Chapter 2

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

Chapter 2Introduction to the Legal SystemWhat is LawNatural law theoristsin moral terms where only good rules are considered lawLegal positivistslooking at laws source only the rules enacted by those with authority to do so qualify as lawLegal realistspractical terms only those rules that the courts are willing to enforce qualify as lawNo wholly satisfactory definition of lawParliamentary supremacywe must look to enactments of the federal parliament or provincial legislatures as the primary source of lawIn the USA judges are allowed to factor in current social and economic realities when they make their decisionsLaw is the body of rules made by government that can be enforced by the courts or by other government agenciesMany rules we follow do not qualify as lawUniversities and colleges often establish rules of conduct for their students and faculty but courts do not enforce these rulesRules than can be enforced by the courts are laws by definitionLaws do not suggest what is just or moral legal compliance and ethical behavior are two different thingsMany people choose to live by their own personal code of conductHigh ethical standards are expected in business activitiesWe may be motivated by divine law conscience moral indifference or avarice serious consequences may follow from noncompliance with the body of rules we call lawCategories of LawSubstantive Lawestablishes not only the rights an individual has in society but also the limits on his or her conduct ex The rights to travel to vote to own property and prohibitions against theft and murderall deal with governmentProcedural Lawdetermines how the substantive laws will be enforced arrest investigation pretrial and court processes in both criminal and civil casesPublic Lawincludes 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 agenciesPrivate Lawinvolves the rules that govern our personal social and business relations which are enforced by one person suing another in a private or civil actionOrigins of LawAll of Canada except Quebec follows the common law legal systemQuebec follows the civil law system not to be confused with civil court civil action and civil law because what Quebec follows is the Civil Code or civil law as used in QuebecCivil Law Legal SystemVariations of the Civil Code are used throughout much of the worldMost important feature of French civil lawits central Code a list of rules stated as broad principles of law that judges apply to the cases that come before them Civil Codepeople refer to this to know their legal rights or obligationsThe Code ultimately decides the principle to be applied resolves private disputes in Quebec
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