common law

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com·mon law

(kom'ŏn law)
A system of law based on custom, tradition, and court decisions rather than on written legislation.

common law

A system of law that originated in medieval England and is based on former legal decisions (precedent) and custom, not on legislation. Common law constantly evolves from previous decisions and changing custom. It forms the basis of the legal system in the U.S. (except Louisiana), the U.K. and most other English-speaking countries and is therefore the most frequent source of legal precedent for malpractice cases.
See also: law
References in periodicals archive ?
common law tradition. The thirty years of British presence in Palestine
That said, the Citizens United opinion is not necessarily incompatible with the common law tradition. The replacement of old rules with new ones is a familiar feature of common law judging.
The common law tradition clearly accords the "decision whether or not to prosecute" to prosecutorial as opposed to judicial control.
(12) As will emerge, this is so notwithstanding what is suggested by several data on the current development of the Common law tradition. See Arthur R Emmett, 'Towards the Civil Law?: The Loss of 'Orality' in Civil Litigation in Australia' (2003) 26(2) UNSW Law Journal 447.
The role of the judge in the common law tradition or the lawyer in the Ancient Roman legal tradition is the articulation and implementation of those habits and customs which contesting parties already acknowledge as established practices.
He reminds us that anyone interested in the common law tradition cannot focus solely on its English origins, but must pay attention to its development and to the principal players on this side of the Atlantic.
This aspect of the common law tradition informed American opinion, although Convention delegates decided to follow what they took to be Montesquieu's approach, opting for a separate branch in order to achieve judicial independence.
For those who live with the idioms of the common law tradition there are a number of established forms of engagement of the conduct of lawful relations between peoples and laws--such as through treaty making or through dispossession.
The law of the United Kingdom and of the state of New York, both coming from the common law tradition, are said to dominate the world of business as they are chosen to govern the majority of international contracts, while continental legal systems are said to be declining, dominated or inferior.
The suitability of judges educated in the common law tradition hearing cases involving civil law issues has been the subject of some debate in Quebec and has even led to some opinion favouring a distinct Supreme Court for Quebec or a separate civil law division within the existing Supreme Court.
We both shared a healthy respect for the rule of law, the democratic process, and the common law tradition that had shaped our country and its institutions.
He calls for a far broader practice of judicial review, one based not merely on the constitution but on the common law tradition, and even claims that common law review is more fundamental than constitutional review (189).