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  • legislation | LII / Legal Information Institute
    their costs by reducing the transfer costs inherent in the mov Read more Norme in Rete online collection projects free access italy legislation Norme in Rete offers free access to Italian legal information Akoma Ntoso project description multinational standards akoma ntoso caselaw legislation markup standards Akoma Ntoso http www akomantoso org describes itself thus Read more United States Code background and resources legislation datasets classification tables legislation united states code

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/category/lexcraft_tags/legislation (2012-11-09)
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  • legislative systems | LII / Legal Information Institute
    or will exist at some time in the past or future They are often built out from legislative drafting and promulgation systems that conceive legislative document management as a continuous process that extends from drafting by legislative staff to publishing Creation of such systems thus typically involves a certain amount of process reengineering directed at the management of legislative documents Such systems can recover their costs by reducing the transfer

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/category/lexcraft_tags/legislative_systems (2012-11-09)
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  • point in time | LII / Legal Information Institute
    or will exist at some time in the past or future They are often built out from legislative drafting and promulgation systems that conceive legislative document management as a continuous process that extends from drafting by legislative staff to publishing Creation of such systems thus typically involves a certain amount of process reengineering directed at the management of legislative documents Such systems can recover their costs by reducing the transfer

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/category/lexcraft_tags/point_in_time (2012-11-09)
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  • Legal systems | LII / Legal Information Institute
    common for the President to be of one party and a majority of the legislature of another It separates executive and legislative powers so that neither body can dissolve the other the President is removable only for grave crime in which the legislature acts as a tribunal The President nominates Ministers for confirmation by the legislature but there is no collective cabinet responsibility The President usually has a veto over legislation which may be overridden only by special parliamentary majority On the other hand the crucial power to tax remains with the legislature The new Russian structure embodies several of these features but expands the presidency in a number of ways First following a tradition going back to the Tsars the office of the President is given wide power to rule by edict ukaz Apart from the need to comply with the constitution and with federal legislation this power seems virtually unlimited Second the President appoints the prime minister with the consent of the lower House and may dismiss the government As in the US the Russian President may veto legislation but can then be overridden by special majority Finally the President can dissolve the lower House and call new elections if it thrice rejects his or her candidate for premier or if it passes a motion of no confidence in the government In the parliamentary system the Head of State is distinct from the head of government called Prime Minister Premier or in Germany Chancellor The Head of State may be a hereditary monarch or directly elected President but the premier is not directly chosen by the electorate but appointed from the majority or coalition group in the legislature The premier and other ministers have no fixed term of office but can in principle be forced to resign by parliamentary vote of no confidence in the government This is usually balanced by executive power to dissolve the legislature and call new elections although there may be some protection against hasty or repeated dissolutions The premier and ministers dominate in two directions First although on paper the Head of State s powers look impressive convoke the legislature promulgate laws grant pardons etc in practice these are exercised on the instructions of the government Second the executive controls the legislative timetable and usually has the exclusive power to introduce finance bills Some systems are a mixed parliamentary presidential structure For instance in the France the President is far from being merely a titular Head of State Since 1962 he or she is directly elected by the people appoints the premier has emergency powers and signs the regulations emanating from the executive s very extensive lawmaking functions In association with the government he or she can present bills to the people to enact by referendum thereby bypassing the Parliament and can dissolve the National Assembly and call new elections The Judiciary When it comes to the judiciary separation of powers is apparently taken quite seriously although in England this is obscured by the fact that the upper House of the legislature has the same name as the highest court and its Speaker the Lord Chancellor is the senior judge In many systems judges are independent and irremovable In Russia this is expressly stated but is a frail novelty In the USA and UK it is not stated but is the case The only topic which merits brief discussion here is the relation between the constitution the courts and the legislature The USA is virtually alone in allowing any court of general jurisdiction to decide matters of constitutionality Normally such questions are for a Supreme Court or special Constitutional court The French innovation allows bills to be referred only after they have passed through Parliament and before they are promulgated by the President In England a court can examine the validity of a duly enacted statute unless it conflicts with the law of the European Community the same may be true of Scottish courts although some say they could examine UK statutes for conformity with the Act of Union 1707 Since October 2nd 2000 when the UK Human Rights Act took effect English courts are able to declare a statute incompatible with the rights enshrined in the Act This does not invalidate or render the statute ineffective it is then up to the