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Anarchism encompasses a broad range of social political philosophies with different tendencies and implementation. King Hammurabi is revealed the code of laws by the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash, also revered as the god of justice. Hugo Grotius, the founder of a purely rationalistic system of natural law, argued that law arises from both a social impulse—as Aristotle had indicated—and reason. Immanuel Kant believed a moral imperative requires laws “be chosen as though they should hold as universal laws of nature”. Jeremy Bentham and his student Austin, following David Hume, believed that this conflated the “is” and what “ought to be” problem.

  • The head of state is apart from the executive, and symbolically enacts laws and acts as representative of the nation.
  • Modern military, policing and bureaucratic power over ordinary citizens’ daily lives pose special problems for accountability that earlier writers such as Locke or Montesquieu could not have foreseen.
  • We are the voice of solicitors, driving excellence in the profession and safeguarding the rule of law.
  • Locke argued that our “lives, liberties and estates” are our property because we own our bodies and mix our labour with our surroundings.

Sharia law based on Islamic principles is used as the primary legal system in several countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. The main institutions of law in industrialised countries are independent courts, representative parliaments, an accountable executive, the military and police, bureaucratic organisation, the legal profession and civil society itself. John Locke, in his Two Treatises of Government, and Baron de Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws, advocated for a separation of powers between the political, legislature and executive bodies. Their principle was that no person should be able to usurp all powers of the state, in contrast to the absolutist theory of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. Sun Yat-sen’s Five Power Constitution for the Republic of China took the separation of powers further by having two additional branches of government—a Control Yuan for auditing oversight and an Examination Yuan to manage the employment of public officials.

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This “great charter” or Magna Carta of 1215 also required that the King’s entourage of judges hold their courts and judgments at “a certain place” rather than dispensing autocratic justice in unpredictable places about the country. A concentrated and elite group of judges acquired a dominant role in law-making under this system, and compared to its European counterparts the English judiciary became highly centralised. In 1297, for instance, while the highest court in France had fifty-one judges, the English Court of Common Pleas had five. This powerful and tight-knit judiciary gave rise to a systematised process of developing common law. One definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour.

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The head of state is apart from the executive, and symbolically enacts laws and acts as representative of the nation. Examples include the President of Germany , the Queen of the United Kingdom , and the President of Austria . The other important model is the presidential system, found in the United States and in Brazil. In presidential systems, the executive acts as both head of state and head of government, and has power to appoint an unelected cabinet.

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The executive is led by the head of government, whose office holds power under the confidence of the legislature. Because popular elections appoint political parties to govern, the leader of a party can change in between elections. Canon law (from Greek kanon, a ‘straight measuring rod, ruler’) is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority , for the government of a Christian organisation or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches.

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