common law


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Related to common law: civil law, Common law marriage

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 ?
At first glance, it is hard to explain why the military commission prosecuting the Lincoln assassination conspirators would have relied on the common law of war in establishing the commission's jurisdiction.
92) Lieber notes that military jurisdiction can come from either statute or the common law of war.
36) The other was of course the common law as part of which Professor Finn included the principles of equity.
40) Might this explain also why Australian legal scholarship was so late to give serious consideration to the nature of the relationship of 'our' common law to statutes especially when compared with our American colleagues?
The most important feature of classical common law theory was its peculiar definition of law.
As a result of this definition of law, the exponents of this approach applauded the common law and distrusted statutes and any prerogative of a king.
While the service agreements between the PEO and client employer often refer to a "co-employment" relationship, the IRS consistently has taken the position that the client employer is the sole common law employer in these relationships (see CCA 200017041).
While the plan may have separate reporting requirements for its plan participants, contributing ALEs are required to report for full-time common law employees for whom they are contributing to a multiemployer plan.
Sobecki convincingly argues his central thesis that a unique common law vernacular legal culture was present in England in this period, which was not limited to the works of John Fortescue, St German, and John Rastell.
Sobecki's important contribution is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the common law in premodern England.
the operational legal devices that the common law uses in doctrine to
He argues not only that it is common law, not legislation, that is more predictable, certain, and conducive to liberty and the rule of law, but that the superiority of the common law on this point derives from its unwritten nature and the "discovery" process of judges.