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Constitutional Limitations: Legality

In this exercise, students get an overview of the principle of legality. Legality is divided into four subtopics: legislativity, retroactivity, vagueness, and lenity, which are addressed in turn. Particular attention is paid to the following issues: constitutional foundations; applicability to the states; applicability to the making or the interpretation of criminal laws, and to the legislature or the judiciary; applicability to criminal and civil law, and to substantive and procedural criminal law in particular.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Explain the principle of legality: legislativity, prospectivity, specificity, and lenity.
2. Discuss the issues of legality related to constitutional foundations; applicability to the states; and applicability to the making or the interpretation of criminal laws.
3. Analyze the applicability to criminal and civil law, and to substantive and procedural criminal law.

 

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