What is the general rule law professors teach in law school for determining whether something is allowed or not allowed, based on written law?
When I read any piece of legislation, I sometimes wonder if the politicians understand logic. I am a software engineer, not a lawyer. Which is probably a good thing, otherwise I'd be confused out of my mind. Law is definitely not a science, because there are so many conditions in written legislation that conflict with one another! So if a software engineer tried to develop software to make a decision for any situation based on written law, the computer would start smoking from confusion.
Is it safer to assume something is not allowed until you find enough evidence that it's allowed? Or is it safer to assume something is allowed until you find enough evidence that it's not allowed?
Or do you look at the beginning sentences of a given piece of written legislation, and use the rest of the written law as exceptions to the rule stated in the beginning?
In software, whatever condition is met first, that's the path chosen! So you can think of an order of precedence happening. Conditions/Laws at the top of the source code should be most specific, if they are identical conditions/laws found lower in the source code. But the order in which you read written law probably doesn't work that way?
condition 1: dog is black, dog is friendly ==> pet the dog
condition 2: dog is black, dog is mean ==> don't pet the dog
condition 3: dog is black, dog is friendly, dog is quiet ==> condition never met, because it's more specific than conditions above with same criteria, plus extra criteria
condition 4: dog is black, dog it friendly, dog is quiet, dog has fluffy hair ==> condition never met