Legal Update

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Coase used the example of a nuisance case named Sturges v Bridgman, where a noisy sweetmaker and a quiet doctor were neighbours and went to court to see who should have to move. So the law ought to pre-empt what would happen, and be guided by the most efficient solution. The idea is that law and regulation are not as important or effective at helping people as lawyers and government planners believe. Coase and others like him wanted a change of approach, to put the burden of proof for positive effects on a government that was intervening in the market, by analysing the costs of action.

This distinction is stronger in civil law countries, particularly those with a separate system of administrative courts; by contrast, the public-private law divide is less pronounced in common law jurisdictions. All legal systems deal with the same basic issues, but jurisdictions categorise and identify their legal topics in different ways. In civil law systems, contract and tort fall under a general law of obligations, while trusts law is dealt with under statutory regimes or international conventions. International, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law, contract, tort, property law and trusts are regarded as the “traditional core subjects”, although there are many further disciplines. Roman law was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were highly sophisticated.

  • At first, jurists and legal philosophers were suspicious of sociology of law.
  • Most executives in both systems are responsible for foreign relations, the military and police, and the bureaucracy.
  • In the United States, this authority is the Supreme Court; in Australia, the High Court; in the UK, the Supreme Court; in Germany, the Bundesverfassungsgericht; and in France, the Cour de Cassation.
  • Saudi Arabia recognises Quran as its constitution, and is governed on the basis of Islamic law.
  • September 27, 2022 • Cubans have approved a sweeping “family law” code that will allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt as well as redefining rights for children and grandparents, officials said.

E.g. in England these seven subjects, with EU law substituted for international law, make up a “qualifying law degree”. For criticism, see Peter Birks’ poignant comments attached to a previous version of the Notice to Law Schools Archived 20 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Although many scholars argue that “the boundaries between public and private law are becoming blurred”, and that this distinction has become mere “folklore” (Bergkamp, Liability and Environment, 1–2). Civil law jurisdictions recognise custom as “the other source of law”; hence, scholars tend to divide the civil law into the broad categories of “written law” or legislation, and “unwritten law” (ius non-scriptum) or custom. Yet they tend to dismiss custom as being of slight importance compared to legislation (Georgiadis, General Principles of Civil Law, 19; Washofsky, Taking Precedent Seriously, 7).

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There is no clear legal definition of the civil society, and of the institutions it includes. Most of the institutions and bodies who try to give a list of institutions exclude the political parties. In civil law systems such as those of Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Greece, there is a distinct category of notary, a legally trained public official, compensated by the parties to a transaction.

The other important model is the presidential system, found in the United States and in Brazil. In presidential systems, the executive acts as both head of state and head of government, and has power to appoint an unelected cabinet. Under a presidential system, the executive branch is separate from the legislature to which it is not accountable. Jurimetrics is the formal application of quantitative methods, especially probability and statistics, to legal questions. The use of statistical methods in court cases and law review articles has grown massively in importance in the last few decades.

Stanfords Rhode Center on the Legal Profession Publishes First Comprehensive Report on Emerging Legal Innovations

Although the role of the executive varies from country to country, usually it will propose the majority of legislation, and propose government agenda. In presidential systems, the executive often has the power to veto legislation. Most executives in both systems are responsible for foreign relations, the military and police, and the bureaucracy. Ministers or other officials head a country’s public offices, such as a foreign ministry or defence ministry. The election of a different executive is therefore capable of revolutionising an entire country’s approach to government. Our courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level build your understanding of legal reasoning, enable you to critically analyse legal situations, and encourage you to confidently present and debate your interpretations.

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