common law


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Related to common law: civil law, Common law marriage

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 ?
(5) I nevertheless attempt here to survey legal history's commanding heights to put Tullock's critique of the common law in broader perspective.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., The Common Law ([1881] 2009)
This hodgepodge is apt to cause confusion, partly because sometimes regulatory provisions adopted for tax policy reasons are quite out-of-step with the requirements established by the common law. Measures requiring registered charities to be resident in Canada, and mandating tracking of the flow of foreign monies into Canadian charities, for example, are clearly rooted in tax policy not common law.
If, as is sometimes suggested, the common law is opened up to accommodate social innovation/social finance, the delicate balance that limits private benefit relative to public benefit under charity common law would need to be accounted for.
Bigelow described the history of the common law in England since the Anglo-Norman period as an unfortunate decline from higher standards of justice.
The relationship between Maitland and the first generation of professional legal scholars in the United States reveals the extent to which they had similar views about the common law tradition and the study of legal history.
The story begins, in Part I, with the government's invocation of the common law of war in the Al Bahlul habeas litigation, and then proceeds, in Part II, to examine the references to the common law of war in the Quirin German saboteurs case during World War II.
The lex non scripta comprised 'general customs', ie 'the common law properly so called', as well as 'particular laws and customs applicable to certain courts and persons'.
Common Law Thought in England Before the American Revolution
According to Sobecki, the monarchy's assertion of authority to control common law printing after 1550 extinguished popular movements associated with the vernacular legal culture.
This requires a complex analysis and may result in treating service providers as common law employees, even when those individuals are on third-party payrolls, and may trigger Sec.
chimed in as well, characterizing the common law's concepts as