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Unconsciously we follow the law everyday. Socially and morally it has become a custom to follow and obey the law, although of course we know there are those who deviate outside the rules and break the law. Breaking the law is morally unacceptable and is frowned upon in today's society. Since the 12th century, common law has molded society as well as legal systems all over the world. The Common Law was a system that was developed in England. Many countries around the world follow the common law system such as, the United States and Canada (Common Law). Common Law can be defined as, a system of jurisprudence founded on principles of justice. The rules of this system continually change and are often expanded. Common Law derives it's authority from universal consent and come to decisions by the court of law. Common law being mainly judicial in origin, is found mostly in court decisions. Another origin of our law today derived from the Court of Equity. The Court of Equity, unlike the common law brings morality and justice(Shubert 15). The two combined are the backbones of the law we abide by today. The system of common law was developed in England. Throughout history the class system was always the way to royalty and nobility. However, over the years it was beginning to become outdated. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, William the Conqueror shaped the foundation for centralized government when he established his Curia Regis (Encyclopedia Americana 393). The Curia Regis were members of his council who aided him in general and performed tasks he delegated to them. They were often sent out to supervise the local courts and hear out pleas. After the death of William the Conqueror nobles elected Henry I to be King. Henry I was elected by the nobles because he promised to issue a charter in which he pledged to respect the rights of all nobles. He also promised to be a fair ruler. This charter is important because it was the model for the most popular of all charters, The Magna Carta (Garret 28). The reign of Henry I was a prosperous time that strengthened the power of the King but it was also a time of peace amongst himself, the church and the feudal barons. King Henry strengthened the judicial system by sending out members of his council, the Curia Regis, to oversee and hear pleas and supervise the local Courts. During this time, however, despite the good faith effort towards peace, the communal courts, the religious courts and the feudal courts of the barons were still meeting, but there was much confusion over jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the authority for a specific Court to hear a case. The question of proper jurisdiction was never solved in King Henry's years on the throne. There was still much needed improvement in the system and it often led to conflict. Although, King Henry was known for his loyal efforts towards justice and encouraged his people to come to him if they distrusted the lower Courts (Shubert 9-12) Henry II was the King who was the most involved in the central judiciary and the common law. It was he who established a more professional atmosphere, creating royal Courts to hear pleas and staffing the Curia Regis. These royal judges would travel throughout the country to hear pleas and apply the same law worldwide (Common law). This was the first sense of unity the Courts have ever felt. The people were becoming accustomed to the new law and the sense of unity. The people were beginning to trust the decisions for the first time. The royal judges applied the same law in each jurisdiction but more importantly they did not treat each case as if it was a case of first impression. They began to cite other cases and decisions as reference to back up their decisions which provided for a basis of consistency and eventually establishing "common law" which was the basis of the law country wide. The royal Court judges decided disputes in a constant manner throughout the country, based on slowly evolving rules and adopted by the members of the Court. By the 1200's the principal components of the common law system were in place. The consistent Court decisions established were traditionally what we today would call "respecting precedent". To follow the holding of a court in a case that is similar to the facts in another is called following and/or respecting precedent (Shubert 11-12). During the spread of these unified decisions it became necessary for the common law to be in writing. They began to write down the case decisions which they called "writs". The development of legal literature was important to the development and improvement of the common law (Encyclopedia Americana 393). Henry Bracton was a thirteenth century English lawyer who was the first to begin to write commentaries and log all of the writs; he began to log cases from the past 20 years. Henry Bracton commentaries eventually expired into the 14th and 15 th century when law students and teachers began to publish "Year Books", which contained a collection of the cases that were heard in the most important courts throughout the year. These year books or at least the concept is still present in today's legal system. The first American judicial report was published in 1789 entitled Commentaries on English Law (Shubert 11). The common law came to what is now the United States as a result of Britain's colonization policy. In the early 1600's British monarchs began establishing colonies in North America along the Atlantic coast (Shubert 14). During the next 150 years, a steady flow of British immigrants crossed the Atlantic bringing with them the English language as well as law books and English legal tradition (Garret 29). The common law however, was only one of the major components of the English tradition that we acquired, another is the Court of Equity. Though the Courts were bound by the previous common law decisions many of the Kings people would still petition him for fairness. The King realized that some of the Courts holdings were not always providing justice and were often unfair. Equity is more commonly defined as "fairness and mercy". Despite the rulings and holdings of the court based on precedent or "common law", the courts sometimes had to morally make a decision that would stray outside the normal common holding. In other words, instead of applying the law and legality of a case the courts began to decide cases based on fairness. The courts were running into conflicts with what the outcome was before and perhaps what it should be now. Sometimes slightly different facts and circumstances between cases could render the previous decision unfair or unjust. In noticing this the Courts began to render decisions based on conscience as well as law (Common Law 393). This began a steady improvement on the checks and balances of decision making. This allowed the Courts to decide on areas of law focusing on what was morally acceptable and specific factors of each case. This came with the theory that two cases can be extremely similar but not always identical, thus sometimes these differences can make a world of a difference in coming to a fair decision. The court of equity granted relief on broad principles of right and justice in cases in which the restrictions of the common law prevented it. The Court of equity was also known as the Court of Chancery. The Court of Equity was ran by chancellors, who were more receptive to arguments based on morality rather than legality. For centuries the common law and the equity courts were two separate courts. Gradually during the Henry III era, the dual courts created a competition of business and eventually the common law Courts adopted some of the equity Courts strategies. They slowly began to merge and unify. In today's society you can find both equitable and legal relief in the same court (Shubert 12-16) The United States, unlike present day England, still uses common law in the most ancient meaning of the word. The law of our nation is uniformed and 51 systems of law are in operation to date. We currently have a system of law for each of the 50 states and 1 for the federal government. This is because The United States Constitution establishes a central government ( Federal) with limited powers, leaving all residual judicial and legislative powers to the individual states (The Timetable of World Legal History). The United States Constitution helped form the basis of the first republican government in the world. The Constitution was created in Philadelphia in 1787, and helped define the branches of government and the powers of each branch, outlining the duties of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Unlike the early courts where the King was the sole power. The United States Constitution is known as the "law of the land" which is yet another basis for our legal system. The Constitution consists of 27 ratified amendments. Every amendment must be obeyed and cannot be disregarded by the courts. This sometimes provides for litigation as to the interpretation of the amendments. Many of the amendments are vague and the meanings are sometimes unclear and provide for a basis of litigation(The Timetable of World Legal History). Litigation is the process of determining right from wrong in a legal and equitable sense. Since the 12th Century common law has molded the way of life for all citizens especially in America. Common Law is the system of jurisprudence founded on principals of justice ( Common Law). The system of common law brought a great sense of morality and justice with it when it was arrived from England. Since this was a system not originated in our own country it became a universal way of ruling by law. The common law system has shaped and molded the way many people live and it became a universal foundation for law in the 21st century.
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An essay on Common Law and It's Use in the United States
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An Essay On Common Law And It's Use In The United States

