Tag: Lawnotes

The law has developed a highly elaborate set of definitions of various degrees of personal responsibility, including deliberation, intention, knowledge, recklessness, and negligence, but has been relatively untouched by psychological research on attributional biases and particularly by the research on the dispositional bias (fundamental attribution error) or by social psychological research demonstrating that situations play a far greater role than personal preferences and dispositions in determining people’s behavior (Ross & Nisbett, 1991). Again, European civil law systems differ from common law systems in many respects, such as a more active role for the trial court judge, less emphasis on precedent, and reconsideration of the facts at the appellate level. Then, when scholars write about “legal reasoning,” they are writing about judges. The lawyer does not have to decide the case, but only to make the strongest appeal for one side; lawyers’ reasoning is discussed in courses and writings on advocacy. Jurors interpret the evidence to decide what actually happened and apply the law given to them in the judge’s instructions to reach a verdict. The judge must also seek out the appropriate legal authority, deciding which laws and previous cases are applicable. Jurors are not supposed to reason about the law itself; that is the task of the judge. Judges are trained in the law, they know the statutes and precedents, and they have the experience of judging many cases and reading the decisions of other judges. Jurors do not provide reasons for their verdicts; judges often do. Finally, much of what is written about legal reasoning is about appellate court decisions, in which judges are primarily concerned with legal procedure and the law itself, not about who wins and loses, and in which they almost always must provide legal explanations for their decisions. [Legal Reasoning- Phoebe C. Ellsworth-University of Michigan Law School 2005]

What is Precedent and Stare decisis

Precedent is the principle in law of using the past in order to assist in current interpretation and decision-making. Precedent can be of two types. Binding or mandatory precedent is a precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis that a court must consider when deciding a case. Advisory precedent are cases which a court may use but is not required to use to decide its cases.

What is an Appeal

An appeal is the act or fact of challenging a judicially cognizable and binding decision to a higher judicial authority. In common law jurisdictions, most commonly, this means formally filing a notice of appeal with a […]

What is prejudice

Passing  judgment without a judicial process Prejudice is, as the name implies, the process of “pre-judging” something. In general, it implies coming to a judgment on the subject before learning where the preponderance […]

What is a judgment

A judgment or judgement, in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following legal proceedings. At the same time the court may also make a range of court orders, such as imposing a sentence upon a guilty defendant in a criminal matter, […]

The role of Sheriff

The sheriff is both a political and a legal office held under English common law, Scots law or American common law, or the person who holds such office.   Modern usage United States In the United States a sheriff is […]

English Parliament

English Parliament A body now called the English Parliament first arose during the thirteenth century, referred to variously as ‘colloquium’ and ‘parliamentum’. It shared most of the powers typical of representative institutions in medieval and […]

What is feudalism

Feudalism Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. Even […]

What is Taxation

Tax A tax is an involuntary fee paid by individuals or businesses to a government. Taxes may be paid in cash or kind (although payments in kind may not always be allowed or classified as taxes in […]

What is State

States as sovereign political entities In international law and international relations, a state is a geographic political entity possessing politicial sovereignty, i.e. not being subject to any higher political authority. In casual language, the idea of a “state” […]

What is Government

The Government runs the country and has responsibility for developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws. It is also known as the Executive. The Government is usually formed by the party that gains the most seats in the House of Commons at a general election. It is headed by the Prime Minister who appoints government ministers. Members of the Government sit in Parliament and are accountable to it. Government departments and their agencies are responsible for putting government policy into practice.