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Introduction to English Common Law

Introduction to English Common Law

Welcome to this course on Introduction to English Common Law. English common law is one of the most influential legal systems in the world, having shaped the legal systems of many other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In this course, we will explore the origins and development of English common law, as well as its key features and principles. We will examine the role of judges, the doctrine of precedent, and the importance of case law in the common law system. We will also explore some of the main areas of law that are governed by English common law, including contract law, tort law, and property law. Here are an overview of the course and the links to the course materials.


Module 1: English Legal System

What Is Law?

Key Features of English Law

Origins of Common Law

What Is Equity?

Common Law and Equity

Common Law Traditions

Magna Carta

Bill of Rights 1689

Common Law and Civil Law Systems

Classification of Law


Module 2: Constitutional Principles

What is a Constitution?

UK Constitution and Its Sources

Rule of Law

Separation of Powers

Parliamentary Sovereignty

Lord Bingham and the Rule of Law

AV Dicey and the Rule of Law

Principle of Legality


Module 3: English Court System

Structure of Courts

Civil Courts

Criminal Courts

Online Courts

Supreme Court

Court of Appeal

High Court

Crown Court

County Court

Magistrates’ Court



Module 4: Alternative Dispute Resolution

What Is ADR?





Early Neutral Evaluation

Expert Determination


Advantages and Disadvantages of ADR


Module 5: Statute Law

What is a Statue

Problem of Language

Traditional Approach to Statutory Interpretation

Modern Approach to Statutory Interpretation

Constitutional Statutes

Primary Legislation

Secondary Legislation


Module 6: Case Law

What Is Case Law?

Doctrine of Judicial Precedent

Advantages and Disadvantages of Precedent

Judicial Law Making

Reading Case Law


Module 7: European Union Law

History of European Union

Institutions of European Union

EU Membership

European Citizens' Initiatives

Sources of EU Law

Supremacy of EU Law

Impact of EU Law on English Law before Brexit



Module 8: European Convention on Human Rights

Human Rights

European Convention on Human Rights

European Court of Human Rights

Human Rights Act 1998

Impact of ECHR on English Law

Human Rights and Terrorism

By the end of this course, you will have a solid understanding of the history and principles of English common law, and will be able to analyse legal cases and issues using common law reasoning. Whether you are a law student, legal professional, or simply interested in the workings of the common law system, this course will provide you with a valuable foundation in this important area of law.

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Where are our students from?

Yale University

Council of Europe

Baker Mckenzie 

University of Chicago

Columbia University

New York University

University of Michigan 


University College London (UCL)

London School of Economics (LSE)

King’s College London (KCL)

University of London

University of Manchester

University of Zurich

University of York

Brandeis University

University of Exeter

University of Sheffield

Boston University

University of Washington

University of Leeds

University of Law

Royal Holloway, University of London 

Birkbeck, University of London

SOAS, University of London

University of Kent

University of Hull

Queen’s University Belfast

Toronto Metropolitan University

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Your perfect companion for open-book and closed-book exams

Diagrams and Charts

Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

Clear and Succinct Definitions

Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

Statutory Provisions

Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

Case Summaries

We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

Rules and Exceptions

Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.


Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

Case Law

Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

Law Essay Guide

You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

Problem Question Guide

We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

Structured Explanations

Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

Legal Research

You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.


All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.