Chapter 2 - Introduction to the Legal System Textbook Notes

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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2275A/B
Cristin Keller

Chapter 2Introduction to the Legal System Law is the body of rules made by government that can be enforced by courts orby other government agenciesCATEGORIES OF LAWPrimary Categories Substantive Law establishes not only the rights an individual has in society but also the limits on his or her conduct rights to travel vote prohibitions against theft and murder Procedural Law determines how the substantive laws will be enforced rules governing arrest investigation and pre0trial and court processes in both criminal and civil cases are examples Law can also be distinguished by its public or private function Public Law includes constitutional law that determines how the country is governed and the laws that affect an individuals relationship with government including criminal law and the regulations created by government agencies Private Law involves the rules that govern our personal social and business relations which are enforced by one person suing another in a private or civil action Note the terms civil court civil action and civil law are alsoused within our common law legal system to describe private law matters and should not be confused with the Civil Code or civil laws as used in Quebec Civil Law Legal System y Most important feature of French civil law is its central Codea list of rules stated as broad principles of law that judges apply to the casesy While civil law judges are influenced by decisions made in other cases and lawyers point out what other judges have done in similar situation ultimately the Code determines the principle to be appliedCommon Law Legal Systemy The growth of the common law legal system was much affected by this ongoing struggle for power between kings and nobles and later between kings and parliament y In the past the function of royal courts was not to impose any particular set of laws but to be as fair and impartial as possible They did not make new rules but enforced the customs and traditions they found already in place in towns and villages they visited y Gradually a system of justice developed in which the judges were required to follow each others decision this process is called stare decisis or following precedent
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