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LAWS 2301 (33)

pg 43-78.pdf

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Carleton University
LAWS 2301
Ronald Saunders

Pages 43-78 Chapter 2 -approaches to the criminal law are varied and color the way one perceives criminal law -it is not from custom/nature; it is from the views of policy makers and what they want the criminal law to accomplish -the difficulty is in the different definitions of law that result from the different perspectives 2.1 Traditional Legal Perspectives -takes the law as given and fails to explore the social/political activities of law -focuses on the written/formal aspects of law -narrow and one-dimensional approach -it is a neutral force to be manipulated for good, by the state -legal rules and the centre of social life -rule and process-oriented -assumes high-degree of social consensus and that these rules reflect shared values -assumes criminal law provides a “full answer” which allows the state to maintain complaints -we have to look beyond changes in the criminal law and strive to rid society of certain attitudes Eg. Sexual assault: don’t just change written laws, but strive society away from sexist ideas and attitudes Eg. Prostitution: laws simply make it easier to catch prostitutes Eg. Drunk driving: harsher consequences -the complex dimensions behind these laws (such as why people drink and drive and why someone is a prostitute) can not be forgotten and regulated only on written laws, but they are in the traditional perspective. -legal order: serves to mark what behavior is acceptable, to express society’s unwillingness to tolerate threats to order, and to mobilize institutions in response to these threats Critique: -too much oriented towards formal manifestations -law students learn how to arg
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