Common Law Tradition

Common Law Tradition

The common law tradition is a legal system that originated in England and has since spread to many other countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the common law tradition, legal decisions and precedents are based on the judgments of judges in previous cases, rather than on written laws or codes unlike civil law.

Under the common law system, judges are responsible for interpreting and applying the law to individual cases. They rely on legal precedents, which are decisions made in similar cases in the past, to guide their rulings. This means that the common law system is constantly evolving, as new legal issues arise and judges make decisions that become part of the body of legal precedent.

One of the key features of the common law tradition is the doctrine of stare decisis, which means "let the decision stand." This doctrine requires judges to follow the decisions of higher courts in previous cases, unless there is a compelling reason to depart from that precedent. This helps to ensure consistency and predictability in legal rulings, and ensures that similar cases are treated similarly.

Another important feature of the common law tradition is the use of juries in some types of cases. In common law countries, juries are typically used in criminal cases and some civil cases, and are responsible for deciding questions of fact. The judge, on the other hand, is responsible for interpreting and applying the law to those facts.

The common law tradition has played an important role in shaping the legal systems of many countries around the world. It values judicial decision-making and the development of legal precedent, and has helped to ensure consistency and predictability in legal rulings.
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