Division of Law

The Division of Law provides legal representation and counsel to the departments, boards offices, commissions and other instrumentalities of State government, its officers and employees. This responsibility has several key features. It requires a defense of all litigation brought against the State, its entities, officers and employees. It requires the Attorney General to act as legal representative of the State in all legal matters including actions to enforce the law and to protect its interests in contractual matters.

It also requires the Attorney General, through the Division of Law, to act as counsel to the State departments, agencies, officials and employees with regard to all legal issues. In performing these functions, the office is imbued with a public trust to further the public interest in all matters in which the State is involved. Definition of law, political law, public law, temporal law and divine law Law is a term which does not have a universally accepted definition,[2] but one definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.

Laws are made by governments, specifically by their legislatures. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in countless ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions (including Canon and Socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and common law systems, where judge-made binding precedents are accepted.

Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some countries, particularly Islamic. The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations. These resolutions seek to provide a legal remedy (often monetary damages) to the winning litigant.

Under civil law, the following specialties, among others, exist: Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law regulates the transfer and title of personal property and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security. Tort law allows claims for compensation if a person’s property is harmed. Constitutional law provides a framework for the creation of law, the protection of human rights and the election of political representatives. Administrative law is used to review the decisions of government agencies.

International law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to military action. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public by public servants, a government’s bureaucracy, the military and police are vital. While all these organs of the state are creatures created and bound by law, an independent legal profession and a vibrant civil society inform and support their progress[citation needed]. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology.

Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice. All are equal before the law. The author Anatole France said in 1894, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread. “[4] Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, “The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual. “[5] Mikhail Bakunin said: “All law has for its object to confirm and exalt into a system the exploitation of the workers by a ruling class”. 6] Cicero said “more law, less justice”. [7] Marxist doctrine asserts that law will not be required once the state has withered away. [8] Political law (or political activity law[1]) is an established legal practice area encompassing the intersection of politics and law.

Political law comprises election law, voting rights law, campaign finance law, laws governing lobbying and lobbyists, open government laws, legislative and executive branch ethics codes, legislative procedure, administrative procedure, constitutional law, and legislative and regulatory drafting. 2][3] Political laws are applied primarily to government officials, candidates, advocacy groups, lobbyists, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and trade unions. At the federal level, the Federal Election Commission enforces campaign finance law with respect to races for the U. S. House, U. S. Senate, and the presidency. [4] Campaigns for federal office are subject to contribution limits and certain contributions are prohibited. The Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section (PIN) has jurisdiction involving alleged criminal violations of many political laws.

At the state level, most states have administrative agencies to enforce state law with respect to campaign finance and ethics rules. [5] The attorney general of the state may also play a role in enforcement. Some local governments also maintain ethics agencies. At the state and local level these agencies might simply provide for disclosure of campaign finance registration and reporting forms (or lobbyist registration and reporting), or they may provide an enforcement scheme. “Pay-to-play” restrictions are an example of political law.

For instance, in the context of municipal securities dealers, rules promulgated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board effectively prohibit certain individuals from contributing to the political funds of officials of issuers. [6] Public law (lat. ius publicum) is that part of law which governs relationships between individuals and the government, and those relationships between individuals which are of direct concern to the society. [1] Public law comprises constitutional law, administrative law, tax law and criminal law,[1] as well as all procedural law.

In public law, mandatory rules (not optional) prevail. Laws concerning relationships between individuals belong to private law. The relationships public law governs are asymmetric and unequal – government bodies (central or local) can make decisions about the rights of individuals. However, as a consequence of the rule of law doctrine, authorities may only act within the law (secundum et intra legem). The government must obey the law. For example, a citizen unhappy with a decision of an administrative authority can ask a court for judicial review.

Rights, too, can be divided into private rights and public rights. A paragon of a public right is the right to welfare benefits – only a natural person can claim such payments, and they are awarded through an administrative decision out of the government budget. The distinction between public law and private law dates back to Roman law. It has been picked up in the countries of civil law tradition at the beginning of the 19th century, but since then spread to common law countries, too. Divine law is any law that, according to religious belief, comes directly from the will of God, in contrast to man-made law.

Like natural law (which may be seen as a manifestation of divine law) it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation. Divine law is eternal law, meaning that since God is infinite, then his law must also be infinite and eternal. In Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law, divine law, as opposed to natural law, comes only from revelation or scripture, hence biblical law, and is necessary for human salvation. According to Aquinas, divine law must not be confused with natural law.

Divine law is mainly and mostly natural law, but it can also be positive law. Schools of thought History There are many Schools of History, each reflecting different historiographical approaches to the subject. Note that a “School” of History is neither a physical structure nor an educational establishment, but is a term applied to a group of like-minded academics. Historians may or may not “officially” subscribe to one or more schools. They may also lean toward one, or, over the course of a career, change their stance.

Some schools have become largely defunct, due to being discredited. A school of thought is a collection or group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, discipline, belief, social movement, economics, cultural movement, or art movement. Schools are often characterized by their currency, and thus classified into “new” and “old” schools. This dichotomy is often a component of paradigm shift. However, it is rarely the case that there are only two schools in any given field.

