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11.9: Key Terms

  • Page ID
    198762
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    appeal
    a higher court’s review of a lower court’s decision to determine if an error of law caused the rendition of an improper judgment by the lower court
    arraignment
    the initial court hearing in which an arrested individual is informed of the specific criminal charges against them, bail is set, and the individual is appointed an attorney if they have not already secured one
    authoritarian-populist judiciary
    a system that has transitioned from a rule-of-law system to a rule-by-law authoritarian subsystem through changes instituted by one ruling person or political party
    bail
    court-determined conditions that must be met for an arrested individual to be released from jail, designed to ensure that the individual will appear for all hearings and the trial in a criminal case; may include fines or restrictions on activity
    capital punishment
    the imposition of the death penalty on persons convicted of specific crimes
    civil law
    a system of laws concerned with the peaceful resolution of disputes between individuals rather than with criminal conduct
    civil law system
    a legal system that relies heavily on codes of statutes, in which the judicial process is mainly investigatory rather than adversarial
    common law system
    a legal system that relies on precedent, in which the judicial process is adversarial
    court case
    a specific dispute about a law brought before a court; for a court to act, parties with standing who allege specific issues based on written laws must file a case
    criminal law
    a system of laws establishing minimum conduct of the individual and permitting the government to punish any person who violates such laws
    customary law system
    a legal system based on long-standing traditions in a particular community
    due process
    a legal requirement that the government respect the rights of the accused and take procedural steps to create a fair system of government action against the accused
    evidence
    the materials or statements a court can consider as the proof necessary for any alleged matter in a case
    executive sovereignty system
    a system in which the actions of a parliament or the executive cannot be reviewed for their constitutionality
    felonies
    serious crimes that carry more severe sentences than misdemeanor crimes
    grand jury
    a body of citizens that reviews evidence to determine if there is probable cause to charge a person with a felony
    guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
    the standard required to convict someone of a crime in a rule-of-law system
    hybrid system
    in government, a mixture of any two or more types of legal or judicial selection systems
    issues
    the questions to be answered in a court case; a court cannot decide anything other than the issues raised by the parties
    judgment
    the binding decision in a court case, issued as a legal document
    judicial branch
    the system of courts that interprets, defends, and applies the law in the name of the government; also called judicial system
    judicial independence
    the concept that the judicial branch is independent of undue influence or pressure from other branches of government, partisanship, or other interests and that it is free to interpret cases using certain principles or laws, such as the nation’s constitution, without fear of reprisal
    judicial review
    a process in which the judicial branch reviews actions by the other branches of government to ensure that they are following the country’s constitution and its principles
    judicial system
    the system of courts that interprets, defends, and applies the law in the name of the government; also called judicial branch
    judiciary
    the people who work in the judicial branch of a government; also used as a synonym for judicial branch
    jurisdiction
    the authority, in the form of a written constitution or a statute, that authorizes a court to hear a case; includes both the geographical region and the topics of the court’s authority
    misdemeanors
    minor criminal offenses that are often punishable by a fine
    nullification
    the willful refusal to obey or enforce a court order or statute
    precedent
    prior court decisions that provide guidance in a current case
    probable cause
    the amount of evidence required for the government to take specific actions against a defendant in a criminal investigation or case; determined on a case-by-case basis
    procedural due process
    the process, procedures, and rules that the government must follow when taking any legal action against an individual so that their rights under the constitution are protected
    religious law system
    a legal system that bases its laws on religious texts or beliefs
    rule by law
    describes political systems in which the judicial branch and the judiciary help impose the government’s approved viewpoint on the citizens; the judiciary has little independence and acts as a source of government control over individual citizens
    rule of law
    the principle that the government is one of law, not of any individual or group
    social contract
    a voluntary agreement whereby the people consent to abide by specific rules while living in a territory and the government of that territory consents to limit itself to acting in accordance with certain standards
    sovereignty
    the power of a governmental body to exercise authority by creating and imposing rules on people within the area it controls
    standing
    the status necessary for an individual or group to complain about a law before the court, created by a direct injury to that individual or group as a result of government action
    substantive due process
    the principle that due process applies not only to legal procedures but also to broader government actions, such as the passing of laws, and that such actions are subject to review to ensure that they do not infringe on individuals’ constitutional rights

    11.9: Key Terms is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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