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CRIM 135 (24)
Chapter 1

CRIM-135 - Chapter 1 Notes (Textbook + Lecture)

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CRIM 135
John Ferguson

Chapter 1 TextbookLecturesCriminology 135 PositivismNatural law Legal realismOur views of the operational criminal law reflect often passionately held moral economic and political points of view Individual perspectives on the lawLaw is the skeleton that structures our economic social and political livesit is also a barometer of the nations view of human relationsour attitudes toward law define us as citizens of our society politically economically and morallyour individual perceptions of justice and injustice define our relationship as citizens to the state Theoretical perspectives on the law Positivism the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules valid because they are enacted by the sovereign or derive logically from existing decisions and that ideal or moral considerations should not limit the scope or operation of the lawa systematization of the lawseeking precision by an almost mechanical analysis of law as a matter of logic interpretationpositivists are not concerned with a laws moral contentadherence to a just legal process is more important than the specifics of the lawpositivists argue passionately for a legal process that protects liberty democratic institutions and prevents the abuse of political powerthe process of law is seen as more important than the specific content of lawlaw is the outcome of the political process not a part of itpositivism is rooted in the British doctrine of parliamentary supremacywhat was what isNatural lawcompletely opposed to positivismadherents of natural law insist on a clear link between law and moralityan unjust law is no law at allsecular basis of natural law has become more dominant emphasis on determining moral values and principles remainsmorality is at the heart of the legal process a perspective that demands a linkage between law and morality must specify the moral premises that will be operative at any specific time and place 1
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