Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVII: Common and Civil Law

Notes On Liberty

The last post referred to the need to investigate ideas about law and related ideas in discussing Britain’s relation both with the Anglosphere (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and with the rest of Europe. The big issue here is Anglosphere common law tradition versus Roman or civil law tradition in the European mainland and indeed most of the world outside the Anglosphere. Common law in this context refers to judge made law based on precedent versus civil law referring to statute laws based on the will of the sovereign. Statute laws are laws instituted by the state in writing in public explicit acts of law making.

Judge made laws based on precedent refers to the ways in which judges using a general sense of justice make judgements according to that sense of justice with the precedents of previous relevant judgements shaping the sense of justice along with the whole set…

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