What is the characteristics of common law and civil law


Common Law:1. Precedent: Common law relies heavily on the principle of precedent. Previous judicial decisions and rulings serve as binding or persuasive authority for future cases. Judges interpret and apply the law based on past decisions, creating a body of legal principles and doctrines.2. Case-by-Case Basis: Common law is developed through a case-by-case analysis. Judges consider the specific facts and circumstances of each case and apply legal principles accordingly. This system allows for flexibility and adaptability to changing societal norms and circumstances.3. Judge-Centered: Common law places significant emphasis on the role of judges in shaping the law. Judges have the authority to interpret statutes, fill in gaps in legislation, and establish legal principles through their decisions. Their interpretations and rulings help define and refine the law.4. Stare Decisis: Stare decisis, meaning “to stand by things decided,” is a key principle of common law. It requires lower courts to follow the precedents set by higher courts within the same jurisdiction. This principle promotes consistency and predictability in the legal system.

Civil Law:1. Codified Laws: Civil law is primarily based on codified statutes and codes. Legal principles, rules, and procedures are detailed in written legislation enacted by the legislature. The law is organized into comprehensive codes that cover various areas of legal practice.2. Legal Codes: Civil law systems often have comprehensive legal codes that outline principles and rules in a systematic manner. These codes provide a framework for judges to apply the law to specific cases. Codification promotes clarity and accessibility of the law.3. Inquisitorial System: Civil law systems generally follow an inquisitorial approach to adjudication. Judges take an active role in investigating the facts of the case and gathering evidence. Parties and their legal representatives present their arguments, and the judge plays a central role in seeking the truth and reaching a decision.4. Limited Precedent: Civil law places less emphasis on precedent compared to common law systems. While judicial decisions can have persuasive value, they are not binding on subsequent cases. Courts may consider prior decisions, but they are not strictly bound by them. Interpretation of the law is primarily based on statutory provisions and legal codes.It’s important to note that these characteristics are generalizations, and legal systems around the world may incorporate elements of both common law and civil law, or have unique features of their own.

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