_____________________

Jurisprudence

Find more articles...

What is the legal definition of "Obscenity"?

    5:40 PM   No comments
As defined by Miller v. California’s three prong test, to be obscene material must (1) be a work that the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest and (2) the work must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable obscenity law, and (3) the work, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

Definition of "True Threats"

    5:36 PM   No comments
True threats are defined as “statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.” 

To be a true threat, “the speaker need not actually intend to carry out the threat.” True threats are distinguishable from political hyperbole, which is protected political expression. Intimidation “is a type of true threat, where the speaker directs a threat to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing the victim in fear of bodily harm or death.”

What is the legal meaning of "Fighting Words"

    5:34 PM   No comments
Fighting words are a narrow category of unprotected speech that are defined as words spoken in a face to face exchange such as personal insults or epithets which by their very utterance are likely to cause the person to whom they are addressed to respond with violence directed at the speaker.

Fighting words must be insults personally directed at the person they are addressed to and not political statements that the hearer finds deeply offensive to his or her beliefs. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between provocative political speech that is fully protected and unprotected fighting words.

Categories of Unprotected Speech

    5:29 PM   No comments
Categories of Unprotected Speech in US Constitution:

        Obscenity
        Blackmail
        Defamation (i.e., libel, slander)
        Child pornography

        Fighting words
       Incitement to imminent lawless action
        Perjury
        Solicitations to commit crimes

        True threats

SOURCES OF THE LAW

    12:38 PM   No comments
SOURCES OF THE LAW: By this expression is understood the authority from which the laws derive their force.
2. The power of making all laws is in the people or - their representatives, and none can have any force whatever, which is derived from any other source. But it is not required that the legislator shall expressly pass upon all laws, and give the sanction of his seal, before they can have life or existence. The laws are therefore such as have received ala express sanction, and such as de-rive their force and effect from implication. The first, or express, are the constitution of the United States, and the treaties and acts of the legislature which have been made by virtue of the authority vested by the constitution. To these must be added the constitution of the state and the laws made by the state legislature, or by other subordinate legislative bodies, by virtue of the authority conveyed by such constitution. The latter, or tacit, received their effect by the general use of them by the people, when they assume the name of customs by the adoption of rules by the courts from systems of foreign laws.
3. The express laws, are first, the constitution of the United States; secondly, the treaties made with foreign powers; thirdly, the acts of congress; fourthly, the constitutions of the respective states; fifthly, the laws made by the several state legislatures; sixthly, laws made by inferior legislative bodies, such as the councils of municipal corporations, and general rules made by the courts.
4. - 1. The constitution is an act of the people themselves, made by their representatives elected for that purpose. It is the supreme law of the land, and is binding on all future legislative bodies, until it shall be altered by tho authority of the people, in the manner, provided for in the instrument itself, and if an act be passed contrary to the provisions of the constitution, it is, ipso facto, void. 2 Pet. 522; 12 Wheat. 270; 2 Dall. 309; 3 Dall. 386; 4 Dall. 18; 6 Cranch, 128.
5. - 2. Treaties made under the authority of the constitution are declared to be the supreme law of the land, and therefore obligatory on courts. 1 Cranch, 103. See Treaty.
6. - 3. The acts and resolutions of congress enacted constitutionally, are of course binding as laws and require no other explanation.
7. - 4. The constitutions of the respective states, if not opposed to the provisions of the constitution of the United States, are of binding force in the states respectively, and no act of the state legislature has any force which is made in contravention of the state constitution.
8. - 5. The laws of the several states, constitutionally made by the state legislatures, have full and complete authority in the respective states.
9. - 6. Laws are frequently made by inferior legislative bodies which are authorized by the legislature; such are the municipal councils of cities or boroughs. Their laws are generally known by the name of ordinances, and, when lawfully ordained, they are binding on the people. The courts, perhaps by a necessary usurpation, have been in the practice of making general rules and orders, which sometime affect suitors and parties as much as the most regular laws enacted by congress. These apply to all future cases. There are also rules made in particular cases as they arise, but these are rather decrees or judgments than laws.
10. The tacit laws, which derive their authority from the consent of the people, without any legislative enactment, may be subdivided into 1st. The common law, which is derived from two sources, the common law of England, and the practice and decisions of our own courts. It is very difficult, in many cases, to ascertain what is this common law, and it is always embarrassing to the courts. Kirl. Rep. Pref. In some states, it has been enacted that the common law of England shall be the law, except where the same is inconsistent with our constitutions and laws. See Law.
2d. Customs which have been generally adopted by the people, have the force of law.
3d. The principles of the Roman law, being generally founded in superior wisdom, have insinuated themselves into every part of the law. Many of the refined rules which now adorn the common law appear there without any acknowledgment of their paternity, and it is at this source that some judges dipt to get the wisdom which adorns their judgments. The proceedings of the courts of equity and many of the admirable distinctions which manifest their wisdom are derived from this source. To this fountain of wisdom the courts of admiralty owe most of the law which governs in admiralty cases.
4th. The canon law, which was adopted by the ecclesiastical courts, figures in our laws respecting marriage, divorces, wills and testaments, executors and administrators and many other subjects.
5th. The jurisprudence, or decisions of the various courts, have contributed their full share of what makes the law. These decisions are made by following precedents, by borrowing from the sources already mentioned, and, sometimes by the less excusable disposition of the judges to legislate on the bench.
11. The monuments where the common law is to be found, are the records, reports of cases adjudicated by the courts, and the treatises of learned men. The books of reports are the best proof of what is the common law, but owing to the difficulty of finding out any systematic arrangement, recourse is had to treatises upon the various branches of the law. The records, owing to their being kept in one particular place, and therefore not generally accessible, are seldom used.

