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Lecture 1 slides in Philosophy and Development of Legal Judging. This lectures covers the power of government to state or prescribe the law.
Who has the Power to State the Law? Kings, Parliaments & Statutes Kings -- Most societies throughout Europe (and probably elsewhere) were ruled by Kings, not by Aristocrats -- In Medieval times, a King’s power rationalized as absolute (even if it wasn’t in fact) Divine Right -- Divine Right suggested that the King was God’s chosen agent on earth to be the Landlord of that particular country. (e.g., England) Kings, Parliaments & Statutes The Statute -- King could issue proclamations, decrees, pronouncements, etc. -- as time goes by, the “statute” came about: • sometimes, for political purposes, King would have both himself and his nobility sign extremely important pronouncements so that they appeared more powerful (e.g., taxes, war) (Parliaments had to be convened for this purpose) Kings, Parliaments & Statutes Custom and Tradition -- As each King would call a parliament to approve certain issues, people became used to this practice -- it became traditional and customary (in England) to say that: • no taxes unless parliament approves • no war unless parliament approves -- as parliament is used more and more, this grows: • nothing big unless parliament approves Kings, Parliaments & Statutes Custom and Tradition -- Final straw: The parliament is permanent and is the sovereign (English revolution)! -- Parliament (the legislature) writes the law! State the law
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