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Scientific and Research Association of Judicial Jurisprudence
The features of a good law PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 August 2010 07:19

The features of a good law
S. B. Mohammadi


Have you ever seen a city without any laws and rules? I heard there's a city in Germany without any traffic lights and signs, but I'm absolutely sure there's a good law in this city. In addition, I promise its citizens are law-abiding. A good law is an essential part of our civil and social life. But what are the features of a good law? Law makers emphasize that three elements are necessary for a good law. A good law should be comprehensive, exact and expressive.
The first feature of a good law is to be perfect and comprehensive. In our life events take place in different details. So a good law should cover all of these events. For this purpose, legislators employ absolute and general sentences that include many details because it's impossible to declare all details in a law.
Another feature of a suitable law is exactness. In western countries two legal systems are common, codified law and common law. In the first system the laws should be written in exact sentences to prevent opposite interpretation. But in the second one which values legal expert's doctrine, exact sentences aren't necessary. Sometimes interpretations could be so far from the legislator's meaning that are inconsistent with legislator's intention. So, exact sentences without any ambiguity are required.
At first glance, the comprehensiveness may seem contrary to exactness, but the third element obviates this contrast. An effective law should be expressive to combine comprehensiveness with exactness. The concepts of legal texts should be clear among the sentences to be complete and exact.
Although a bad and imperfect law is better than lawlessness, a good law, perfect exact and expressive one, is the best.        

 
The US and UK legal systems PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 26 August 2010 07:17

The US and UK legal systems
S. B. Mohammadi


The legal system in the United State is similar in many ways to the English legal system common in England and Wales. According to cases, in both systems, two kinds of court work: Civil and criminal courts. The first deal with civil cases that are about rights of ordinary people, for example property rights, divorce, etc. The second is deal with cases that are about crimes. Every criminal trial, in the US legal system as like as the UK system consist of courts, the jury and the attorney, but with some differences in these three elements.
Courts: In Britain, there are two kinds of criminal courts: magistrates and crown courts. Less serious criminal and civil cases are dealt with in the magistrates' courts, where there is no jury but a case is usually heard by two or three magistrates. Cases that are more serious are heard by judge in the crown courts (for criminal cases) or the high court (for civil cases). On the contrary, in the US, there are three kinds of judges for three types of courts. One of the most important branches of government in the US is Supreme Court. The main duty of this court is to interpret United State constitution. Nine Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President and approved by the senate for life. Federal judges are also appointed for life by the President. They deal with federal law, which applies to the country as a whole. State judges, who hear cases involving the law of particular state, hold office for ten years and usually elected in office by election.
The jury: In England and Wales is made up twelve ordinary people aged between 18 and 65. Nevertheless, in the US the number of people who make up a jury varies from state to state. In addition, both defendant and the prosecution are allowed to reject a certain number of jury candidates. Against England, that the jury is necessary only for criminal cases; in the US, many civil cases are also heard by a jury. The task of the jury is to decide whether the defendant is innocent or guilty.
The attorneys: Solicitors and Barristers play the attorneys role in English legal system. Solicitors are lawyers who do legal business for individuals and companies, and act as advocates, representing client in court. Barristers used to be the only lawyers allowed to appear as advocates in higher courts. One advocate that counsel the prosecution tries to prove that accused committed the crime. The advocate representing the defendant tries to show that he or she is innocent. In the US, the attorneys who represent clients in court, have been trained at law school and are licensed to practice only in certain states. If they wish practice in a different state, they may have to take another exam. In a criminal case, the prosecution attorney is appointed by the district attorney to prosecute the defendant. The defense attorney will be provided by the public defender's office if the defendant cannot afford to engage her or his own lawyer.  
In spite of similarity between the US and UK legal system in some factors like kinds of trials and courts, and parts of courts and people in courts, they are differing from each other in many ways, and their differences also return to these factors..

