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WHAT IS MEANT BY

LAW?
Unit 1
Structure
 1. Definitions of law
 2. Purpose of law
 3. Classification of law
 4. Law and morality
 5. Law and religion
 6. Law and justice:Revill v Newbery (1996)
 7. Exercises
 8. Legal terms

What is law?
„Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely
Law is as I‟ve told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose, Law is but let me
explain it once more,
Law is The Law‟
(W.H.Auden. Extract from Law is Like Love)
The Law
(Collins Cobuild English Dictionary)
 1. a system of rules that a society or
government develops in order to deal with
crime, business agreements, and social
relationships. You can also use the law to
refer to the people who work in this
system. They are seeking permission to
begin criminal proceedings against him for
breaking the law on financing political
parties...
law
 2. Law is used to refer to a particular
branch of the law, such as criminal law
or company law. Under international
law, diplomats living in foreign countries
are exempt from criminal prosecution...
law
 3. A law is one of the rules in a system of
law which deals with a particular type of
agreement, relationship, or crime
 The law was passed on a second vote.
law
 Law or the law is all the professions
which deal with advising people about the
law, representing people in court, or
giving decisions and punishments
 A career in law is becoming increasingly
attractive to young people.
law
 Law is the study of systems of law and
how laws work.
 He came to Oxford and studied law.
law
 The laws of an organisation or activity are
its rules, which are used to organize and
control it.
 ...the laws of the Church of England...
law
 A law is a rule or set of rules for good
behaviour which is considered right and
important by the majority of people for
moral, religious, or emotional reasons
 ...inflexible moral laws...
law
 A law is a natural process in which a
particular event or thing always leads to a
particular result
 The laws of nature are absolute.
law
 A law is a scientific rule that someone has
invented to explain a particular natural
process
 ...the law of gravity...
Law (Black’s Law Dictionary)
 1. The regime that orders human activities
and relations through systematic
application of the force of politically
organized society, or through social
pressure, backed by force, in such a
society; the legal system
 Respect and obey the law
law
 2. The aggregate of legislation, judicial
precedents, and accepted legal principles;
the body of authoritative grounds of
judicial and administrative action; esp.,
the body of rules, standards, and
principles that the courts of a particular
jurisdiction apply in deciding controversies
brought before them
 The law of the land
law
 3. The set of rules or principles dealing
with a specific area of a legal system
 Copyright law
law
 4. The judicial and administrative process;
legal action and proceedings
 When settlement negotiations failed, they
submitted their dispute to the law
law
 5. A statute
 Congress passed a law
law
 6. COMMON LAW
 Law but not equity
law
 7. The legal profession
 She spent her entire career in law
Law
 zakon
 pravo
 propis
 pravilo
 pravna znanost
 pravna profesija
Definitions of the law
 The most common definition of the law in
English legal textbooks: “(1) rules of
conduct (2) imposed by a state upon its
members and (3) enforced by the courts.”

Definition
 Anthropologists: a norm is a law “if its
neglect or infraction is regularly met, in
threat or in fact, by the application of
physical force by an individual or group
possessing the socially recognized
privilege of so acting”

Definition
 A rule is a law if “it is externally
guaranteed by the probability that
coercion (physical or psychological), to
bring about conformity or avenge
violation, will be applied by a staff of
people holding themselves specially ready
for that purpose” (Max Weber)

Purpose of law
 “to regulate human behaviour and
establish social order…”
Types of law
 Law
 - national (municipal)
 - international
National law
 Public (involves the State or government)
 Private (disputes between private
individuals or businesses)
Public law
 Constitutional law
 Administrative law
 Criminal law
Constitutional law
 Set of laws relating to government and its
function under which a country is ruled
Administrative law
 Controls how Ministers of State or other
public bodies such as local councils should
operate
 Judicial review – review by a higher court
of the actions of a lower court or of an
administrative body (nadzor nad
zakonitošću; sudska kontrola; sudski
nadzor; postupak protiv javnih tijela i
službenika
Criminal law
 Law relating to acts comitted against the
law of the land which are punishable by
the state
Private law
 Also: civil law
 Contract, tort, family law, law of
succession, company law, employment
law
Law and morality
 Concepts of morality differ from culture to
culture
 Morality – often based on religious ideas
 Law reflects moral values of a community,
but it is not the same as the common
religious moral code (abortion?
euthanasia? same sex marriage?)
Differences between law and
morality
 Morality cannot be deliberately changed;
law - altered by legislation
 Morality: no official sanction; individual‟s
sense of shame or guilt; law makes certain
behaviour obligatory with legal sanctions
to enforce it
 Breaches of morality – not subject to
formal adjudication; breaches of law -
ruled on by a formal legal system
Law and religion
 History: law closely linked to religion
 Today: law should not be used to support
religious order
 Law should protect the ability of those of
different religious beliefs to hold and
practise their religion (European
Convention of Human Rights, Article 9)

