Common Law And The Doctrine Of Precedence Essays

1295 Words Apr 4th, 2016 6 Pages
Common law and the Doctrine of Precedence are vital parts of the Australian legal system that enforces that cases of similar nature are treated in a similar way. This principle has been present within Australian courts since the country’s colonisation in 1788, and has continued to aid courts in the decision of verdicts to the current day.
Before the 13th century in England, trials for cases concerning the law were carried out through ways of feudal law, which is the notion that wealthy men known as lords would have power over people in a certain region, although this was abolished by King Henry II, who believed this system undermined his own power and rule. Another form of trialling for cases included various kinds of ordeals, as they were believed to allow God to reveal his judgment. These ordeals included trials by fire, which included burning the accused and observing the healing of their wounds to determine their guilt. Although being an unfair form of trial, this is believed to be the very early roots of common law, with certain trials by ordeals being given to those accused of a certain crime. For example, all women accused of witchcraft in medieval times were hanged. This shows the use of common law throughout history, as all accused of guilty are treated the same way.
The methods of trials by ordeal relied solely on the physical strength of a person, and would not fairly decide the fates for those involved in a crime. This came to the attention of King Henry II,…

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