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 August 2010 07:19
 
Natural Law PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 20 August 2010 22:53

The term 'natural law' is ambiguous. It refers to a type of moral theory, as well as to a type of legal theory, despite the fact that the core claims of the two kinds of theory are logically independent. According to natural law ethical theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings. According to natural law legal theory, the authority of at least some legal standards necessarily derives, at least in part, from considerations having to do with the moral merit of those standards. There are a number of different kinds of natural law theories of law, differing from each other with respect to the role that morality plays in determining the authority of legal norms.
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Table of Contents (Clicking on the links below will take you to those parts of this article)
1. Two Kinds of Natural Law Theory
2. Conceptual Naturalism
2.a The Project of Conceptual Jurisprudence 2.b Classical Natural Law Theory 3. The Substantive Neo-Naturalism of John Finnis
4. The Procedural Naturalism of Lon L. Fuller
5. Ronald Dworkin's "Third Theory"
6. Sources
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Last Updated on Friday, 20 August 2010 22:55
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Legal Rights PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 20 August 2010 22:52

Legal rights are, clearly, rights which exist under the rules of legal systems. They raise a number of different philosophical issues. (1) Whether legal rights are conceptually related to other types of rights, principally moral rights; (2) What the analysis of the concept of a legal right is; (3) What kinds of entities can be legal right-holders; (4) Whether there any kinds of rights which are exclusive to, or at least have much greater importance in, legal systems, as opposed to morality; (5) What rights legal systems ought to create or recognise. Issue (5) is primarily one of moral and political philosophy, and is not different in general principle from the issue of what duties, permissions, powers, etc, legal systems ought to create or recognise. It will not, therefore, be addressed here.
A preliminary point should be mentioned. Do all legal systems have a concept of rights? Their use is pervasive in modern legal systems. We talk of legislatures having the legal right to pass laws, of judges to decide cases, of private individuals to make wills and contracts; as well as of constitutions providing legal rights to the citizens against fellow citizens and against the state itself. Yet it has been suggested that even some sophisticated earlier systems, such as Roman law, had no terminology which clearly separated rights from duties (see Maine (1861), 269-70 ). The question is primarily one for legal historians and will not be pursued here, but it may be remarked that it may still be legitimate when describing those systems to talk of rights in the modern sense, since Roman law, for example, clearly achieved many of the same results as contemporary systems. Presumably, it did so by deploying some of the more basic concepts into which rights can, arguably, be analysed.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 August 2010 22:57
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Philosophy of Law PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 20 August 2010 22:51

Philosophers of law are concerned with providing a general philosophical analysis of law and legal institutions. Issues in legal philosophy range from abstract conceptual questions about the nature of law and legal systems to normative questions about the relation between law and morality and the justification for various legal institutions. Topics in legal philosophy tend to be more abstract than related topics in political philosophy and applied ethics. For example, whereas the question of how properly to interpret the U.S. Constitution belongs to democratic theory and hence falls under the heading of political philosophy, the analysis of legal interpretation falls under the heading of legal philosophy. Likewise, whereas the question of whether capital punishment is morally permissible falls under the heading of applied ethics, the question of whether the institution of punishment can be justified falls under the heading of legal philosophy. Topics in legal philosophy fall roughly into three categories: analytic jurisprudence, normative jurisprudence, and critical theories of law.
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Table of Contents (Clicking on the links below will take you to those parts of this article)
1. Analytic Jurisprudence
a. Natural Law Theory
b. Legal Positivism
i. The Conventionality Thesis
ii. The Social Fact Thesis
iii. The Separability Thesis
c. Ronald Dworkin's Third Theory
2. Normative Jurisprudence
a. Freedom and the Limits of Legitimate Law
i. Legal Moralism
ii. Legal Paternalism
iii. The Offense Principle
b. The Obligation to Obey Law
c. The Justification of Punishment
3. Critical Theories of Law
a. Legal Realism
b. Critical Legal Studies
c. Law and Economics
d. Outsider Jurisprudence
4. Suggestions for Further Reading
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