Legal definition of "SOCIETY"

    12:34 PM   No comments
SOCIETY. A society is a number of persons united together by mutual consent, in order to deliberate, determine, and act jointly for some common purpose.
2. Societies are either incorporated and known to the law, or unincorporated, of which the law does not generally take notice.
3. By civil society is usually understood a state, (q. v.) a nation, (q. v.) or a body politic. (q. v.) Rutherf. Inst. c. 1 and 2.
4. In the civil law, by society is meant a partnership. Inst. 3, 26; Dig. 17, 2 Code, 4, 37.

SILENCE

    12:31 PM   No comments
SILENCE. The state of a person who does not speak, or of one who refrains from speaking.
2. Pure and simple silence cannot be considered as a consent to a contract, except in cases when the silent person is bound in good faith to explain himself, in which case, silence gives consent. 6 Toull. liv. 3, t. 3, n. 32, note; 14 Serg. & Rawle, 393; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 442; 1 Dane's Ab. c. 1, art. 4, §3; 8 T. R. 483; 6 Penn. St. R. 336; 1 Greenl. Ev. 201; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1313. But no assent will be inferred from a man's silence, unless, 1st. He knows his rights and knows what he is doing and, 2d. His silence is voluntary.
3. When any person is accused of a crime, or charged with any fact, and he does not deny it, in general, the presumption is very strong that the charge is correct. 7 C. & P. 832 5 C. & P. 332; Joy on Conf. s. 10, p. 77.
4. The rule does not extend to the silence of a prisoner, when on his exanination before a magistrate he is charged by another prisoner with having joined him in the commission of an offence: 3 Stark. C. 33.
5. When an oath is administered to a witness, instead of expressly promising to keep it, he gives his assent by his silence, and kissing the book.
6. The person to be affected by the silence must be one not disqualified to act as non compos, an infant, or the like, for even the express promise of such a person would not bind him to the performance of any contract.
7. The rule of the civil law is that silence is not an acknowledgment or denial in every case, qui tacet, non utique fatetur: sed tamen verum est, eum non negaro. Dig. 50, 17, 142.

Looking for something else?

======================================

Copyright © Aboutlaw.com: History and Evolution of Law and Jurisprudence.