English Common Law

English common Law is an Anglo-Saxon legal tradition that bases law on past legal precedent. A body of judicial decisions creates a binding precedent that builds up over time.

Common law is law derived from decisions judges make individually on cases that come before them. The decision is in narrative form as opposed to a statute drafted by a legislative body. The United States (except Louisiana) derives its laws from statutory law created in the legislative process.

The common law system is currently in practice in Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada (excluding Quebec), and the United States (although Louisiana uses both common law and Napoleonic civil law). In addition to these countries, several others have adapted the common law system into a mixed system.