Common Law

Common Law

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Common law developed in England following the Norman conquest in 1066. The king's royal judges would travel throughout tehe realm and hold court in the diverse communities. In the early phases of common law development, and in particular during the reign of Henry II (1154-1198), the judges followed the procedure of applying generally accepted costums and practices of the local community as rules for decision making. Thus, similar problems might be resolved differently in different communities because of the difference in local custum, practice, or usage.

The next phase in development of the common law was the creation of a body of law out of judical decission. Around the middle of the thirteenth century, principles settled upon by judges became accepted as the general law. A high court decision became viewed as a legally binding precedent. The rule among judges that a high court decision becomes a precedent to be followed when a similar case is before the courts in the future is called the doctrine of stare decisis. However, the precedent is not absolutely binding, ans as new condition arise the previous decision may be reevaluated, modified, or overruled.

Politically and socially, the power of the English courts to be the exclusive sources of law became unacceptable. Eventually legislative enactments supplemented judge-made law. The existence of statues added a new dimension to the funcition of the courts-that of statutory interpretation. A statue may have possible application in a wide range of different situation; it must be defined and explained in order to determine its scopeof application. The result of judical interpretation of statues has been the creation of a whole body of case law not found in the statue itself. This case law has also become precedent and is referred to as a part of the common law.

Book of Civil law that use in this reference :

- R. Brycwe Young. Criminal Law : Codes and Cases. McGraw-Hill: America
civil law reference
civil law reference

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