Legal awareness, sometimes called public legal education, is the empowerment of individuals regarding issues involving the law. Legal awareness helps to promote consciousness of legal culture, participation in the formation of laws and the rule of law. Public legal education, sometimes called civics education, comprises a range of activities intended to build public awareness and skills related to law and the justice system; this term refers to the fields of practice and study concerned with those activities, to a social and professional movement that advocates greater societal commitment to educating people about the law. Anna-Marie Marshall explains that "in order to realize their rights, people need to take the initiative to articulate them; this initiative, in turn, depends on the availability and the relevance of legal schema to people confronting problems." This is because laws exist as part of a larger organizational ecosystem in which the interests of the organization as well as those of the actors become inextricably linked to the ways in which they are enacted.
Distinct from the education of students in law school seeking a degree in law and the continuing professional education of lawyers and judges, public legal education is principally aimed at people who are not lawyers, judges, or degree-seeking law students. The term "public legal education" is related to, may encompass, several similar terms; the terms "public legal information" and "public legal education and information" emphasize a difference between educating and providing information. The term "community legal education" is common in Australia and the United States, where it refers to community-based public legal education activities led by legal aid organizations; the term "law-related education" refers to public legal education in primary and secondary schools, as opposed to PLE for adults and outside of school. According to the American Bar Association, Commission on Public Understanding, legal awareness is, "the ability to make critical judgments about the substance of the law, the legal process, available legal resources and to utilize the legal system and articulate strategies to improve it is legal literacy".
The Canadian Bar Association defines legal literacy as, "the ability to understand words used in a legal context, to draw conclusions from them, to use those conclusions to take action."With little change to the Multiple Action Research Group's definition, legal awareness can be defined as, "critical knowledge of legal provisions and processes, coupled with the skills to use this knowledge to respect and realize rights and entitlements". The "continuum approach" considers legal literacy as, "a capacity spread along a continuum, with lawyers and judges at one end and incapable laypersons at the other"; this approach was adopted by the legal scholar White who considered legal literacy to mean, "that degree of competence in legal discourse required for meaningful and active life in our legalistic and litigious culture". Author Bilder defines legal literacy as a, "spectrum of functional skills", related to the conduct of litigation; the continuum approach explains, "a certain degree of legal literacy is required for effective participation in modern society, but it is not necessary for the average citizen to reach the professional standard of'thinking like a lawyer.'"One of the recent approaches considers legal literacy as a metaphor.
According to this view, the term is "intended to suggest some parallels between the institution of the law, a system of language to be mastered, knowledge gained and understanding achieved". These authors suggest that the term legal literacy can function as a model for educators who seek to promote such literacy. Proponents of legal literacy may thus look to the teaching of language for guidance. Anoop Kumar, a researcher of Legal Literacy Mission, says in his study, "the legislature of the state and the parliament, while enacting the legislation, consider the objectives of it; some laws lay down the substantive rights of the masses and some touch upon the procedural aspect of certain laws. But it is due to lack of awareness of beneficiaries that most of the legislations are ineffective at the stage of their execution."Legal awareness can empower people to demand justice and effective remedies at all levels. Legal needs always stand to become crisis oriented because their ignorance prevents them from anticipating legal troubles and approaching a lawyer for consultation and advice in time.
This magnifies the impact of their legal difficulties when they come. Without literacy people can get alienated from law; this may evolve into a situation which results in people coming into conflict with the law, or being unable to obtain help from it. Courts have acknowledged the barrier raised by a lack of literacy to asserting guaranteed rights effectively. Low literacy may block people’s access to justice. At times, literacy requirements have been used to block access to rights and benefits Goals of the legal literacy programs can be broadly divided in three types. Namely educational and critical. In Reading the Legal World, author Laird Hunter expects legal literacy to achieve: "People using the legal system must be able to guide themselves through a process that they understand and, at appropriate places along the way" recognize they have a legal right or responsibility, in order to exercise or assume it.
Peter W. Martin
Peter W. Martin has been a law professor since 1972, Dean from 1980 to 1988, at Cornell Law School. In 1992 he co-founded the Legal Information Institute at Cornell with Tom Bruce. Faculty page
Cornell Law School
Cornell Law School is the law school of Cornell University, a private Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. It is one of the five Ivy League law schools and offers three law degree programs along with several dual-degree programs in conjunction with other professional schools at the university. Established in 1887 as Cornell's Department of Law, the school today is one of the smallest top-tier JD-conferring institutions in the country, with around two-hundred students graduating each year. Since its inception Cornell Law School has always ranked among the top law schools in the nation. Cornell Law alumni include business executive and philanthropist Myron Charles Taylor, namesake of the law school building, along with U. S. Secretaries of State Edmund Muskie and William P. Rogers, U. S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce, the first female President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, federal judge and first female editor-in-chief of a law review Mary Donlon Alger, former President of the International Criminal Court Song Sang-Hyun, as well as many members of the U.