Law and justice
 Justice – the ultimate goal towards which
the law should strive
 What is justice?
Law and justice
 An impartial, independent judicial system
 A competent and independent legal
profession
 Procedural justice: access to legal advice,
assistance and representation; the
guarantee of a fair trial
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 Mark Revill, aged 21, with another man
attempted to break into a shed belonging
to William Newbury. They had already that
night stolen cars and caused criminal
damage elsewhere
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 Mr Newbury, aged 76, was sleeping in the
shed to protect his property after earlier
thefts; he had a shotgun and ammunition
 When he was awakened by the noise of
the two men trying to break in, he loaded
the shotgun and fired. The shot hit Mr
Revill on the right upper arm and chest
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 Criminal proceedings: Mr. Revill was
prosecuted for various criminal offences
he had committed, pleaded guilty and was
sentenced
 Mr Newbury was prosecuted for wounding
Mr Revill; found not guilty by the jury
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 Civil proceedings. Mr Revill brought a civil
case against Mr Newbury claiming
damages for the injuries he had suffered
 The judge awarded Mr Revill damages of
£ 12,100 but reduced the amount to
£4,033 because the judge held that Mr
Revill was two-thirds to blame for what
had happened
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 Mr Newbury appealed against this order
but the Court of Appeal dismissed his
appeal saying that his conduct was „clearly
dangerous and bordered on the reckless‟
Revill v Newbury (1996)
 „Violence may be returned with necessary
violence but the force used must not
exceed the limits of what is reasonable in
the circumstances‟
Questions
 Should a criminal be able to use the legal
rules to claim compensation for injuries
caused by another person?
 Is it justice to award damages to someone
who was injured while carrying out
criminal activities?
Questions
 Bearing in mind that Mr Newbery had fired
without warning, was the decision that he
should pay a reduced amount of damages
a just one?
Questions
 Mr Newbery was found not guilty of a
criminal charge of wounding Mr Revill.
Was this a just decision?
Introduction to law: basic terms
 The following terms introduce you to the
law and basic legal terminology:
 Authority, court, govern, judge, law
enforcement agency, lawyers, legal action,
legal system, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 Below are definitions. Find the definition
for each term.
Authority, court, govern, judge, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal system, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 1. A body that is appointed to make a
judgement or enquiry_________
 2. a country‟s body of judges________
 3. an act or acts passed by a law-making
body_______
 4. behaviour recognized by a community
as binding or enforceable by
authority_____
Authority, court, govern, judge, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal system, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 5. legal proceedings_______
 6. an official body that has authority to try
criminals, resolve disputes, or make other
legal decisions_______
 7. an organization responsible for
enforcing the law, especially the
police_____
 8. a senior official in a court of law______
Authority, court, govern, judge, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal system, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 9. The body or system of rules recognized
by a community that are enforceable by
established process _______
 10. the control resulting from following a
community‟s system of rules_______
 11. members of the legal profession_____
 12. to rule a society and control the
behaviour of its members
Introduction to law: basic concepts
 Complete the following text about basic
legal concepts using the following words
and phrases. Use each term once:
authority, court, govern, judges, law
enforcement agency, lawyers, legal action,
legal systems, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
authority, court, govern, judges, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal systems, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 Why do we have laws and legal
systems? At one level, laws can be seen
as a type of _____which is meant to ____
behaviour between people. We can find
these rules in nearly all social
organizations, such as families and sports
clubs.
authority, court, govern, judges, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal systems, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 Law, the body of official rules and
regulations, generally found in
constitutions and____, is used to govern a
society and to control the behaviour of its
members. In modern societies, a body
with ____, such as a ____ or the
legislature, makes the law; and a ____,
such as the police, makes sure it is
observed.
authority, court, govern, judges, law enforcement agency,
lawyers, legal action, legal systems, legislation, rule, the
judiciary, tribunal
 In addition to enforcement, a body of
expert____ is needed to apply the law.
This is the role of ____, the body of _____
in a particular country. Of course, legal
systems vary between countries, as well
as the basis for bringing a case before a
court or ____. One thing, however, seems
to be true all over the world – starting a
____is both expensive and time-
consuming.
The subject matter of the legal
system
 Lawyers often divide
the law into criminal
and civil. Classify the
following terms into
the appropriate
column. Two terms
can appear in both
columns:

