Major Legal System

argumentative Essay
1423 words
1423 words

Today there exist four major legal systems in the world, these systems being; common law, socialist law, civil law and Islamic law. All these systems differ from each other, most prominently in their court systems Common law is composed of three major characteristics, judge- made law, precedent and and uncodified regulation. In the United States the legal system that is used is common law. While most countries in the world either categorized themselves in either common law or civil law systems, the major difference between these two is there source of law.
A few of the major characteristics of the United States laws system are federalism, multiple sources of law, and judicial decisions If Americans had to possibility to choose under which …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that there are four major legal systems in the world, which differ from each other, most prominently in their court systems.
  • Opines that americans would choose common law if they could choose between federalism, multiple sources of law, and judicial decisions.
  • Explains that the common law system used in the united states can be traced back to medieval england. the king established courts that followed a general law of the land, rather than having each court have their own laws.
  • Explains that there was a shift in the traditional english common law when americans adapted this system to the united states. judge-made law was replaced by legislative passed laws.
  • Explains that common law is a judge-made law system because legislation is being developed by judges through decisions of courts.
  • Explains that precedent provides stability, coherence, and predictability in the judicial system.
  • Explains that uncodified rules and regulations form the last of the three major characteristics of common law.
  • Analyzes how brown vs. board of education over threw plessy's ruling that separate is not equal. the court ruled that while both cases were similar, the evolving times and beliefs in american society no longer viewed separate but equal as true and just.
  • Explains that the united states follows the common law system and states are obligated to follow the same set of laws found in the constitution.
  • Explains that the u.s. constitution is the law of the land and the only form of law that applies to all states.
  • Explains that judicial decisions are another major characteristic that forms the united states law system. written legislation is vastly important in the legal system of the us.
  • Explains that judges in the common law system serve as "referees between lawyers". they make case-law, set precedent, and essentially decide on a case based on their interpretation of the law.
  • Compares common law with civil law, which is a compilation of judicial opinions that act as laws.
  • Compares the role of judges in the civil law system to that of a common law judge.
  • Explains that unlike in common law courts in civil law, courts are not bound to follow previous judicial decisions.

It is the rulings made by previous courts are used as source that guides judges a lawyers in similar cases. Judges and lawyers turn to these precedents as a way to know how a case might turn out and as a way to advice a client. “Precedents are established in appellate court opinions, which discuss the legal questions in the case and examine previous court decisions.” (Neubauer, Mienhold. Chapt.2.26) it is through the accumulation of precedent that laws are employed and policy is derived from court rulings. “Precedent provides stability, coherence, and predictability.” (Neubauer, Mienhold. Chapt.2. 27) it is coherent is such ways that it allows fluidity in the judicial system it is just because it allows for two similar cases to be tried in similar …show more content…

They are able to make case-law, set precedent and essentially decide on a case based on their interpretation of a law. Judges in the United States are similar to referees because in theory they are to be neutral to both sides of the case and are there to ensure that both sides “playing” by the rules and following the guidelines. This is important because it makes the judge a “passive decision maker” (Neubauer, Meinhold,Chapt.2.29) One of the major characteristics of common law is the uncodified laws and regulations, it is a compilation of judicial opinions (precedent) that act as laws. In comparison Civil law is “a body of law characterized by a compilation is laws in writing.” (Neubauer, Meinhold. Chap.2.19) this code of laws serves as a solution for all disputes brought to the courts. The role of judges in the civil law system differs to the of the one in the common law system, while in the common law system a judge can be seen as the “referee” ( ) in civil law judges take a more active role in the case. Similarly, as a lawyer would act in a common law court the judge in the civil law court is the inquisitor, the judge is the interpreter of the

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