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Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
What Youll Learn
How to recognize the various parts of the
U.S. Constitution (p. 14)

How to explain the components of
common law (p. 17)
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
What Youll Learn
How to explain the purposes of statutory
law (p. 18)

How to identify the various ways that
courts make law (p. 20)
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
What Youll Learn
How the government makes administrative
regulations (p. 21)
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Why Its Important
Learning how the law is made will help you
make decisions regarding your legal
responsibilities.
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Legal Terms
constitution (p. 14)
common law (p. 17)
precedent (p. 17)
statutes (p. 18)
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Legal Terms
federal statutes (p. 18)
legislature (p. 19)
unconstitutional (p. 19)
administrative law (p. 21)
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
The Five Main Sources of U.S. Law
Constitutional Law
Common Law
Statutory Law
Court Decisions
Administrative Regulations
Section Outline
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Pre-Learning Question
Why are there different sources of
law?
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
The Five Main Sources
of U.S. Law
Although the five main sources of law
may seem different, they all pertain to
the law in some way.
constitutional law

common law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
The Five Main Sources
of U.S. Law
statutory law

court decisions

administrative regulations
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Constitutional Law
A countrys constitution spells out
the principles by which the
government operates.

In our country, the most
fundamental law is the U.S.
Constitution
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
The U. S. Constitution
sets forth the fundamental rights of
citizens
defines the limits within which the
federal and state governments may
pass laws
describes the functions of different
branches and divisions of our
national government
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
The U. S. Constitution
consists of seven articles and 27
amendments
the articles establish the national
government
the amendments outline the rights
of the people
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
1.2
The Articles of the Constitution
of the United States, in order to form
Article I. The Legislative Branch
Article II. The Executive Branch
Article III. The J udicial Branch
Article IV. Relations Among States
Article V. The Amending Process
Article VI. National Supremacy
Article VII. The Ratification of the
Constitution
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Common Law
In the early days of English history,
judges traveled in circuits around
England deciding cases.
Because there was no written law,
judges made decisions based on
customs and traditions.
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Judges shared their decisions with
other judges.
They tried to share the same law in
common with everyone else
throughout the country.
This practice formed the basis of
common law.
Common Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Common law led to the doctrine of
precedent, which means a judge is
required to follow an earlier court
decision when deciding a case with
similar circumstances.
Stare decisis means let the
decision stand.
Precedent
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
How many amendments are there to
the U.S. Constitution?
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
27
ANSWER
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Statutes are laws specifically passed
by a governing body, such as the U.S.
Congress, state legislatures, and city
councils.
Statutory Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
A statute may order people to do
something, such as pay taxes or
sign up for the military draft.

Or a statute may forbid people from
doing something, such as
discriminating in employment.
Statutory Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Federal statutes are laws passed
by Congress and signed by the
president.

State statues are laws passed by a
states own legislature, or body of
lawmakers.
Statutory Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Federal and state statutes cannot
conflict with the U.S. Constitution, or
they may be ruled unconstitutional,
or invalid.
Statutory Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Courts make laws in three ways:
Court Decisions
1. through common-law tradition
2. by interpreting statutes
3. by judicial review
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Sunflower City passed an ordinance
that requires all commercial signage
to incorporate a sunflower into the
design. What is the source of this law?
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
ANSWER
Statutory law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Legislatures often give the power to
regulate a particular kind of activity
to an administrative, or regulatory,
agency.

Administrative law consists of
those rules and procedures
established by regulatory agencies.
Administrative Regulations
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
1. What are the various parts of the
U.S. Constitution?
Section 1.2 Assessment
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
Articles, which establish the national
government, and amendments, which
outline the rights of the people.
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answer
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
2. What are the components of
common law?
Section 1.2 Assessment
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
Based upon previous court decisions
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answer
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
3. What are the purposes of statutory
law?
Section 1.2 Assessment
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
To order people to do something or prohibit
people from doing things.
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answer
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
4. How do the courts make laws?
Section 1.2 Assessment
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
Using common law, statutory interpretation,
and judicial review.
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answer
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
5. How does the government make
administrative regulations?
Section 1.2 Assessment
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Reviewing What You Learned
Through the use of administrative
agencies.
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answer
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Section 1.2 Assessment
Critical Thinking Activity
Sources of Law
Why is it important to be able to distinguish
between the U.S. Constitution and
statutory law?
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Section 1.2 Assessment
Answers will vary, but understanding the
source of a law may help you understand
the reason for the law itself.
Critical Thinking Activity Answer
Sources of Law
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Section 1.2 Assessment
Legal Skills in Action
The Articles of Confederation
The U.S. Constitution is not the original
governing document for the United States.
At one time, the national government was
organized and operated under the Articles
of Confederation.
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Section 1.2 Assessment
Legal Skills in Action
The Articles of Confederation
The Articles lasted only a decade, however.
With a partner, conduct a research project to
uncover the weaknesses of the Articles of
Confederation.
Understanding Business and Personal Law
Sources of Law
Section 1.2
Ethics and Law
Section 1.1 Assessment Section 1.2 Assessment
Reports will vary but should cite sources to
support their findings.
Legal Skills in Action Answer
The Articles of Confederation
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