executive and ultimately the legislature to decide what to do about the offending legislation Emergency powers The greater the constitutional commitment to a Bill of Rights the more difficult it is to frame emergency powers On the one hand the executive must be permitted to take emergency action on the other the emergency power should not be capable of being used to subvert both the legislature and the Bill of Rights The usual safeguard is to forbid the executive to use emergency powers to suspend or curtail the power of either of the other branches of government Whether such provisions are effective in any given country is a matter of politics not law In the UK a permanent statute permits the government to proclaim a state of emergency but regulations are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny Special powers to deal with threats to security in Northern Ireland have been on the statute book for most of the twentieth century The statutes restrict freedom of association and confer wide powers of arrest without warrant and in Northern Ireland limit the use of release on bail and jury trial They are subject to annual renewal by Parliament Human Rights The older pattern of constitutional protection of human rights is usually expressed by a negative Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press the right to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed the right to be secure shall not be violated no person shall be deprived of life liberty or property without due process of law This century has seen the addition of positive claims on the state to education employment and so on and entitlements against discrimination on the grounds of gender religion nationality and the like Such provisions are often declared to be entrenched and to bind legislature executive and judiciary To what extent these Bills of Rights are effective is more a matter of political power than of legal technicality Common Law and Civil Law On looking at the historical development and substantive features of the legal systems of the world we can see that many of them fall into one of two families In the whole of human history only two peoples seem to have founded a secular comprehensive enduring and widespread legal system the Romans of the Ancient World and the Anglo Normans of the Middle Ages The pedigree of the civil law goes back to Ancient Rome although the later customary family law and the canon law of procedure have also marked the system The Common Law world begins in England Of course within each family there are major differences between individual members but each is still quite clearly not a member of the other family The best way to explain the main elements of the Civil and the Common Law families and to compare and contrast the two is to look at the following features Beginnings The Common Law was conceived in 1066 and born of a union between older Saxon law and the custom of the Norman conquerors The Civil Law was older then than the Common Law is now Nurture The Common Law was nurtured in London lawcourts by judges and barristers The older Roman Law was developed to an important extent by jurists who were not practising lawyers but public minded citizens It was they who strove to expound explain and adapt the ancient and sporadic legislation and the edicts of the officials the high point of their contribution occurred in the decades around 200AD Spread The Common Law spread only by conquest and colonization no one ever accepted it freely and the countries of the former Soviet bloc are taking their models from the civil law not the common law The Roman part of the Civil Law preserved in Justinian s collection of 533AD was rediscovered in the 11th century embraced by the University law schools of northern Italy see also here and spread from them throughout continental Europe From there and like the common law it went to the New World and to parts of Africa by colonization But especially in the 19th century the French and then the German versions were selected as models by countries in the Middle and Far East Language Although originally written in Latin and spoken in Norman French the language of the Common Law today is virtually only English Wherever some version of the common law is in force the native or official language of the country is English The legal vocabulary however is likely to be markedly technical if not arcane and to contain much dead French and Latin By contrast the Civil Law is found in most languages Makers The main creators of the Common Law are the judiciary that is to say the matrix the basic operating system is laid down by caselaw Recruited from the ranks of successful practising lawyers the judges speak with individual and distinctive voices they lay down the law The great names are well known in common law countries and in the USA and Canada the highest court is an institution of enormous power and prestige In civil law systems at least until very recently judges played the comparatively minor role of settling the dispute in front of them They did not make the rules of the system and their decisions are not cited in later cases Appointed to the Bench in their middle to late twenties they are civil servants who in principle rarely sit alone but in groups of three They are trained to produce just one decision that of the court written in the dry laconic prose of a bureaucrat Legislation Of course the modern countries of both systems produce large amounts of legislation But that of the common law countries tends to be piecemeal Save for the constitution and fiscal matters basic principles are not enacted except as codifications of existing caselaw in such statutes as the Partnership Act The typical statute merely adjusts some detail of the rules laid down by the courts In complete contrast modern civil law systems tend to think of themselves as codified The word code in this context means that a whole area of law is laid down in one legislative document which aims to provide a closed coherent and consistent set of propositions which if used in good faith can be applied to solve any dispute in that area The most obvious example is that of a criminal code Historically however the most influential models have been the civil codes of France see also here 1804 and Germany see also here 1900 These deal with non criminal private law that is the rules on persons and family property wills and intestacy contracts torts and so on Such codes also provide the