Common and Civil Law Legal Systems

Best Essays
Common and Civil law legal systems

According to Zimmermann there are "as many legal systems as there are national states". Every country has its own unique legal system. However, we can allocate among them three main legal systems. These are: Civil Law, Common Law and Islamic Law. Civil and Common Laws are the most influential legal systems in the world, especially in its Western part. All three of these legal systems have existed and developed for many centuries. Further will follow the description of the historically appearance of each legal system separately.

Civil legal system is considered to be the oldest and the most widespread one. It also known as Continental, Roman or Romano-Germanic law. In general, Roman law consists of a combination of three main subtraditions such as Roman Civil Law, Canon Law and Commercial Law. The development of Roman Law cover more than a thousand year period, starting from the publication of the law of the XII Tables in Rome (450 B.C.) and the code of Emperor Justinian I Corpus Juris Civilic , which was created in period from 529 – 534 A.D and later developed by medieval legal scholars. Countries with Civil legal system: France, Germany, Japan, Russia and Uzbekistan.

The Common law evolved in England since 11th century after being conquered by the Normans in 1066 A.D.. Afterwards William I the Conqueror created central government and began to standardize the law by combining the best of Anglo-Saxon law with Norman Law which led to a creation of English Common Law. “William’s enduring legacy was the creation of highly centralized legal system”.[1] (Kritzer, H, M, 2002). The case law originally appeared when the King understood, that many cases, which he had to solve were similar and needed standardization. During the 14th century legal decisions on the common law started providing precedents for the judges to follow. In 1769 Sir William Blackstone wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England, which became the basics of the



Bibliography: 2. Elliott, C & Quinn, F., (1996). English legal system. New York: Addison Wesley Longman 3 4. Woodley, M., (2005). Osborn’s Concise law dictionary. 10th ed. London : Sweet & Maxwell 5 6. Zweigert, K. and Kötz, H., (1998). An introduction to comparative law. 3rd ed. 5. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, (2007). Corpus Juris Civilic. [online] Columbia University Press. Available from: < http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0813641.html > [Accessed 16 March 2009]. [1] Kritzer, H M, 2002, Legal systems of the world, volume I A-D, ABC-CLIO, California. [2] De Cruz, P, 2007, Comparative law in a changing world, 3d edn, Routledge-Cavendish, Oxon. [3] Kritzer, H M, 2002, Legal systems of the world, volume I A-D, ABC-CLIO, California. [4] Elliott, C & Quinn, F, 1996, English legal system, Addison Wesley Longman, New York. [5] Woodley, M, 2005, Osborn’s Concise law dictionary, 10th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, London.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    COMMON LAW AS A LEGAL SYSTEM Common Law and Civil Law When defined in this way the term ¡§common law¡¨ is used to refer to a type of legal system called the common law legal system. The legal systems of various countries are modeled on the English legal system and these countries are said to have a ¡§common law legal system¡¨. This includes most of the British Commonwealth and the United States. The common law legal system involves such matters as trial by jury, presumption of innocence etc…

    • 1876 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    civil law legal system

    • 588 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Civil Law Civil law tradition is the oldest and the widest distributed legal system dating back to 450 BC in its origin. Even though it is the oldest of all the legal system. The Civil law took exponentially longer to develop than the Common law. The genesis of which was swift in comparison. 450BC is designated as beginning of development of Civil law because this is the year of 12 tablets. The first written law and rudimentary (Fundamental) system of dispute resolution in ancient Rome. The next…

    • 588 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    TUTORIAL 1.Compare and contrast civil legal system and common legal system Legal system is a legal framework which relates to the rules set by the government of a state to the citizen. DIFFERENCES | CIVIL LEGAL SYSTEM | COMMON LEGAL SYSTEM | Origins | -Arbitrary (berubah2)- origin in Roman law,as codified in the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian, and as subsequently developedmainly in Continental Europe | -Evolutionary-the legal tradition, which evolved in England from the 11thCentury onwards…

    • 5595 Words
    • 23 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Common law versus civil law systems The two principal legal systems in the world today are those of civil law and common law. Continental Europe, Latin America, most of Africa and many Central European and Asian nations are part of the civil law system; the United States, along with England and other countries once part of the British Empire, belong to the common law system. The civil law system has its roots in ancient Roman law, updated in the 6th century A.D. by the Emperor Justinian and adapted…

    • 2235 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Common Law and Civil Law

    • 1669 Words
    • 7 Pages

    between the role of criminal law and civil law in relation to the legal system and analyse the purpose of the law. Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is prohibited by the state because it is held to threaten, harm or otherwise endanger the safety and welfare of the public, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on those who breach these laws. [1] The criminal law serves several purposes and benefits…

    • 1669 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Civil Law vs Common Law

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Common Law vs. Civil Law There are nearly 200 nations in the world, each with their own distinct legal system based on one of the four major legal systems: common law, civil law, socialist law, and religious law. The majority of countries today follow either common law or civil law. Here in the United States we practice common law, as opposed to countries like France and Germany, which practice civil law. There are several differences between these two legal systems, however, common law in…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    COMMON LAW V CIVIL LAW COMMON LAW(characteristics)for comparing or contrast purpose Common law systems are mostly found in former british colony and protectorate including US, it is less prescriptive than civil law system,citizens are benefited by enactment and legislation in specific fields.more often are the implied terms usage. 1)represents the law of courts as expressed in judicial decision 2)based on precedents provided by past judicial decisions,no written statues or prescribed texts…

    • 1231 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Civil Law vs Common Law

    • 2200 Words
    • 9 Pages

    set of laws that govern its people and its relations with the rest of the world. Whereas, international law governs relations between states, institutions, and individuals across national boundaries, municipal law governs this same person within the boundaries of a particular state. The comparative law, which is the study, analysis, and comparison of the different municipal law systems, classifies countries into legal families. The two widely distributed families are the Romano-Germanic Civil Law and…

    • 2200 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Civil and Common law countriesContents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc383004748 \h 4Historical development of Civil law PAGEREF _Toc383004749 \h 4The source of Civil law PAGEREF _Toc383004750 \h 5The historical development of Common law PAGEREF _Toc383004751 \h 6The source of Common law PAGEREF _Toc383004752 \h 7The main differences between Civil law and Common law PAGEREF _Toc383004753 \h 7Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc383004754 \h 8Reference List PAGEREF _Toc383004755 \h 9 Discuss the…

    • 1996 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Civil Versus Common Law

    • 620 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Civil law is primarily contrasted against common law, which is the legal system developed among Anglo-Saxon people, especially in England. The original difference is that, historically, common law was law developed by custom, beginning before there were any written laws and continuing to be applied by courts after there were written laws, too, whereas civil law developed out of the Roman law of Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis (Corpus Iuris Civilis). In later times, civil law became codified as…

    • 620 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays