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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 ­ Introduction to Politics.docx.doc

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Political Science
POLS 3130
Dennis Baker

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Politics, Law and Judicial Process Politics • Make decisions that distribute • Creating rules • How authoritative decisions are made • Focuses on 2 interrelated subjects 1. Process of making decisions 2. Outcomes of decision making process • Public policy – course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a given problem/interrelated set of problems o The range of public policy varies enormously; policies can involve anything from banning by cities of smoking in restaurants to provincial education policy to federal defense policies. Law • Natural law- for law to be valid, it has to be morally permissible o St. Augustine, “ unjust law is no law at all.” – moral duties can be discovered in the natural order o No agreement of what “moral” is • Positivist law- what law is and what law ought to be, four characteristics: 1. Law as a body of rules 2. Enacted and applied by public officials 3. Enacted in a legislative manner 4. Backed by the force of the state • Rule of law – court case Roncarellui vs. Duplessis – pg .6 • Rule of law : Acountry that is governed by the rule of law is one in which the law is a body of rules enacted in applied by public officials and illegitimate manner and backed up by the force of state. Every person no matter what his or her political, social, or economic status, is considered to be equal before the law. The Government officials must act according to the law the law must be made publicly accessible before it's enforcement and cannot be enforced. • Neo-classical natural law school argues law should be evaluated as to whether of not it advances human good/prosperity Categories of Law International law – rules that govern relationships and disputes between states or people, business and organizations in more than one state. Domestic law – rules that are made by individual sovereign states for a given territory Public and Private Law Public Law Private Law Constitutional law Rules that define the type Torts Rules that govern of government system “responsibilitie under what circumstances a (presidential/parliamentary) civile” wrong committed against the and functioning of person, property or reputation of government, relationships another either intentionally or between citizens or groups unintentionally, can result in and the state including rights injured party obtaining remedy and freedoms, in federal from oaer at fault, specify what systems define the division of remedies are powers and jurisdiction between national and regional governments Criminal law Rules that define what is Contract law Rules that define what criminal, what penalties us a legitimate binding are for violations of the agreement between two or criminal law and what more parties and how such procedures are for agreements can be enforced investigation crime and conducting a trial Administrative Provides legal standards Family law Rules that govern law ro govern the action of marriage abd divorce, rights governmental officials and and obligations within a remedies to those affected domestic relationship, the by the failure of rights and obligations upon government officials to the dissolution of a follow legal standards relationship Tax law Specialized subset of Property law Rules that are administrative law with concerned with rights and rules governing the obligations attached to collection of revenue by ownership and possession of the state from individuals real and personal property and business Systems of Law • Different legal systems in the world are characterized by different legal cultures and traditions • The two dominant sources of law to day is common law and civil law • Common law- used in Great Britain, and many of its former colonies such as Canada, USA, Australia and India o In the twelfth century England – laws were not contained in any one document but found mostly in decisions of judges of the Crown
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