* Great Britain (E/W/S) * United Kingdom (GB + NI) * British Islands (UK + Isle of Man + Channel Isles)
= The legal system of England and Wales (“the laws of England and Wales” from 1967). These laws mainly deal with issues of property, theft, inheritance, money… The legal system of England and Wales is the basis of most legal systems in the Commonwealth and the US (except Louisiana).
THREE MAJOR LEGAL SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD * Religious law
It refers to the notion of a religious system or document being used as a legal source.
* Civil law
It derives from Roman law traditions. It’s also known as Continental European law. Laws recognized as authoritative are codifications in a constitution or statute passed by legislature. They are codified laws = civil code.
* Common law
It is made by judges in court applying knowledge and common sense of legal precedent to the facts presented. There is no major codification of the law, and judicial precedents (= authority) are binding as opposed to persuasive. The idea of the common sense is applied in all the legal system of English law.
Binding precedent relies on the legal principle of stare decisis (“to stand by things decided”) > judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions. Existing binding precedents from past cases are applied in principle to new situations by analogy.
Laws can be amended by Acts of Parliament or European Court of Justice (especially for Human rights).
ORIGINS OF ANGLO-SAXON LAW: FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL
Time immemorial = “time out of mind” > a time before legal history and beyond legal memory. It is the period between Roman-Britain (43-410) and Norman-Britain (before 1066).
Evolution of pre-common law: * Ethelbert = king of Kent in 604
All the laws created under Ethelbert’s reign are known as the “dooms of Kent” (=judgments). Ethelbert’s code makes reference to the church