Common Law

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“The laws of England are threefold: common law, customs, and decrees of parliament.”[1]

“Before the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the people were the fountainhead of justice. The Angloe-Saxon courts were composed of large numbers of freemen and the law which they administered, was that which had been handed down by oral tradition from generation to generation. In competition with these popular, nonprofessional courts the Norman king, who insisted that he was the fountainhead of justice, set up his own tribunals… The angloe-Saxon tribunals had been open to all; every freeman could appeal to them for justice.”[2]

The term "common law" originally derives from the 1150s and 1160s, when Henry II of England established the secular English tribunals.

This conflict between the Common Law and the Civil Law was one of the most important factors motivating the original immigration to the Americas for those seeking civil and religious freedom. After all, it was the oppressive civil laws handed down by the tyrannical kings and weak parliaments that was imposing the religious persecution on the people. But it was the religious reformists, trying to right the unrighteous practices of that system, that had stimulated the governments religious and civil oppression.

“When the common law and statue law concur, the common law is to be preferred.”[3]

This conflict between the Common Law and the Civil Law was one of the most important factors motivating the original immigration to the Americas for those seeking civil and religious freedom. After all, it was the oppressive civil laws handed down by the tyrannical kings and weak parliaments that was imposing the religious persecution on the people. But it was the religious reformists, trying to right the unrighteous practices of that system, that had stimulated the governments religious and civil oppression.

“When the common law and statue law concur, the common law is to be preferred.”[4]

Footnotes

  1. Leges Angliæ sunt tripartitæ: jus commune, consuetudines, ac decreta comitiiorum.
  2. Clark’s Summary of American law. Common Law Chat 1 pp.530.
  3. Coke,71.
  4. Coke,71.