Words: 1664    Pages: 6    Paragraphs: 11    Sentences: 88    Read Time: 06:03
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              Unconsciously we follow the law everyday. Socially and morally it has become a custom to follow and obey the law, although of course we know there are those who deviate outside the rules and break the law. Breaking the law is morally unacceptable and is frowned upon in today's society. Since the 12th century, common law has molded society as well as legal systems all over the world. The Common Law was a system that was developed in England. Many countries around the world follow the common law system such as, the United States and Canada (Common Law). Common Law can be defined as, a system of jurisprudence founded on principles of justice. The rules of this system continually change and are often expanded. Common Law derives it's authority from universal consent and come to decisions by the court of law. Common law being mainly judicial in origin, is found mostly in court decisions. Another origin of our law today derived from the Court of Equity. The Court of Equity, unlike the common law brings morality and justice(Shubert 15). The two combined are the backbones of the law we abide by today.
             
             
              The system of common law was developed in England. Throughout history the class system was always the way to royalty and nobility. However, over the years it was beginning to become outdated. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, William the Conqueror shaped the foundation for centralized government when he established his Curia Regis (Encyclopedia Americana 393). The Curia Regis were members of his council who aided him in general and performed tasks he delegated to them. They were often sent out to supervise the local courts and hear out pleas. After the death of William the Conqueror nobles elected Henry I to be King. Henry I was elected by the nobles because he promised to issue a charter in which he pledged to respect the rights of all nobles. He also promised to be a fair ruler. This charter is important because it was the model for the most popular of all charters, The Magna Carta (Garret 28).
             
              The reign of Henry I was a prosperous time that strengthened the power of the King but it was also a time of peace amongst himself, the church and the feudal barons. King Henry strengthened the judicial system by sending out members of his council, the Curia Regis, to oversee and hear pleas and supervise the local Courts. During this time, however, despite the good faith effort towards peace, the communal courts, the religious courts and the feudal courts of the barons were still meeting, but there was much confusion over jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the authority for a specific Court to hear a case. The question of proper jurisdiction was never solved in King Henry's years on the throne. There was still much needed improvement in the system and it often led to conflict. Although, King Henry was known for his loyal efforts towards justice and encouraged his people to come to him if they distrusted the lower Courts (Shubert 9-12)
             
              Henry II was the King who was the most involved in the central judiciary and the common law. It was he who established a more professional atmosphere, creating royal Courts to hear pleas and staffing the Curia Regis. These royal judges would travel throughout the country to hear pleas and apply the same law worldwide (Common law).
             
