Two Features Of Common Law
A HISTORY OF TWO TYPES OF LAW
The two main systems of law in the world today are common law and civil law. The system used in England and Wales is common law which has an evolving history dating from the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and the local customs of the Anglo-Saxons. English common law spread throughout the world during the growth of the British empire between the 16th and 18th centuries. Since then former British colonies including America, India and Australia have continued using the English common law system.
Civil law based on a civil code has origins in Roman …show more content…
Acts of parliament often provide a general instruction on the law but not how it would work in theory. It is therefore up to judges to examine specific facts for each case, interpret legislation and administer the law in line with their findings.
Common law is consistent yet flexible in that it is a constantly evolving whilst maintaining its system of precedent. It allows the courts to create rules of law based on individual and new cases which can be used in future cases to offer guidance. With equity as a characteristic of this system built on precedent, a common set of principle are applied to all people regardless of their status and procedure have been set to provide equality and fairness to all.
Common law is expedient. It often reacts and responds faster to changing values and expectation. while parliament may take a long time to decide on the need for change, judges can do this whilst reviewing one case. The courts can also achieve reform faster because they are not bound by constraints of the legislative …show more content…
Judges cannot make law, but only interpret these codes to make their rulings. This means courts amongst civil law systems are seen as stable and usually behave in a more predictable manner.
The judges themselves usually go through professional training to reach their position so are more experienced and more likely to produce reliable judgement. The better the performance of a judge, the more likely they will be promoted.
These judges play a major part in the more controlled civil court system where they gathering evidence, ask questions of witnesses, interrogate suspects, declare verdicts and decide on a penalty. A good judge can create a more equal playing field for all sides regardless of the resources at their disposal.
Opponents of the civil law system argue that it is inflexible as it does not allow any interpretation of the law. Due to codification, differing circumstances and changing times are not taken into consideration. Judgements must be made based on code regardless of the situation, whilst new laws take a long time to implement and be written into