American law: an introduction by Lawrence Meir Friedman

By Lawrence Meir Friedman

This paintings presents an advent to the yank criminal procedure for a vast readership. Its concentration is on legislations in perform, at the position of the legislation in American society; and the way the social context impacts the residing legislation of the United States

summary: This paintings presents an advent to the yank felony method for a large readership. Its concentration is on legislation in perform, at the function of the legislation in American society; and the way the social context impacts the dwelling legislations of the us

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18 19 2 Law: Formal and Informal  When people think about law or talk about law, what they usually have in mind is the official legal system—​that is, the system run by the government, the one we pay taxes to support. Many definitions of law make this concept explicit: Donald Black, as we have said, has defined law as governmental social control. But there are other ways to define law, and some of these are broader than Black’s definition. ”1 Of course, the government is very much in the business of subjecting behavior to rules (or trying to), but it is not the only entity playing this game.

There is nothing wrong in defining law to include these rules; nothing wrong with studying how fathers and mothers make “law” and run families. For some purposes such 21 Law: Formal and Informal 21 a strategy would be useful; but it makes for a most unwieldy subject. ” Nonetheless, it is good to remember that the term “law” can be applied to processes of many kinds, even those that are very informal, very far from the official legal system. What makes them like official law is what Fuller pointed out: they subject behavior to rules.

English settlers carried English law with them to the American colonies, and to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, and the Bahamas. Many countries in the world once were part of the British Empire. These countries are now independent and have distinct legal systems of their own, but they have kept some aspects of their historic traditions. The legal systems of the English-​speaking 14 14 American Law world have a definite family resemblance. Similarly, the Spanish brought their law to Latin America.

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