Interpretations Of Common Law And Law Essay

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Briefly, when common law is contrasted with statute law, common law is referring to the law found in the decisions of the courts rather than the legal rules contained in Acts of Parliament (statutes).

Should the statute laws fail, Common law can back it up, for example in the case of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) and Anglers Co-operative association v Clark (1994) (Wolf and Stanley, 1959) . In this case a pig farmer (Mr Clark) released three million gallons of slurry into a 75 km stretch of the river Sapiston and Little Ouse which subsequently destroyed a fishery. The NRA attempted to prosecute the pig farmer under sections of the Control of Pollution act 1974 and the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries act of 1975. The court of appeal ruled, that the farmer could not be held liable as his knowledge of the discharge could not be proven. The NRA and the Anglers association who represented the interests of the local angling club proceeded with a civil action against Mr Clark. The civil action case had success and the NRA was awarded £90,000 in legal expenses and to investigate the extent of damage and restock the fishery the local angling club received £8,450 in damages. In this case, the common law provided a secondary option after the legislation in place had failed and without intention led to the protection of the environment. This case shows that the common law does have its advantages…

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