt to capture is needed Types of Law: Substantive Law - consists of all laws that set out the rights and obligations of persons. Procedural Law - outlines the steps and procedures involved in protecting and enforcing the rights given under Substantive Law, i.e. the rules of court, etc. Public Law – regulates the relationships between the state and individuals, or between states. Civil Law - regulates the personal relationships between two private parties. Criminal Law – state defined prohibitions with penalties Constitutional Law - Laws establishing the make-up of government and the division of powers between federal and provincial governments. Administrative Law - governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Family Law - deals with the relationships between individuals living together. Contract Law – covers disputes over legally binding agreements. Tort Law - deals with private wrongs committed against one another, e.g. injury caused by negligence. Property Law - deals with issues between individuals over land/renting Labour Law - deals with all relationships between employers and employees. CANADIAN LAW .--------------------'---------------------. |
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