Criminal Civil
Classify the following:
 Compensation, contract, crime, damages,
family law, intellectual property, plaintiff,
police, private individual, prosecution, the
accused, the defendant, theft, to bring a
case, to bring an action, to fine, to charge
someone with something

Legal terms: general
 Adjudication: the act of giving a
judgement or of deciding a legal problem
 Sudska odluka, donošenje odluke, sudski
postupak
 adjudicate
Legal terms
 Appeal: the act of asking a higher court to
change a decision of a lower court
 Žalba
 Submit/bring an appeal
 Uložiti žalbu
 Dismiss an appeal
 Odbaciti žalbu

Legal terms: general
 Court: a body established by law for the
administration of justice by judges
 Tribunal: a specialist court outside the
judicial system which examines special
problems and makes judgements
 Lawyer: a wide term which refers to all
professionals working in the legal
profession; it does not refer to a specific
job

Legal terms: general
 Jurist: a person who has specialised in the
study and practice of law
 Pravni stručnjak
 Enforce: to make sure something is done
or is obeyed
 Provoditi (odredbe, zakone), primijeniti
 Avenge: If you avenge a wrong or harmful
act, you punish the person who is
responsible
Legal terms: general
 Neglect: failure to do a duty; a lack of
care towards someone or something
 Nebriga, nemar, zanemarivanje
 Infraction: breach, violation, infringement
 Kršenje, povreda
 Coercion: the use of force to make
someone to do some act
 Prisila, prinuda
Legal terms: criminal law
 Criminal proceeding
 Kazneni postupak
 Criminal offence
 Kazneno djelo
Legal terms: criminal law
 Criminal charge: an official statement in a court
accusing someone of having committed a crime
 Optužnica
 To answer charges: to plead guilty or not guilty
 To withdraw/drop charges
 Odbaciti optužbe
 To charge someone with a crime
 optužiti

Legal terms: criminal law
 Prosecute
 Podignuti optužnicu
 Plead
 Izjasniti se o krivnji
 Sentence
 (osuđujuća) presuda, kazna
 To pass sentence on someone: to give a
convicted person the official legal punishment


Legal terms: civil law
 Dispute: disagreement between parties
 Spor, parnica
 Civil proceedings
 Parnični postupak
 Plaintiff (claimant)
 Tužitelj u građanskom postupku; podnositelj
tužbe, oštećenik
 Bring an action
 Pokrenuti postupak
Legal terms: civil law
 Claim
 Tužbeni zahtjev u građanskom pravu
 Damages
 Novčana naknada, (novčana) odšteta
 Claim damages
 Tražiti odštetu
 Award damages
 Dosuditi odštetu

Translate:
 What exactly do we mean by “the law”?
Law is a common word, so common that
most people never stop to consider what it
means. Even jurists and social scientists
find it hard to define the term law.
Questions for discussion
 Is it necessary for a society to reach a
particular level of development before law
can play a useful role?
 What are the consequences for a country
or society of not accepting the importance
of the rule of law?
 Can law protect the economically weak?
Questions for discussion
 What should be the relationship between
law and morality? When should things we
disapprove of be made unlawful?
 How successful is law in shaping human
behaviour?
 Thank you for your attention!