646 666 9601 [email protected]

The common law is a legal system in which prior court judgments set legal precedents and future judgements must follow those precedents

Common Law Legal System

The Law of Commons

The common law, often known as case law, is a legal system in which earlier court judgments set legal precedents and future rulings must follow those precedents. A legal system based on common conventions and usages, rather than codified written laws or legislation, is referred to as common law. With the exception of Louisiana, which takes its model from civil law, or codified decree, in the style of the original French governors, common law forms a major part of the legal systems of regions around the world that are or were formerly under the rule of the British Empire, including the United States.

While judges eventually build common law via the power of their decisions in individual instances, it will not be found in any recorded form analogous to statutory law. General law, on the other hand, is the common agreement of legality and illegality that arose through centuries of individual court judgements in the United Kingdom over around 800 years.

In the United States, there are two types of law: common law and statutory law.

While the common law system is the starting point for criminal law in the United States, the United States Constitution grants legal priority to any statute laws enacted by the different state and local governments. The majority of criminal law in the United States is now codified in legislation. Many governments, however, still explicitly recognise parts of common law, and it is often essential to return to common law to understand the inherent meaning behind a statute law. A legislation may, for example, state that negligent homicide is punished by one to three years in jail without defining murder. In this scenario, the term would have to be derived from common law.

State legislatures may enact whatever laws they want as long as they don’t contradict federal legislation, and local legislatures can pass whatever laws they want as long as they don’t contradict state or federal laws. Declaratory and remedial legislation are routinely enacted to strengthen, extend, or limit the common law in this country’s many jurisdictions, and the legal landscape varies greatly from state to state and town to town.

Common Law’s Stability

The flexibility of the common law system, as well as the broad agreement of judgement that it symbolises, are its strengths. Because each court judgement modifies the whole body of common law significantly, it is said to better reflect the hearts and minds of the people it attempts to rule.