S. Congress, state attorneys general, U. S. federal and state judges and businesspeople. Cornell Law School is home to the Legal Information Institute, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, the Cornell Law Review, the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Cornell International Law Journal; the current dean of the law school is Eduardo Peñalver, who assumed the role in 2014. The Law Department at Cornell opened in 1887 in Morrill Hall with Judge Douglass Boardman as its first dean. At that time, admission did not require a high school diploma. In 1917, two years of undergraduate education were required for admission, in 1924, it became a graduate degree program; the department was renamed the Cornell Law School in 1925. In 1890, George Washington Fields graduated, one of the first law-school-graduates of color in the United States. In 1893, Cornell had Mary Kennedy Brown. Future Governor, Secretary of State, Chief Justice of the United States, Charles Evans Hughes, was a professor of law at Cornell from 1891–1893, after returning to legal practice he continued to teach at the law school as a special lecturer from 1893–1895.
Hughes Hall, one of the law school's central buildings, is named in his honor. In 1892, the school moved into Boardman Hall, constructed for legal instruction; the school moved from Boardman Hall to its present-day location at Myron Taylor Hall in 1937. The law school building, an ornate, Gothic structure, was the result of a donation by Myron Charles Taylor, a former CEO of US Steel, a member of the Cornell Law class of 1894. Hughes Hall was built as an addition to Myron Taylor Hall and completed in 1963, it was funded by a gift from Taylor. Another addition to Myron Taylor Hall, the Jane M. G. Foster was completed in 1988 and added more space to the library. Foster was a member of the class of 1918, an editor of the Cornell Law Review, an Order of the Coif graduate. In June 2012 the school embarked on a multi-phase expansion and renovation; the first phase created additional classroom space underground, adjacent to Myron Taylor Hall along College Avenue. The second phase will include the removal and digitization of printed materials from the library stacks so that the space can be converted to additional classroom and student space.
The third phase involves converting Hughes Hall into office space. In 1948, Cornell Law School established a program of specialization in international affairs and started awarding LL. B. degrees. In 1968, the school began to publish the Cornell International Law Journal. In 1991, the school established the Berger International Legal Studies Program. In 1994, the school established a partnership with the University of Paris I law faculty to establish a Paris-based Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law. From 1999 -- 2004 the school hosted Legal Theory Project. In 2006, the school established its second summer law institute in China; the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture was established in 2002. Myron Taylor Hall saw the addition of 40,000 square feet of underground classrooms in 2012–2014. Hughes Hall was renovated in 2017. Cornell Law School is selective: for the class entering in the fall of 2018, 872 out of 4,126 applicants were offered admission, with 195 matriculating.
The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2018 entering class were 164 and 168 with a median of 167. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.73 and 3.89 with a median of 3.82. In the LL. M. program, designed for non-U. S.-trained lawyers, 900 applications were received for the 50 to 60 openings. LL. M. Students come from over 30 different countries. Along with consideration of the quality of an applicant's academic record and LSAT scores, the full-file-review admissions process places a heavy emphasis on an applicant's personal statement, letters of recommendation, community/extracurricular involvement, work experience; the application invites a statement on diversity and a short note on why an applicant wants to attend Cornell. The law school values applicants who have done their research and have particular interests or goals that would be served by attending the school versus one of its peer institutions. Cornell Law School was ranked 13th in the 2019 U. S. News and World Report Law School 8th in the 2019 Above the Law rankings.
The Master of Laws program at Cornell Law School was ranked 1st in the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 AUAP rankings. In 2017, the National Law Journal ranked Cornell 4th
A treaty is an agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may be known as an agreement, covenant, pact, or exchange of letters, among other terms. Regardless of terminology, all of these forms of agreements are, under international law considered treaties and the rules are the same. Treaties can be loosely compared to contracts: both are examples of willing parties assuming obligations among themselves, any party that fails to live up to their obligations can be held liable under international law. A treaty is an official, express written agreement that states use to bind themselves. A treaty is the official document. Since the late 19th century, most treaties have followed a consistent format. A treaty begins with a preamble describing the High Contracting Parties and their shared objectives in executing the treaty, as well as summarizing any underlying events. Modern preambles are sometimes structured as a single long sentence formatted into multiple paragraphs for readability, in which each of the paragraphs begins with a gerund.