Schools are often named after their founders such as the “Rinzai school” of Zen named after Linji Yixuan and the Asharite school of early Muslim philosophy named after Abu l’Hasan al-Ashari. They are often also named after their places of origin, such as the Ionian School of philosophy that originated in Ionia and the Chicago school of architecture that originated in Chicago, Illinois and the Prague School of linguistics, named after a linguistic circle found in Prague, or Tartu-Moscow Semiotic School whose representatives lived in Tartu and Moscow.

Distinguish between criminal law and criminal procedure. Criminal law is substantive; it defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. Criminal procedure, on theother hand, is remedial or procedural; it provides for the method by which a person accused of a crime is arrested, tried andpunished. Criminal law declares what acts are punishable, while criminal procedure provides how the act is to be punished. Criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime.

It regulates social conduct and proscribes threatening, harming, or otherwise endangering the health, safety, and moral welfare of people. It includes the punishment of people who violate these laws. Criminal law differs from civil law, whose emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation than on punishment. Criminal procedure Criminal procedure is the method prescribed by law for the apprehension and prosecution of persons accused of any criminal offenseand for their punishment, in case of conviction.

Characteristics of Penal law Penal laws are legal statutory promulgations which define crimes, treat of their nature and provide for their punishment. Every state keeps a body of laws which will define and punish certain acts or omissions in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Criminal law has three main characteristics: general, territorial and prospective. Criminal law is said to be general in its application in the sense that it is binding on all persons who live or sojourn in the statea€™s territory.

Hence, every person within the territory of a state, irrespective of whether or not he is a national of the state can be tried by such state if the person committed certain acts in violation of its laws while in sojourn with that state. This is premised on the fact that every state has an obligation and the right to uphold its laws and maintain order within its jurisdiction and to possibly punish persons for offenses committed within its territory, regardless of the nationality of the offender, with the exception of heads of states and diplomatic representatives, subject to principles of international law.

Relevant to the generality of criminal law is its territoriality. Criminal laws undertake to punish crime committed within the statea€™s territory. This principle explains that as a matter of principle penal laws of a state are enforceable only within its territory. However, it is to be noted that there exist certain exceptions to the territoriality of criminal laws. There are certain instances when the criminal law of a state finds its application though the act committed is done without.

For instance, in some states, the act of committing an offense while on a ship or airship of the state, or forging or counterfeiting any coin or currency note of the state even when outside the country are punishable. Prospectivity is another characteristic of penal laws. A penal law cannot make an act punishable in a manner in which it was not punishable when committed. As a general rule, crimes are punished under the laws in force at the time of their commission. However, in certain cases, where a new law dealing with a crime establishes conditions more lenient or favourable to the accused, a law can be given retroactive effect.

As discussed, penal laws operate within these basic characteristics and as such it is always within the ambit of the statea€™s power to regulate and enforce these laws as one of its attributes of police power. Sources of Criminal Law Criminal law defines crimes; sets the procedures for arrests, searches and seizures, and interrogations; establishes the rules for trials; and specifies the punishments for offenders. Common law Common law, which is known as judge? made law, came into existence in England during the twelfth century.

Judges created common law by ruling that certain actions were subject to punishment and defined offenses such as murder, rape, arson, and burglary as crimes against the state. Over time, British judges’ law decisions produced a body of unwritten laws and customs. This law formed the basis of the legal system in the American colonies. One of the main parts of common law is the law of precedent. Once a court makes a decision, it is binding on other courts in later cases presenting the same legal problem.

The principle of stare decisis relates to the law of precedent. It literally means to “let the decision or precedent stand. ” This principle guides courts in making decisions in similar cases and ensures fairness in the judicial process. Constitutions Article VI of the U. S. Constitution asserts that “This Constitution … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. If any other types of law conflict with the Constitution, the U. S. Supreme Court can strike them down as unconstitutional.

States make their own constitutions and all local laws are subordinate to them. Statutes and ordinances Laws passed by Congress and by state legislatures make up most of criminal law. City councils also pass ordinances that compose part of criminal law. Each state has a statutory criminal code, as does the federal government. Laws defining crimes such as homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, and larceny are generally statutory.

Some overlap exists between state and federal statutes. For example, some federal drug laws supplement state laws. Such laws are intended to provide added crime control in areas where local law enforcement has been ineffective. Administrative rules with criminal penalties U. S. governmental agencies and commissions make rules that are semilegislative or semijudicial in character. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are examples of administrative agencies that make such rules.

These agencies formulate rules, investigate violations, and impose sanctions. They enforce rules relating to a variety of crimes, including securities fraud, income tax evasion, selling contaminated food, and dumping toxic waste. Appellate court decisions Legal opinions having the status of law as stated by the appellate courts (for example, the U. S. Supreme Court) become case law. Such law results from appellate court interpretations of statutory law or from court decisions where rules have not yet been codified in statutes.