Portal:Law

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Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading on derivatives markets. Property law defines rights and obligations related to the transfer and title of personal (often referred to as chattel) and real property. Trust law applies to assets held for investment and financial security, while tort law allows claims for compensation if a person's rights or property are harmed. If the harm is criminalised in a statute, criminal law offers means by which the state can prosecute the perpetrator. 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, while international law governs affairs between sovereign states in activities ranging from trade to environmental regulation or military action. Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared: "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual."

Legal systems elaborate rights and responsibilities in a variety of ways. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, which codify their laws, and common law systems, where judge made law is not consolidated. In some countries, religion informs the law. Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry, into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis or sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness and justice. "In its majestic equality", said the author Anatole France in 1894, "the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." In a typical democracy, the central institutions for interpreting and creating law are the three main branches of government, namely an impartial judiciary, a democratic legislature, and an accountable executive. To implement and enforce the law and provide services to the public, 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. (More…)

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Targeted Killing in International Law is a book about the legality of targeted killing, written by Nils Melzer. It was first published by Oxford University Press in May 2008. The book delves into the history surrounding use of targeted killing as a government strategy by multiple countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Switzerland, and Germany; both for military and law enforcement purposes. Melzer argues that directly after the September 11 attacks in the United States, perceptions regarding the use of the tactic of targeted killing shifted to become more supportive. The book received a favorable reception, and was a joint-winner of the 2009 Paul Guggenheim Prize in International Law given by the Geneva Graduate Institute. It garnered positive reviews in publications including the International Criminal Justice Review, the European Journal of International Law, and the American Journal of International Law. (more...)

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The face of a middle-aged Sherman Minton with dark hair and a prominent nose looking directly forward with a slight smile

Sherman "Shay" Minton (October 20, 1890 – April 9, 1965) was a Democratic United States Senator from Indiana and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Minton served as a captain in World War I, following which he launched a legal and political career. In 1930, he became a utility commissioner under the administration of Indiana Governor Paul V. McNutt. Four years later, Minton was elected to the United States Senate. During the campaign, he defended New Deal legislation in a series of addresses in which he suggested it was not necessary to uphold the Constitution during the Great Depression crisis. As part of the New Deal Coalition, the fiercely partisan Minton championed President Franklin D. Roosevelt's unsuccessful court packing plans in the Senate and became one of his top Senate allies.

After Minton failed in his 1940 Senate re-election bid, Roosevelt appointed him as a judge to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. His subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court was confirmed by the Senate on 4 Oct 1949. An advocate of judicial restraint, Minton was a regular supporter of the majority opinions during his early years on the Court; he became a regular dissenter after President Dwight Eisenhower's appointees altered the Bench's composition. In 1956, poor health forced Minton's retirement, after which he traveled and lectured until his death in 1965. (more...)

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Jawaharlal Nehru at the Allahabad High Court

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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students and denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which permitted segregation. The plaintiffs were thirteen parents from Topeka, Kansas, on behalf of their twenty children. The suit called for the school district to reverse its policy of racial segregation. Separate elementary schools were operated by the Topeka Board of Education under an 1879 Kansas law, which permitted (but did not require) districts to maintain separate elementary school facilities for black and white students in twelve communities with populations over 15,000. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement. (more...)

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A scan of the appendix page of the Japanese Act on National Flag and Anthem

The Act on National Flag and Anthem is a law that formally established Japan's national flag and anthem. Before the ratification of the law on August 13, 1999, Japan had no official flag or anthem. From 1870, the Nisshōki flag , also referred to as the Hinomaru, was used in various capacities to represent Japan; Kimigayo was used as Japan's de facto anthem since 1880. After Japan's defeat in World War II, there were suggestions to make the Hinomaru and Kimgayo official symbols of Japan. However, due to their connection with Japan's militaristic past, an attempt in 1974 to make both symbols official failed to gain a majority in the Diet. The 1999 legislation was considered one of the most controversial laws passed by the Diet since 1990. Its passage was met with mixed feelings in Japan and abroad. While some Japanese hailed it as a step toward the future, others felt that it was a shift toward restoring nationalistic feelings and education. In the countries occupied by Japan in World War II, some felt that it was a shift toward the right. Other nations felt that the adoption of national symbols was purely an internal affair. (more...)

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  • October 19: Digital security researchers publicly reveal vulnerability in WPA2 WiFi protocol
  • October 15: Abducted Canadian-US couple recovered from Pakistan's tribal areas
  • October 12: As shipping exemption expires, hurricane-torn Puerto Rico may face changes in relief from mainland United States

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