              This was the first sense of unity the Courts have ever felt. The people were becoming accustomed to the new law and the sense of unity. The people were beginning to trust the decisions for the first time. The royal judges applied the same law in each jurisdiction but more importantly they did not treat each case as if it was a case of first impression. They began to cite other cases and decisions as reference to back up their decisions which provided for a basis of consistency and eventually establishing "common law" which was the basis of the law country wide. The royal Court judges decided disputes in a constant manner throughout the country, based on slowly evolving rules and adopted by the members of the Court. By the 1200's the principal components of the common law system were in place. The consistent Court decisions established were traditionally what we today would call "respecting precedent". To follow the holding of a court in a case that is similar to the facts in another is called following and/or respecting precedent (Shubert 11-12).
             
              During the spread of these unified decisions it became necessary for the common law to be in writing. They began to write down the case decisions which they called "writs". The development of legal literature was important to the development and improvement of the common law (Encyclopedia Americana 393). Henry Bracton was a thirteenth century English lawyer who was the first to begin to write commentaries and log all of the writs; he began to log cases from the past 20 years. Henry Bracton commentaries eventually expired into the 14th and 15 th century when law students and teachers began to publish "Year Books", which contained a collection of the cases that were heard in the most important courts throughout the year. These year books or at least the concept is still present in today's legal system. The first American judicial report was published in 1789 entitled Commentaries on English Law (Shubert 11).
             
              The common law came to what is now the United States as a result of Britain's colonization policy. In the early 1600's British monarchs began establishing colonies in North America along the Atlantic coast (Shubert 14). During the next 150 years, a steady flow of British immigrants crossed the Atlantic bringing with them the English language as well as law books and English legal tradition (Garret 29).
             
              The common law however, was only one of the major components of the English tradition that we acquired, another is the Court of Equity. Though the Courts were bound by the previous common law decisions many of the Kings people would still petition him for fairness. The King realized that some of the Courts holdings were not always providing justice and were often unfair. Equity is more commonly defined as "fairness and mercy". Despite the rulings and holdings of the court based on precedent or "common law", the courts sometimes had to morally make a decision that would stray outside the normal common holding. In other words, instead of applying the law and legality of a case the courts began to decide cases based on fairness. The courts were running into conflicts with what the outcome was before and perhaps what it should be now. Sometimes slightly different facts and circumstances between cases could render the previous decision unfair or unjust. In noticing this the Courts began to render decisions based on conscience as well as law (Common Law 393). This began a steady improvement on the checks and balances of decision making. This allowed the Courts to decide on areas of law focusing on what was morally acceptable and specific factors of each case. This came with the theory that two cases can be extremely similar but not always identical, thus sometimes these differences can make a world of a difference in coming to a fair decision. The court of equity granted relief on broad principles of right and justice in cases in which the restrictions of the common law prevented it. The Court of equity was also known as the Court of Chancery. The Court of Equity was ran by chancellors, who were more receptive to arguments based on morality rather than legality. For centuries the common law and the equity courts were two separate courts. Gradually during the Henry III era, the dual courts created a competition of business and eventually the common law Courts adopted some of the equity Courts strategies. They slowly began to merge and unify. In today's society you can find both equitable and legal relief in the same court (Shubert 12-16)
             
              The United States, unlike present day England, still uses common law in the most ancient meaning of the word. The law of our nation is uniformed and 51 systems of law are in operation to date. We currently have a system of law for each of the 50 states and 1 for the federal government. This is because The United States Constitution establishes a central government ( Federal) with limited powers, leaving all residual judicial and legislative powers to the individual states (The Timetable of World Legal History).
             
              The United States Constitution helped form the basis of the first republican government in the world. The Constitution was created in Philadelphia in 1787, and helped define the branches of government and the powers of each branch, outlining the duties of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Unlike the early courts where the King was the sole power. The United States Constitution is known as the "law of the land" which is yet another basis for our legal system. The Constitution consists of 27 ratified amendments. Every amendment must be obeyed and cannot be disregarded by the courts. This sometimes provides for litigation as to the interpretation of the amendments. Many of the amendments are vague and the meanings are sometimes unclear and provide for a basis of litigation(The Timetable of World Legal History). Litigation is the process of determining right from wrong in a legal and equitable sense.
             
              Since the 12th Century common law has molded the way of life for all citizens especially in America. Common Law is the system of jurisprudence founded on principals of justice ( Common Law). The system of common law brought a great sense of morality and justice with it when it was arrived from England. Since this was a system not originated in our own country it became a universal way of ruling by law. The common law system has shaped and molded the way many people live and it became a universal foundation for law in the 21st century.
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