The High Contracting Parties. His Majesty The King of X or His Excellency The President of Y, or alternatively in the form of "Government of Z". However, under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties if the representative is the head of state, head of government or minister of foreign affairs, no special document is needed, as holding such high office is sufficient; the end of the preamble and the start of the actual agreement is signaled by the words "have agreed as follows". After the preamble comes numbered articles, which contain the substance of the parties' actual agreement; each article heading encompasses a paragraph. A long treaty may further group articles under chapter headings. Modern treaties, regardless of subject matter contain articles governing where the final authentic copies of the treaty will be deposited and how any subsequent disputes as to their interpretation will be peacefully resolved; the end of a treaty, the eschatocol, is signaled by a clause like "in witness whereof" or "in faith whereof", the parties have affixed their signatures, followed by the words "DONE at" the site of the treaty's execution and the date of its execution.
The date is written in its most formal, longest possible form. For example, the Charter of the United Nations was "DONE at the city of San Francisco the twenty-sixth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and forty-five". If the treaty is executed in multiple copies in different languages, that fact is always noted, is followed by a stipulation that the versions in different languages are authentic; the signatures of the parties' representatives follow at the end. When the text of a treaty is reprinted, such as in a collection of treaties in effect, an editor will append the dates on which the respective parties ratified the treaty and on which it came into effect for each party. Bilateral treaties are concluded between entities, it is possible, for a bilateral treaty to have more than two parties. Each of these treaties has seventeen parties; these however are still bilateral, not multilateral, treaties. The parties are divided into the Swiss and the EU and its member states; the treaty establishes rights and obligations between the Swiss and the EU and the member states severally—it does not establish any rights and obligations amongst the EU and its member states.
A multilateral treaty is concluded among several countries. The agreement establishes obligations between each party and every other party. Multilateral treaties are regional. Treaties of "mutual guarantee" are international compacts, e.g. the Treaty of Locarno which guarantees each signatory against attack from another. Reservations are caveats to a state's acceptance of a treaty. Reservations are unilateral statements purporting to exclude or to modify the legal obligation and its effects on the reserving state; these must be included at the time of signing or ratification, i.e. "a party cannot add a reservation after it has joined a treaty". Article 19 of Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties in 1969. International law was unaccepting of treaty reservations, rejecting them unless all parties to the treaty accepted the same reservations. However, in the interest of encouraging the largest number of states to join treaties, a more permissive rule regarding reservations has emerged. While some treaties still expressly forbid any reservations, they are now permitted to the extent that they are not inconsistent with the goals and purposes of the treaty.
When a state limits its treaty obligations through reservations, other states par
Legal Information Institute
The Legal Information Institute is a non-profit, public service of Cornell Law School that provides no-cost access to current American and international legal research sources online at law.cornell.edu. The organization is a pioneer in the delivery of legal information online. Founded in 1992 by Peter Martin and Tom Bruce, LII was the first law site developed on the internet. LII electronically publishes on the Web the U. S. Code, U. S. Supreme Court opinions, Uniform Commercial Code, the US Code of Federal Regulations, several Federal Rules, a variety of other American primary law materials. LII provides access to other national and international sources, such as treaties and United Nations materials. According to its website, the LII serves over 30 million unique visitors per year. Since its inception, the Legal Information Institute has inspired others around the world to develop namesake operations; these services are part of the Free Access to Law Movement. LII was established in 1992 at Cornell Law School by Professor Peter Martin and Tom Bruce with a $250,000 multi-year startup grant from the National Center for Automated Information Research.
The LII was based on Gopher and provided access to United States Supreme Court decisions and the US Code. Its original mission included the intent to "carry out applied research on the use of digital information technology in the distribution of legal information...o make law more accessible." In the early years of LII, Bruce developed Cello the first web browser for Microsoft Windows. Cello was released on 8 June 1993. In 1994 LII moved from Gopher to the Web. Since 2007 the IRS has distributed its IRS Tax Products DVD with LII's version of 26 USC. LII has an extensive collection of law from the Supreme Court of the United States, it hosts all Supreme Court decisions since 1990 and over 600 historic Supreme Court pre-1992 decisions in web form. The LII Supreme Court Bulletin is LII's free Supreme Court email-based subscriber and web-based publication service; the Bulletin provides subscribers with two distinct services. The first is a notification service. LII Bulletin emails subscribers with timely notification of when the US Supreme Court has handed down a decision.
