What is meant by the term Common Law?

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You may have heard of the term, but what exactly does it mean? Common law is a system of law that has largely been created by the decisions which were made previously by courts and not imposed by legislatures or other government administration. The reasoning which is used to understand this kind of law is known as casuistry, or case-based reasoning.

It is a principle-based way of reasoning that makes use of the circumstances of a case, to judge which laws are applicable. Decisions that have been made about similar cases are deemed valuable, and the case at hand will be evaluated on the basis of past cases. The strength of the similarity amongst these cases, will, in turn, strengthen the reasoning based on them. Those on the lookout and seeking expert family law in Yorkshire, should contact people with the knowledge and experience in this field of expertise.

Not from Equity and Uniqueness of the British System

The term “common law” also highlights the fact that this kind of law did not originate from equity, maritime and other specialised branches of law. Statutes are there to serve as concise explanations of law and as a result, are not really that explanatory. Codification is the series of actions by which a statute is passed and expressed within a single document, so that it can be understood within existing law rather than the creation any need for new laws.

Common law is at the base of the legal system in the United Kingdom and many other English-speaking countries, particularly those that in the past, were former British colonies, such as most of Canada, most of the United States, Hong Kong, Some African nations and what is now known as Sri Lanka (in former times, Ceylon). Common law was created in England by three courts — King’s Bench, Exchequer and the Court of Common Pleas — all to establish a system of law that would supersede the judgments of any local courts. Also, in terms of its functionality to civil law, common law was and has been used to compensate people who have suffered any kind of wrongful civil acts, which are commonly known as torts.

Some are Different and Common Law Relationships

But, not all former British colonies and English-speaking nations have the same legal systems based on common law. In places such as Louisiana, Quebec and South Africa they have what are known as pluralistic legal systems which happen to combine civil, common, customary and religious law. Not to mention that, Louisiana and Quebec use what is known as French law, and the South African legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law. The former colony of India utilises a combination of Hindi and English law.

An oral or written agreements can be fashioned between partners if they happen to enter into a common law relationship. This is similar to a prenuptial agreement, whereas a written common law agreement states that the ownership of property and what happens if one of the partners passes away.

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