January 2014 Law Exam Study Notes- there is a problem on this page, go to www.worldgeographers.webs.com and click on the 12Law link that i created since this site won't upload all the notes
Introduction to Law
primary sources of law-this is where laws originate from, where our moral code may come from including religious ideas such as the Qu’ran or the Bible, or from customs that have been around for a long time. We may not know where the custom came from but it is a practise or behaviour we have always done and our laws are based on these.
secondary sources- these are written down laws set up by a group in power and found in the form of a constitution, statute or from court decisions. These may be based on the primary sources but are the most modern and recent way to fully express how a person can or can not act.
Types of law
Classification of laws
common law- this is a type first used throughout England going back to 1066 CE until today whereby judges based their decisions on a centralized set of laws so wherever you were in the country, everyone would face justice in the same way regardless of the individual judge. This was applied in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. to start.
private law-these are the laws connected to one’s private life where a crime may not have been broken but there is a conflict between two parties and there needs to be a decision in favour of one of the parties egs. contract law, property law, family law
adversarial system-this is the system where two different points of view are presented about a particular person’s alleged crime by having a defence lawyer for the accused and the prosecutor to outline why the person should be found guilty
Constitutional laws- International case studies: South Africa and the Philippines
- South Africa
In 1948, the Afrikaaners won the election for the first time and proceeded to increase the racist attitudes and practises of the British by instituting racist laws. The goals of the laws were to separate all racial groups which were strictly defined by the new government as: African (black), European (white), Asian, Coloured (mixed). For each racial group, everyone’s life was determined by their skin colour in the areas of places to live, education, health care, recreational facilities and jobs. This set of laws is known as apartheid which means in Afrikaans, “apartness”- to keep everyone apart. By doing so, they were able to keep the majority black population under white control (10% of the population) with the use of a brutal police force and not respecting basic human rights including: