The legal system is based on Norman law and is a common law system. Common law has furthermore developed since the time of William I in 1066. William found England with no single system of law common to the whole country. The law was mainly sets of customary rules which differed from area to area e.g. in one area you could get away with stealing, in another it would be seen as a crime. There was no such thing as ‘the English Legal System’ until William’s invasion in 1066. William developed the legal system and introduced many rules that are now the basis of English law today e.g. murder is a crime.
William preserved some of the old customary laws and used them as a basis for common laws. He introduced the feudal system and King’s justice; these were made to help those who supported him. William used subtle tactics to gain control of the country. He introduced the Curia Regis, who enforced a system of rules which applied to the whole country and became known as the common law. Although the development of the common law was seen as for the better, it came with two problems. The only remedy available from the common law courts was damages i.e. monetary compensation (money). This was not always satisfactory as not everyone wanted money; some people wanted an injunction or just an apology. Another problem with the common law was that it was fixed and too rigid. It didn’t always give a fair solution where there was a problem.
Resulting in the Norman conquest of England in 1066, judges had to travel all over the country settling disputes. At first they used the system of local courts based on traditional shires and rules. However the Normans were keen to enforce a unified government and legal system. They gradually combined the best of the local systems; as a result of this a new law was created which was ‘common’ to all of England. This is how equity was developed and now helps the common law.
The conflict between common law and equity was... [continues]
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