Common law, English legal system, case law, civil law, Norman conquest, royal courts, jury, writ system, Court of Chancery
What is common law?
Why is it important to have a knowledge of the principles of common law?
How did it develop?
[...] jurer = to swear The Writ System • To access a royal court the plaintiff (demandeur, plaignant) had to obtain an appropriate writ issued by the Chancellor in the name of the king • Development of new writs allowed evolution of common law • Procedure simplified in 1832 and abolished in 1999, replaced by a claim form in civil proceedings (plaintiff = claimant) Development & difficulties of Common Law Courts • Barons feared their own local courts would lose cases and money • The Magna Carta 1215 – a charter of rights for the barons, bishops and common man, increased the power of the common law • Many people could not understand court proceedings in French • System was slow, highly technical • Corruption of the judiciary, especially of juries Equity & the Court of Chancery • The Lord Chancellor « King's conscience » presided over the Court of Chancery • Only dealt with civil disputes, applied the law of equity or fairness • Replaced in 1873-75 by the Chancery Division of the High Court (cases of property, company law, intellectual propery law, some appeals ) Characteristics of Early Common Law • Rules and principles formulated by judges during legal proceedings, concerning real cases – case law • An expression of acceptable rules, referred to already existing principles • Royal judges applied law throughout the kingdom, made it « common » as opposed to local customary law • Common law = « common knowledge of the legal profession – legal principles developed from arguments before the court or moot discussions at the Inns of Court Questions for next lecture 1. Can you give a definition of Common Law? 2. [...]
[...] • The basis of legal systems in: England, Wales, Ireland, US federal law & most states, Canada (except Quebec), Australia all former English colonies. Not Scotland: has a mixed bijuridicial system • An essential part of British constitutional law: • legislation judicial precedent constitutional conventions Common law courts have had authority to make law where no legislative statute exists for nearly 1000 years Norman Conquest and Early English Law The death of Harold defeated by William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings 1066 Norman Conquest and Early English Law • Early law = unwritten customs, different in each region • William Duke of Normandy conquered Anglo-Saxons in 1066, beginning of a great transformation of English legal system • Normans did not revolutionize but kept and adapted existing Anglo-Saxon institutions and concepts to suit themselves, e.g. [...]
[...] Common Law and Origins of English Legal System Common Law & Origins of English Legal System • What is common law? • Why is it important to have a knowledge of the principles of common law? • How did it develop? What is common law? Definitions French Translation • English law based on rules developed by the royal courts during the first 3 centuries after the Norman Conquest (1066). [...]
[...] 5. What was the origin of the jury & how was it different in the Middle Ages? 6. Why were the King's courts popular? • make up one question of your own to ask everybody Some key vocabulary: explain in English & find the French translation Common law Case law Criminal law The Chancellor of the Exchequer To keep records To try a case A trial to be under oath 9. [...]
[...] The plaintiff 10. [...]
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