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 ?
The Inland Spousal OWP pilot program became very popular because it reduced the hardship many spouses and common-law partners faced while waiting for first stage approval, which often took a year or more to be granted.
Because the accused "is involved throughout" the evidence-gathering and case-building stage (Tullock 1997, 57), "the element of surprise" (a common courtroom tactic of common-law litigators) "is reduced" (Merryman and Perez-Perdomo [1969] 2007, 114).
Accordingly, the trial court did not err in dismissing the complaint for divorce and finding that Bartholomew failed to prove the existence of a common-law marriage in D.C.
Human reason would lead to the conclusion that she was Francis' common-law spouse.
Each case in a common-law system represents a ratified principle or principles (55) nested within a chain of other cases.
Stoner, Jr., Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism 16-21 (2003); Jeffrey D.
The Court of Appeal admits that the negative impact on common-law spouses "...denies common-law spouses the benefit of the rule, namely, protection of their matrimonial harmony and prevention of the indignity of one spouse participating in the prosecution of the other." The Court justifies its ruling by stating that extending the rule to common-law partners would infringe respect for their autonomy, freedom of choice, and human dignity under the Charter because neither partner would be free to choose to testify if they wanted to.
Embedded in the traditional common law--and economists Robert Staaf and Louis De Alessi later developed this idea (4)--is the ability of private parties to contract around the common-law rules.
The article does not aim to deny what are obvious truths about the common-law judge's role in these practices.
(11) The analysis focuses on African-American spousal homicide from 1925 to 1945 and compares lethal violence in legal marriages and common-law unions, based on one hundred eighty-one cases identified in police records and other sources as partner killings.
"In summary, we need not decide whether the FSIA applies to a former official of a foreign government (a close and interesting question), because if the FSIA does not apply, a former official may still be immune under common-law principles that pre-date, and survive, the enactment of the FSIA."
The routine practice of e-mail forwarding violates principles of common-law copyright regardless of what the Federal Copyright Act says."