Answer to Question #198759 in Sociology for kkkk

Question #198759

Question 5

a) Law has evolved over time. From the hunting society, territories have been organized in systematic and codified jurisdictions. Briefly discuss how the evolution of legal systems throughout history took place. AP(5 Marks)

b) Most critics to the nature of human rights have argued that the concept of rights is far from being truly universal. Hence Islamic nations have enacted their own version of human rights embedded in the Cairo declaration. Demonstrate with at least three clear examples how the Cairo declaration differs from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CR(10 Marks)

c) Among other things, the supreme court in Ghana has the power to determine whether the act of any person, authority or parliament is ultra- varied the constitution. What does this mean?

Expert's answer

a. "Legal history or the history of law is the study of how the law has evolved and why it has changed. Legal history is closely connected to the development of civilizations and operates in the wider context of social history. Certain jurists and historians of the legal process have seen legal history as recording the evolution of laws and the technical explanation of how these laws have evolved to understand the origins of various legal concepts better; some consider legal history a branch of intellectual history. Twentieth-century historians viewed legal history in a more contextualized manner - more in line with the thinking of social historians. They have looked at legal institutions as complex systems of rules, players, and symbols. They have seen these elements interact with society to change, adapt, resist or promote certain aspects of civil society. Such legal historians have tended to analyze case histories from the parameters of social-science inquiry, using statistical methods, analyzing class distinctions among litigants, petitioners, and other players in various legal processes. By analyzing case outcomes, transaction costs, and numbers of settled cases, they have begun an analysis of legal institutions, practices, procedures, and briefs that gives a more complex picture of law and society than the study of jurisprudence; case law, and civil codes can achieve."


"The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 August 1990, (Conference of Foreign Ministers, 9–14 Muharram 1411H in the Islamic calendar) which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic sharia as its sole source. CDHRI declares its purpose to be "general guidance for the Member States [of the OIC] in the field of human rights."

"This declaration is widely acknowledged as an Islamic response to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948. It guarantees some, but not all, of the UDHR and serves as a living document of human rights guidelines prescribed for all OIC members to follow but restricts them explicitly to the limits set by the sharia. Because of this limit, the CDHRI has been criticized as an attempt to shield OIC member states from international criticism for human rights violations, as well as for failing to guarantee freedom of religion, justifying corporal punishment and allowing discrimination against non-Muslims and women."


"When thinking about courts, many of us think about the statute of “Blind Justice” – also known as Lady Justice – that adorns the front of many courthouses around the country. Often portrayed blindfolded and holding balance scales and a sword, the figure represented is Themis, the Greek Goddess of Justice and law. The blindfold she wears represents the impartiality with which justice is served; the scales represent the weighing of evidence on either side of a dispute brought to the court. The sword signifies the power held by those making the ultimate decision after an impartial and fair hearing of evidence. In fact, in ancient Greece, judges were considered servants of Themis, referred to as “themistopolois.”

"Whether or not state and local court systems in these modern times are providing blind justice as represented by the statute of Themis could be debated. While residents in communities around the country ideally hope their own court system is impartial and immune to outside influences, few who work in or participate in American state court systems believe this is fully true; in fact, there is evidence that suggests that protection from outside influences upon the courts is becoming less and less assured. Judges today are increasingly called upon to make tough public policy decisions, with the outcomes – some of which entail promoting sustainability – often being popular with the parties engaged in a particular policy issue. Such decisions often affect tradeoffs of economic, social, and environmental goals, leaving some parties pleased and others anxious to “redress the balance” either in the new statutory language or through further litigation in the courts. This continuation of the dispute through legal action often involves seeking out “more friendly courts” with more sympathetic judges in which to file their actions."

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