Portal:Law

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Introduction

Iustitia ("Lady Justice") is a symbolic personification of the coercive power of a tribunal: a sword representing state authority, scales representing an objective standard, and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial.

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

A general distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and (b) common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law. Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, and is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law, and is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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Douglas sits facing slightly to the left, but with his blue eyes, wrinkled face and white head of hair looking to the right of the painting. He has a piece of paper in his right hand.

This is a list of U.S. Supreme Court Justices by time in office, counted in days. The period of service for Justices ranges from William O. Douglas's 13,358 days (36 years) on the Court to the 163–day tenure of Thomas Johnson. A nominee who was confirmed by the United States Senate but declined to serve, such as Robert H. Harrison, or who died before taking his seat, such as Edwin M. Stanton, would not be considered to have served as a Justice. The Term Start date is the day the Justice took the oath of office, with the Term End date being the date of the Justice's death, resignation, or retirement. A highlighted row indicates that the Justice is currently serving on the Court. (more...)

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Sir Aubrey Melford Steed Stevenson PC (17 October 1902 – 26 December 1987) was an English barrister and later a High Court judge, whose judicial career was marked by his controversial conduct and outspoken views. One of his fellow judges, Sir Robin Dunn, described him as "the worst judge since the war".

Stevenson became a High Court judge in 1957, and acquired a reputation for the severity of his sentencing. He sentenced the Kray twins to life imprisonment in 1969, with a recommendation that they serve not less than 30 years each. In 1970 Stevenson passed long sentences on eight Cambridge University students who took part in the Garden House riot, and the following year gave Jake Prescott of the Angry Brigade 15 years for conspiracy.

After Dunn's verbal attack, several high-profile legal figures came to Stevenson's defence, among them fellow judge and biographer Lord Roskill, who pointed out that Stevenson could be merciful to those he perceived to be victims. Lord Devlin described Stevenson as the "last of the grand eccentrics". Stevenson retired from the bench in 1979 aged 76, and died at St Leonards in East Sussex on 26 December 1987. (more...)

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Al-Kateb v Godwin was a decision of the High Court of Australia, which ruled on 6 August 2004 that the indefinite detention of a stateless person was lawful. The case concerned Ahmed Al-Kateb, a Palestinian man born in Kuwait, who moved to Australia in 2000 and applied for a temporary protection visa. The Minister for Immigration's decision refusing his application was upheld by the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Federal Court. In 2002 Al-Kateb declared that he wished to return to either Kuwait or Gaza. However, when it was discovered that no country would accept Al-Kateb, rendering him stateless, he was detained under the policy of mandatory detention. The two main issues considered by the High Court were whether the Migration Act 1958 (the legislation governing immigration to Australia) permitted a person in Al-Kateb's situation to be detained indefinitely, and if so, whether this was permissible under the Constitution of Australia. A majority of the court decided that the Act did allow indefinite detention, and that the Act was not unconstitutional. The controversy surrounding the outcome of the case resulted in a review of the circumstances of twenty-four stateless people in immigration detention, nine of whom, including Al-Kateb, were ultimately granted bridging visas and allowed to enter the community. (more...)

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House Bill 444 was a 2009 bill of the Hawaii State Legislature, passed in April 2010 and vetoed by Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle, that would have legalized civil unions for couples in the state of Hawaii. Its legislative process was accompanied by controversy over the bill's content and effects and rallies were held by supporters and opponents.

The bill passed the Hawaii House of Representatives in February 2009 in a form specific to same-sex couples, was passed in amended form including opposite-sex couples by the Hawaii Senate in May 2009, and was carried over in the 2010 session, where it passed the Senate again in January 2010 with a veto-proof majority. The bill moved back to the House but was indefinitely postponed by a voice vote initiated by House Speaker Calvin Say, requiring a vote of two-thirds of Representatives to be taken up again in 2010, and was considered dead. In April 2010, on the last day of the legislative session, the House suspended the rules on the Senate bill and passed it with a majority, sending the bill to Governor Linda Lingle, who vetoed it in July 2010. (more...)

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  • March 15: Former Trump advisor, Paul Manafort, receives second sentence in U.S. Federal Court
  • March 2: Nine jailed over sexual abuse in Bradford, England children's home

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