Common Law assignment 1

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The source of English Law is broad, with the real starting point at the Norman Conquest in 1066. During that time, England was mostly ruled by customs prior to the Conquest. It wasn’t until William the Conqueror took throne that modern English law started to develop, under the common law. Fast forward to 21st century, and now the law has been a lot more developed, with its sources divided into two, the primary source and the secondary source. The primary source being case law, legislation, and European law. In the case of secondary source, it comes from law journals, textbooks, and parliamentary and non-parliamentary documents. The contents of this assignment will then be divided in examining these two sources, and how it ultimately becomes the pillars for what English law as it is today and beyond. First and foremost, case law, or to be more precise for this discussion, common law, is ‘…law developed by judges through cases…’1, this means that English law is made through the cases which is dealt by previous judges, and makes future judges be bound by it. Thus the term of “stare decisis” comes in, whereby it means in accordance to Professor Gall “to stand by decisions and not to disturb settled manners”2. This latin describes what the English common law is all about, being that judges is bound by the previous judges’ decisions. Upon discussing the term of stare decisis in common law, it is then needs to be discussed on the matters of its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages of the doctrine of stare decisis itself is that it will cause injustice. This is due to the fact that courts needs to be in line with previous cases on how to deal with their current respective cases, which leads to undesirable treatment to the respective claimants simply because it is a binding case that laid down an unjust rule. Of course, today’s modern system of the English Legal System (ELS) do have mechanisms in order to avoid this, but this wasn’t exactly


Bibliography: Books Slapper G & David Kelly, The English Legal System 2013-2014 (14th edition, Routledge, 2013) Huxley-Binns R & Martin Jacqueline, Unlocking English Legal System (3rd edition, Routledge, 2010) Martin Jacqueline, The English Legal System (6th edition, Hodder Education, 2010) George M & Arasu K, Common Law Reasoning Study Manual LL.B (1st edition, Brickfields Asia Corporation, 2013) Electronic Sources Earl of Oxford’s Case [1616] 1 Rep Ch 1 T v UK; V v UK (1999) 7 BHRC 659, ECHR

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