general pattern of thought in the whole legal culture acting as a default system for gaps elsewhere for instance in the laws regulating employment or the environment So important are they that a French lawyer will call the Civil Code le droit commun the common law and will aver that French law is codified It is not administrative law and conflicts law are found in no coherent code but the assertion illustrates the impact of the great Civil Code Precedent Where the basic principles are contained in an enacted code this is the source of the law Judicial decisions do not make law because they do not need to So for instance the Austrian Civil Code 1811 which lays down the basic rules of private law can sensibly provide Decisions in individual cases and the opinions handed down by courts in particular lawsuits never have the force of law they cannot be extended to other cases or to other persons 2 This approach is fortified by the historical fact that civil law judges did not see their job as creating law the professional fact that they are career civil servants and the political fact that it is thought more democratic to entrust lawmaking to the elected representatives of the people Common law perceptions are quite different Historically the judges made the law Furthermore to this day the legislator in common law countries does not lay down the basic rules of the legal system But they are needed and so a notion of precedent comes into being For instance the English parliament has never defined murder never laid down that you must keep your contracts or pay compensation for damage unlawfully caused to others Since such definitions and rules are necessary courts and lawyers can find them only in earlier caselaw And since it would be absurd and unfair if judges could re make the basic law of murder or of contract in any case before them a rule of precedent binds them to the law as declared by higher courts in their jurisdiction This means that in deciding a legal issue the common law judge must come to terms openly and honestly with any rule laid down by precedent just as a civil law court has to face up to the rules laid down by the legislator The doctrine of precedent is an operating rule of a common law system so the rule itself was never laid down by a legislator It is a judicial creation and can be amended or adapted by its makers So in England for instance the highest court the House of Lords held in the 19th century that it was bound by the law laid down in its own prior decisions In the 1960s is amended that rule and gave notice that it was now free to change its mind Lower courts however are bound by the highest court s rulings on matters of law Fact Legal disputes are as much about fact as about law The work of the lower courts in particular is very largely taken up with determining issues of fact The common law and the modern civil law both developed in territories where such matters were decided by ordeal oath or battle On discarding these methods the two systems took different paths The judges who built up the common law system were few in number and left the hard work of fact finding to non lawyers the jury originally of neighbours who might be thought to know the background and then of disinterested strangers empanelled to hear the evidence and decide Nowadays only the USA makes much use of the jury for non criminal matters as required by the VII Amendment but its ghost rules the procedure of all common law countries The very word trial suggests a single continuous and relatively short session in which all the evidence is presented to a jury who knew nothing about it beforehand Similarly there is no need for the judge to be acquainted with the case before the trial begins The proceedings are oral since that is the quickest and most effective way of conveying information to a number of laypersons And their verdict is difficult to overturn since an appellate court has not heard the evidence directly nor seen the witnesses in person The civil law systems by contrast have always left the task of finding the facts to a professional judge This has a number of consequences First there were always far more judges in civil than in common law countries Second the judge could be given more control from the outset of the dispute in deciding which witnesses to call and what questions to put to them Third the procedure could be more sporadic spread over a number of sessions and reduced to writing the civil law word often mistranslated as trial is le procPs der Prozess a better rendering is the proceedings Fourth the rules of evidence can be flexible since a professional judge is presumed capable of accurately assessing testimony Finally it is easier for a higher court to correct or revise a decision Structure One result of the above features is that in common law countries the legal system is not organised in a coherent and clear structure Its development tends to be incremental and casuistic and it is not easy for the foreign lawyer to approach Civil lawyers on the other hand lay great emphasis on system and structure Furthermore they tend to follow similar patterns in their organisation of legal topics and once these are understood it is relatively simple to locate the law on any given topic Incidence Some version of the common law is found today only in places once occupied by the British among them Ireland the USA Canada Australia New Zealand India Pakistan Kenya Uganda Zambia Nigeria and Ghana But except for the special case of Israel no country which has the common law seems able or willing to get rid of it So far we have spoken of the Civil Law in general in comparing it to the Common Law Within the former family however there are two great sub branches For one of them the French approach has largely been the model for the other the German The French have directly or indirectly influenced Belgium the Netherlands Mauritius Quebec Louisiana Italy Egypt Algeria Tunisia Morocco Sub Saharan Africa Spain Latin America The German model was followed later in such countries as Japan Greece Thailand Taiwan Portugal Brazil Some systems while recognisably those of the civil law have rather gone their own way in the organisation of their private and commercial law for instance Austria 1811 and Switzerland 1907 1911 Finally there has been much rethinking of the heart of private and commercial law in Quebec and the Netherlands and both have recently adopted an entirely new Civil Code Those countries

