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Law and legal systems B

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Legal positivism
A philosophy of law that holds that rights exist as a result of the written law of particular time and place and that there are no natural rights or laws.
Majority opinion
An opinion in a case written by one judge and in which a majority of the judges on the court join.
Natural law
A philosophy of law that holds that universal laws and principles apply to all human beings, and that written law should conform to universal principles.
A formal written expression by a court or judge of the reason and principles of law upon which the decision in a case is based.
Per curiam opinion
A unanimous opinion attributed to the court as a whole and not to any particular judge.
Persuasive authority
Precedent from other jurisdictions that may provide guidance to a court in deciding a case of first impression.
Case of first impression
A case that presents a question never before decided by the court.
The party who initiates a legal action.
Plurality opinion
An opinion with which a majority of the court agree to the result but not to the reasoning for the result. A plurality opinion may decide a particular case but does not create precedent.
A judicial decision that should be followed by a judge when deciding a later similar case.
Procedural law
Laws that determine the methods of enforcing rights established by substantive law.
The legal means to enforce a right or redress a wrong.
Stare decisis
Latin for for “to stand by things decided”; the doctrine of precedent that forms the basis of common law legal systems to ensure certainty, consistency, and stability in the law.
Statute of limitations
A period of time within which a lawsuit must be initiated, after which the right to sue terminates.
Statutory law
Laws enacted by legislative bodies such as Congress or state legislatures.
Substantive law
Laws that define and create legal rights and obligations.