Legal Environment

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MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
A ROMANO-GERMANIC LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
AND
A COMMON LAW ENVIRONMENT

In order for us to understand the difference between a ROMANO-GERMAN legal environment and a COMMON LAW environment, it is important for us to examine each system separately and then to present the main differences of the two legal systems.

ROMANO-GERMANIC LAW (CIVIL LAW)
Civil law is the main legal system used in the world today. It originates from the Roman law and is based on written legal codes which are applied and interpreted by judges. This codification system is useful as it limits the law enforcers by making it available to the general public. The laws are made by legislators in response to specific issues and the decision of one legislator is not compulsory on the next. This may have an unstable effect on economy and politics. Judgment is passed by applying the stipulation of the specific code or relevant law. Examples of countries applying ROMANO-GERMANIC (CIVIL LAW) today are; Continental Europe, Asia and South America.

COMMON LAW
Common law is found mainly in countries with a history as British territories. An important factor of common law is ‘limiting’ governmental power. Common law relies mainly on customs and precedent (‘model’ or previous cases), thus making the decisions made by judges today binding on future legal decisions. This makes it harder to change laws, thus promoting a sense of security for the people. Examples of countries applying COMMON LAW today are; Canada, Australia, United States (except Louisiana) and United Kingdom.

MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ROMANIC-GERMANIC LEGAL SYSTEM AND THE COMMON LAW SYSTEM

- The first difference between common law and civil law is that common law was initially based on customs and began before there was any written laws and continued to be applied even after the introduction of written laws whereas written law was developed out of the ROMAN LAW OF JUSTINIAN’S “CORPUS JURIS CIVILIS”...
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