a. What is the meaning of the term ‘common law’ and what are the characteristics of a ‘common law’ system?
(Oxford Dictionaries, n.d. a) defines common law as, ‘the part of English Law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes’. This means that this particular type of law, has developed from traditions and perspectives of the law court, rather than from law passed by Parliament.
The main feature of common law is that it is case law centred, and interpreted by a judge; unlike the civil law system, which is based on statutes and legislation. In common law, a judge is presented with a case and will proceed to examine the facts and how the law applies to them, from investigation of relevant statutes and cases. Once the judge has applied the law to the facts, this sets an example which is dictated by the higher court and binds the lower court, ensuring that the courts apply the same principles when presented with a similar case. Stare decisis, is the Latin phrase which is the standard adopted in determining points in common law proceedings according to precedent and simply translates to ‘stand by things decided’. Case law is very well documented and previous precedents are readily available.
(Wacks, 2008) states that Jeremy Bentham, a 19th Century philosopher and critic of common law, compared the setting of precedent as dog law; in that case law is similar to the rules a person would teach their dog. He criticised this process and claimed that this makes the law unclear and until the act is done, a person is not to know they have wronged. Despite notable opposition to common law, it is practiced in 27% of the world’s 320 legal jurisdictions, according to research by Professor Philip Wood...
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...flective of their knowledge.
b. Re-Write this statement in your own words:
Plagiarism is considered to be inappropriate practice. It is a wide-ranging term: it can cover everything from poor study skills and a lack of understanding of what is expected at your level of study, to straightforward fraud in the form of intentional cheating.
The term plagiarism is used to describe the practice of producing script which is similarly based on another author’s script, without accurate accreditation. Although plagiarism is not a crime, it is considered to be ethically wrong and the consequences can vary, based upon the severity of the individual case. Plagiarism covers a wide spectrum of offences, which mainly stem from poor subject knowledge, creating pressure on the student to deliberately and/or inadvertently produce script which has been copied from a research source.
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