The four main sources of English Law are common law, equity, legislation (statute) and European Community.
- Common Law
It is also known as precedent where it is developed by judges through decisions of courts through legislative statutes. Comman law is a legal system which gives great precendential weight to common law. In practice, common law systems are considerably more complicated than the idealized system because the decisions of a court are binding only in a particular jurisdiction and even within a given jurisdiction, some courts have more power than others. Comman law also practice contract where it is an agreement which legally binds the parties where essential elements of it includes an agreement made by offer and acceptance, the intention to create the legal relations between the parties themselves and the existence of consideration. Usually concerned on offer and acceptance and formation of contracts.
It is a source of English law that emerged from Court of Chancery where it is available to citizens who found no justice in the common law courts, petitioned directly to the king, designed to establish the truth of the matter, designed to impose a just solution, avoided technicalities and procedural points and fair dealing between parties. Equity was not a replacement for common law but added to and improved it. Equity is based on principles where ‘he who comes to equity must come with clean hands’ – to be fairly treated, the claimant must have acted fairly himself, the law attempts to play fair where what is available to one person must be available to another. ‘Equity looks at the intent, not the form’ – equity looks at what a person is actually trying to achieve, not what he is pretending to do. Equity does not necessarily mean that the claimant will get what they want. Equity is usually concerned on specific performance, better remedies, injunctions and rectifications.
- Legislation... [continues]
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