Common law

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Common law is a body of law that is formed in the legal system by judges and other quasi-judicial bodies. It is also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law. Other names for common law include judicial precedent, judge-made law, and judge-made law. The concept of "common law" is distinguished by the fact that it develops via the use of precedence. When parties in a case dispute on what the law is, a court that applies common law would refer to previous precedential judgments made by relevant courts and then synthesise the concepts from those decisions to determine how they apply to the circumstances of the case at hand. When a dispute is handled in the past that is quite similar to the current one, the court is normally required to adopt the logic that was employed in the earlier ruling (a principle known as stare decisis). If, on the other hand, the court determines that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from any and all previous cases (a finding that is referred to as a "matter of first impression"), and legislative statutes are either silent or ambiguous on the question, then judges have the authority and duty to resolve the issue. The court will issue an opinion that explains the reasoning behind its judgement, and then that reasoning will be compiled with previous decisions to form a precedent that will bind future judges and litigants. As the body of law that is created by judges, common law stands in contrast to and on equal standing with laws, which are enacted via the process of legislation, and regulations, which are enacted through the process of the executive branch promulgating them (the interactions among these different sources of law are explained later in this article). At the core of any common law system is the idea known as stare decisis, which states that cases should be determined in accordance with consistent principled standards so that identical circumstances will give similar decisions.

The procedures of the courts of the English kings in the years after the Norman Conquest in 1066 served as the basis for the development of the common law, which got its name from the fact that it was "common" to all of the king's courts located across England.

Later, the British Empire brought the English legal system to its colonies. A significant number of those territories still use the common law system today. These are known as common law systems, and they are types of legal systems that place a lot of importance on judicial precedent and on the line of thinking that was passed down from the English legal system.

These jurisdictions include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Burma, Cameroon, Canada (both the federal system and all its provinces except Quebec), Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Libera.