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Sources and Varieties of English Law

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Presentation on theme: "Sources and Varieties of English Law"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sources and Varieties of English Law

2 The United Kingdom The United Kingdom is a unitary state, but it does not have a single body of law England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own legal systems and courts

3 English law English law refers to the legal systems of England and Wales

4 Classification Law can be classified by source (where it comes from) and by type (varieties or categories of law)

5 Classification by source

6 English Law EU Law – law that emanates from the Institutions of the EU. This can overrule national law. Statute law – law made by Parliament (Acts of Parliament) Common Law (customary law, judge-made law) – made by the decisions of the judges Equity – created by the Chancery court under the Lord Chancellor to ‘fill in the gaps’ in the common law

7 Written and unwritten law
Two main categories of law: Written (formally enacted) Unwritten (unenacted) – rules of equity and common law

8 Rules of equity Rules of equity grew up through the practice of medieval Lord Chancellors “keepers of the king’s conscience” Alternative legal remedies – more flexible Equity gradually became more rigid and was fused with common law by the Judicature Act of 1873

9 Common Law Unwritten law is predominant
More precedents than legislative enactment Common law (the general law contained in decided cases; unwritten or judge-made law) means ancient customs, precedents and books of authority (writings of jurists)

10 Principal sources of English Law
Statute Law: Legislation (enacted law; statutes or Acts passed by Parliament); the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty Common Law: Precedent (courts are interpreters of law); previous decisions by superior courts on similar facts The doctrine of precedent (stare decisis, binding case – hierarchy of courts, ratio decidendi – similarity of facts)

11 Subsidiary sources of English Law
Common law means judicial precedents, but also ancient customs and writing of jurists - books of authority The subsidiary sources are customs and books of authority

12 Customs Customs are social habits or patterns of behaviour
“Conventional”rules Many of early rules of the common law were general customs which the courts adopted The customs must be reasonable, certain and “ancient” – must go back to 1189

13 Books of authority The writings of legal authors Cited in courts
Some books by prominent authors are as authoritative as precedents e.g. Blackstone’s Commentaries (1765)

14 Why it is called ‘common’
The first legal system that became common to the whole country (England and Wales) in 1066 – after the Norman Conquest

15 Common law v. Roman law Common law is a native product of Britain
It absorbed only a few rules of Roman law A unique legal system

16 Common law remedies Legal remedies (damages)
Equitable remedies (e.g. injunctions)

17 Classification by type
Law can be classified by the type of law (the matters that the law is regulating) Classification by types of law includes distinctions between international or national and public or private

18 National and international law
National (domestic, internal) law – the law of a state regulating its domestic affairs International law – A body of rules that regulates relations between states and rights and duties of individuals in their relations to foreign states and with each other

19 Public and private law National law can be divided into public law and private law Public law involves the State in some way; it is the area of law in which the state has a direct interest (administrative law, constitutional law, revenue law, criminal law) Private law controls the relationships between individuals

20 Public law Administrative law – the body of law which deals with the powers of the executive organs of the state Constitutional law – the area of law that deals with the interpretation and construction of constitutions Revenue law – the area of law concerned with income and taxes

21 Criminal and civil law Criminal law – a branch of law concerned with behaviour that is considered to be harmful to society as a whole: the state (prosecutor) takes legal action against the wrong-doer in the name of society Civil law – a branch of law that deals with disputes between individuals The injured party (plaintiff or claimant) takes legal action

22 Subcategories of civil law
Law of contract Law of torts Family law Patents and copyrights

23 Vocabulary list Unitary state – jedinstvena država
Principal sources – glavni izvori Subsidiary sources – sporedni izvori Common law – opće pravo Statute law – kodificirano (pisano) pravo Equity – pravičnost Injunction – sudski nalog, sudska zabrana

24 Vocabulary II Rules of equity – pravila pravičnosti
Administrative law – upravno pravo Constitutional law – ustavno pravo Criminal law – kazneno pravo Revenue law – financijsko pravo Prosecutor – tužitelj Claimant (plaintiff) – tužitelj u građanskoj parnici

25 Video exercise
Answer the following questions: What was equity based on? What is an injunction? What is the ultimate domestic source of law?

26 Thank you for your attention!

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