Common law

Common law,

Definition of Common law:

  1. A precedent, known as stare decisis, is a history of judicial decisions which form the basis of evaluation for future cases. Common law, also known as case law, relies on detailed records of similar situations and statutes because there is no official legal code that can apply to a case at hand.

  2. The part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. Often contrasted with statutory law.

  3. One of the two major legal systems of the modern Western world (the other is civil law), it originated in the UK and is now followed in most English speaking countries. Initially, common law was founded on common sense as reflected in the social customs. Over the centuries, it was supplanted by statute law (rules enacted by a legislative body such as a Parliament) and clarified by the judgments of the higher courts (that set a precedent for all courts to follow in similar cases). These precedents are recognized, affirmed, and enforced by subsequent court decisions, thus continually expanding the common law. In contrast to civil law (which is based on a rigid code of rules), common law is based on broad principles. And whereas every defendant who enters a criminal trial under civil law is presumed guilty until proven innocent, under common law he or she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

  4. Common law is a body of unwritten laws based on legal precedents established by the courts. Common law influences the decision-making process in unusual cases where the outcome cannot be determined based on existing statutes or written rules of law. The U.S. common-law system evolved from a British tradition that spread to North America during the 17th- and 18th-century colonial period. Common law is also practiced in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Synonyms of Common law

Corpus Juris Canonici, Mishnah, Roman law, Spiritus Mundi, Sunna, Talmud, Admiralty law, Ancient wisdom, Archetypal myth, Archetypal pattern, Blue law, Canon law, Case law, Chancery law, Civil law, Commercial law, Constitutional law, Corporation law, Criminal law, Crown law, Custom, Decree law, Droit des gens, Dry law, Ecclesiastical law, Equity, Folk motif, Folklore, Folktale, Gag law, Immemorial usage, International law, Jus civile, Jus commune, Jus inter gentes, Jus publicum, Law merchant, Legend, Lex domicilii, Lex fori, Lex loci, Lex mercatorum, Lex non scripta, Lex scripta, Lex situs, Local law, Lore, Martial law, Myth, Mythology, Penal law, Positive law, Public law, Racial memory, Sea law, Statute law, Substantive law, Tradition, Traditionalism, Traditionality, Unwritten law, Written law

How to use Common law in a sentence?

  1. Common law, also known as case law, is a body of unwritten laws based on legal precedents established by the courts.
  2. Common laws sometimes prove the inspiration for new legislation to be enacted.
  3. My boyfriend and I bought a home 6 years ago. We never got married but because if common law legally in a year I have rights to fifty percent. We are spitting up and selling the home.
  4. Another is the common law, derived from precedent and judges interpretations of the law.
  5. Many states recognize common law marriages where assets have to be split when a couple breaks up after a certain number of years even if there was no official marriage.
  6. Common law draws from institutionalized opinions and interpretations from judicial authorities and public juries.
  7. My boyfriend and I bought a home 6 years ago. We never got married but because if common law legally in a year I have rights to fifty percent. We are spitting up and selling the home.

Meaning of Common law & Common law Definition

Common law is the frame of law flourish in England from judicial verdicts ground on custom and precedent, which is unwritten in statute or code, and inaugurate the basis of the English legal system.


In the ancient England and wales, the first Norman King, William sets up the new courts and appointed his own judges. The nobles who had a controversy were motivate to apply to have the king (or his judges) resolve the situation. The judges were dispatch to important towns to settle key cases. Judges travelled from London to all around the country which was under the control of king. In the reign of Henry, the tours of judges become more regular and he divided the country into circuits or areas for the judges to visit. Initially the judges would use the local customs to decide cases but after a period of interval it is believed that the judges on their return to London would discuss the laws or customs which they had used and the decisions they had made. Slowly and gradually the judges used best customs and these were then used by all judges throughout the country. After this the law became common through the whole country and it is from here that the phrase ’common law’ seems to have developed.

Characteristics of common law:

One of the key feature of common law is that it represents the law of the courts as expressed in judicial decisions. In common law, the ground for deciding cases is provided from precedents which are past judicial decisions and is completely contradictory to civil law systems which is based on statutes and prescribed text. Apart from the system of judicial precedents, other feature of common law are inquiry by jury and the dogma of the supremacy of the law.

Advantages of common law:

Common law has the following advantages;

1: Precedent:

Precedents are past judicial decisions. Precedent is an important advantage of common law through which it can be easily predictable what to expect. It is an easier and practical because there are no appointed rules but there are real rules that has already been resolved.

2: Equity:

Equity is to rectify common law defects and reduce its sternness. Equity is an advantage of common law which is not a complete system of law and it merely fills the gaps of common law and soften the strict rules of common law.

3: practical in nature:

Common law is practical in nature and is a part of day to day life.

Disadvantages of common law:

1: Inflexibility:

Common law is rigid once a rule is established which cause inflexibility and it can be a problem if the decision is outdated or out of context.

2: Complexity:

The compilation of rules that contain common law are both wide in size and extremely complex. It may be tough and slightly time consuming to search through the appropriate cases for a just verdict.

3: In the absence of precedent:

Individuals will not know what to speculate when they appear to a circumstances that require to be taken to court. When there are no precedents judges make decisions based on the evidence given and as far as possible come to a fair judgement, sometimes a view of the evidence by the judge may put forward about an erroneous judgment.

Frequently asked question (FAQs)

1. Which countries follow common law?

Common law is a law that is formed after the made by judges in the past and used as an example in similar future cases. There are many countries that follow common law such as:

2. Does common law promote human rights?

Yes, Common law promotes human rights. Common law provides significant protection to human rights. Common law provides a structure by which the exercise of power is subjected to agreed rule, and it gives the guarantee of the protection of all human rights.

3. Which country has the best law?

Denmark has the best law. Denmark is on the top in the “Rule of Law Index” among 113 countries. “Rule of Law Index” was the list created by World Justice Project (WJP).

4. Which country has no police?

Some of the countries such as Iceland and Monaco have no standing armies but they have a non-police military force. Some of the countries such as Costa Rica and Grenada underwent the process of demilitarization.

5. Who is the father of common law?

Henry II is the father of common law. He was the greatest ruler of medieval England. He was a remarkable combination of wisdom, creativity, compassion, energy, and terrifying power. He imposed orders and also imposed law.

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