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
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