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/legal_systems (2012-11-09)
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  • Front pay | LII / Legal Information Institute
    español Inbox Project search FAQ Front pay in wex definitions labor and employment law Overview Resources Lost include in the future Measured from the trial date onward See back pay Wex Toolbox Search WEX Donations cover only 20 of our costs Law about Articles from Wex Back pay Grievance Coercive statement by an employer Termination Shelley s case Find a Lawyer All lawyers Get Involved LII Announce Blog LII Supreme

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/front_pay (2012-11-09)
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  • Prepaid legal services | LII / Legal Information Institute
    in wex definitions Overview Resources Arrangement by which a person pays for legal services potentially needed in the future Businesses sometimes create prepaid legal service plans as a benefit to their employees Wex Toolbox Search WEX Donations cover only 20 of our costs Law about Articles from Wex Front pay Law school International Traffic in Arms Regulations ITAR Export Control Classification Number ECCN Due process Find a Lawyer All lawyers

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/prepaid_legal_services (2012-11-09)
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  • Vested | LII / Legal Information Institute
    s Plain English Law Dictionary August 19 2010 5 26 pm In construing an instrument the primary objective is to determine the intent of the maker and render the construction which reflects that intent Although the law favors vested interests and a construction in favor of a vested interest will be given in cases of doubt the basic task before any court is to determine whether or not the testator intended a particular interest to be vested or contingent In making such a determination we must examine the instrument in its entirety to ascertain whether the testator intended to make a gift presently with payment postponed until a future time or whether he intended to suspend the gift altogether until such future time A gift which is made presently with payment postponed creates a vested interest but a gift which is suspended altogether until a future time creates a contingent interest Stokes v Trust Co of Ga In re McLoughlin 507 F 2d 177 182 83 n 13 5th Cir 1975 citation omitted It being true that the interest thus devised to Osceola C Green was a remainder of which he became vested at the death of his mother his

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/vested (2012-11-09)
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  • standards document | LII / Legal Information Institute
    standards document standards citation document addresses hyperlinking identifiers resolvers URN lex URN lex is a proposed Internet standard for legal document identifiers written by Pierluigi Spinosa Enrico Francesconi and Caterina Lupo It is intended to coexist with and provide important infrastructure for more semantically laden approaches like LegisLink and Citability The URN lex proposal is here Read more Toolbox Donations cover only 20 of our costs Find a Lawyer All

    Original URL path: http://www.law.cornell.edu/category/lexcraft_articletype/standards_document (2012-11-09)
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