It provides subscribers links to the full opinions of those cases on the LII site. The second service of LII Bulletin is a preview and analysis service for upcoming Supreme Court cases. Subscribers to the Bulletin receive legal analysis of upcoming Supreme Court cases with the intention of providing sophisticated yet accessible previews of the cases. LII selectively recruits second- and third-year students of the Cornell Law School to comprise the LII Bulletin editorial board; the Bulletin editorial board is responsible for every aspect of the journal's management, from selecting decisions for commentary to researching, writing and producing the journal content in HTML. LII publishes; as a wiki, it is a collaboratively authored available legal reference. Qualified legal experts are allowed to edit entries on legal topics within Wex. Free Access to Law Movement unites many similar institutions, including AfricanLII AustLII BAILII CanLII HKLII NZLII PacLII SAFLII WorldLII Legal awareness Official website
Case law is a set of past rulings by tribunals that meet their respective jurisdictions' rules to be cited as precedent. These interpretations are distinguished from statutory law, which are the statutes and codes enacted by legislative bodies, regulatory law, which are regulations established by executive agencies based on statutes; the term "case law" is applied to any set of previous rulings by an adjudicatory tribunal that guides future rulings. In common law countries the term is used for judicial decisions of selected appellate courts, courts of first instance, agency tribunals, other bodies discharging adjudicatory functions. In common law countries, "case law" is a near-exact synonym for "common law". In the common law tradition, courts decide the law applicable to a case by interpreting statutes and applying precedents which record how and why prior cases have been decided. Unlike most civil law systems, common law systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis, by which most courts are bound by their own previous decisions in similar cases, all lower courts should make decisions consistent with previous decisions of higher courts.
For example, in England, the High Court and the Court of Appeal are each bound by their own previous decisions, but the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is able to deviate from its earlier decisions, although in practice it does so. Speaking, higher courts do not have direct oversight over the lower courts of record, in that they cannot reach out on their own initiative at any time to overrule judgments of the lower courts; the burden rests with litigants to appeal rulings to the higher courts. If a judge acts against precedent and the case is not appealed, the decision will stand. A lower court may not rule against a binding precedent if it feels that it is unjust. If the court believes that developments or trends in legal reasoning render the precedent unhelpful, wishes to evade it and help the law evolve, it may either hold that the precedent is inconsistent with subsequent authority, or that it should be distinguished by some material difference between the facts of the cases. If that judgment goes to appeal, the appellate court will have the opportunity to review both the precedent and the case under appeal overruling the previous case law by setting a new precedent of higher authority.
This may happen several times. Lord Denning, first of the High Court of Justice of the Court of Appeal, provided a famous example of this evolutionary process in his development of the concept of estoppel starting in the High Trees case: Central London Property Trust Ltd v. High Trees House Ltd K. B. 130. The different roles of case law in civil and common law traditions create differences in the way that courts render decisions. Common law courts explain in detail the legal rationale behind their decisions, with citations of both legislation and previous relevant judgments, an exegesis of the wider legal principles; the necessary analysis constitutes a precedent binding on other courts. By contrast, decisions in civil law jurisdictions are very short, referring only to statutes; the reason for this difference is that these civil law jurisdictions adhere to a tradition that the reader should be able to deduce the logic from the decision and the statutes, so that, in some cases, it is somewhat difficult to apply previous decisions to the facts presented in future cases.
Some pluralist systems, such as Scots law in Scotland and so-called civil law jurisdictions in Quebec and Louisiana, do not fit into the dual "common-civil" law system classifications. Such systems may have been influenced by the Anglo-American common law tradition; because of their position between the two main systems of law, these types of legal systems are sometimes referred to as "mixed" systems of law. Law professors in common law traditions play a much smaller role in developing case law than professors in civil law traditions; because court decisions in civil law traditions are brief and not amenable to establishing precedent, much of the exposition of the law in civil law traditions is done by academics rather than by judges. Common law courts relied little on legal scholarship. Today academic writers are cited in legal argument and decisions as persuasive authority, thus common law systems are adopting one of the approaches long common in civil law jurisdictions. Judges may refer to various types of persuasive authority to reach a decision in a case.
Cited non-binding sources include legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secundum and Halsbury's Laws of England, or the published work of the Law Commission or the American Law Institute. Some bodies are given statu