Types of Law We are looking at the types of law from the perspective of how they are created, where they come from. OBE-118, Section 3 Fall 2004 John McKinsey
Three Types of Law • We care as much about where the law came from (who or what created it) as we do what the law is. • Fundamentally, we can say law comes from three sources: Legislative process Court-made law Agency-made law
Statutory Law • Legislature or Congress: then Executive Approval or Veto • What limits the authority of a State to make laws? • What limits the authority of the Federal government to make laws?
Court-Made Law (Common Law) • Common law is the law made by courts. • Common law began before there were American courts – with the courts of England. • Common law evolves narrowly, slowly, with occasional major decisions. • A court decides the specific issue before it and no more.
Stare Decisis and Precedent • Generally courts follow previous decisions – creates predictability • Courts will also, however, deviate when circumstances require – provides flexibility • courts look upon a different court’s decision with a more critical approach • A court must follow the precedent from courts above it • The court might even change its mind
Courts A Law But law is more complex…. Courts interact with statutory law (and thus the legislative process) creating a constantly changing, evolving face of law. Legislatures and Executives
The Evolution of Law • 1964 Civil Rights Act • Griggs v. Duke Power When it is not related to job performance it is illegal • Wards Cove Packing When it does not significantly serve a legitimate business goal • 1992 Civil Rights Act When is a company practice that has a discriminatory effect illegal employment discrimination?
Administrative Law (Regulation) • Actually the most relevant topic we have hit yet! • Admin law is agency law • Agencies are incredibly powerful and can do great or terrible things to individuals and businesses
Administrative Agencies • Sub-branches of government • Typically created by an enabling statute • Federal, state and local branches • Main classification task: Executive Departments versus Independent Administrative Agencies
Types of Administrative Agencies Executive Departments Part of the executive branch of the government and thus carry out functions of government • Example: • Cabinet-level departments of US President
Types of Administrative Agencies Independent Administrative Agency • Agencies somewhat independent of all three branches of government • Still part of executive branch of government • Not directly controlled by executive or legislative branches • Usually run by a board or commission • Board members or commissioners serve for a fixed term
Next Week • We finish our foundation by rounding out agencies and looking at how disputes are resolved (in court and outside of court)