common law

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common law

or

case law

laws based upon the outcome of previous court cases which serve as a precedent in guiding the judgement of present court cases. Where important legal principles are involved in a particular court case, the plaintiff or defendant may appeal against the judgement of a court to a higher court such as the High Court and then the House of Lords in the UK and finally the European Court of Justice. Compare STATUTE LAW.

common law

the body of law built up over many years as a result of previous court decisions interpreting legislation. These establish legal precedents that then need to be followed consistently in subsequent court cases. Compare STATUTE LAW.

common law

A law derived from common usage, ancient customs, or the pronouncements and interpretations of courts.Contrast with code law,or civil law,which relies on statutory enactments for the articulation of rights and responsibilities, and then judicial interpretation of those statutes. English law,and almost all American law,is based on common law.The law in France is based on the Napoleonic code,and the law in Louisiana is based on that code also.(Because of the completely different underpinnings of Louisiana law,it is rare to find a lawyer or real estate agent outside the state who will offer an opinion regarding real estate law within the state.) When reading definitions of words,one should pay attention to whether the definition recites “at common law” or “at civil law.”

References in periodicals archive ?
I found the clearest expression of his disdain for the common law tradition in his contribution to the Harvard Law Review symposium on the 100th anniversary of Holmes' celebrated 1897 lecture on The Path of the Law.
That such concerns could even be countenanced, however, does show the parlous state of the common law tradition today.
Holmes and such early students as Pound (The Spirit of the Common Law, 1921) and Cardozo (The Nature of the Judicial Process, 1921) were so effective in this transformation that today we cannot conceive of the common law as being, in practice, anything other than "case law" and "judge-made law" - the standard view presented by such works as Llewellyn's The Common Law Tradition (1960) and Calabresi's A Common Law for the Age of Statutes (1982).
We read of judges who assume the right to recreate the Constitution in their personal images; of Rambo-type litigators who seem to be chiefly bent on self-aggrandizement; and of law professors, notably the "Crits," who would "deconstruct" long-standing common law traditions as mere devices for perpetuating the dominance of the "Ups" over the "Downs.
116) It provides a unique (sui generis) (117) opportunity for the transformation of the common law tradition, and for the generation of a body of law which gives meaningful expression to, and reconciles, elements of two competing socio-legal orders.
The common law tradition occupies a much larger space in Louisiana; nevertheless, it is still considered a mixed legal jurisdiction.
Hart worked within a common law tradition but clearly saw his theory applicable to legal systems throughout the world, whether of common or civil law origin.
Scott proceeded to build the principles of fairness underlying the common law tradition and the rule of law into his conception of Canada's legal system based on British parliamentary democracy.
He asserts that we need to recognize that a full understanding of the common law tradition requires a more refined understanding of judging, one that saves space for the full complexity of the individuals who render judgments according to law.
mixed system, which is albeit closer to the common law tradition.
We have severed ourselves from our Christian roots, the natural institutions of family and community and the common law tradition that normally and naturally serve to temper and limit government.