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Encyclopedia > Case law

Case law (also known as decisional law) is that body of reported judicial opinions in countries that have common law legal systems that are published and thereby become precedent, i.e. the basis for future decisions). Image File history File links Merge-arrow. ... In law, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court may need to adopt when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... In law, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court may need to adopt when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. ...


In the United States, law derived from judicial decisions is also referred to as common law and as black letter law. This type of law operates by application of precedent and so is also known as precedential law. Because it is law that is not enacted by a legislature, it is also a type of non-statutory law. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Common Law, now often referred to as Non-statutory law is the foundation for justice in the Union States under our constitional scheme. ...


Description

Case law is judge-made law that interprets prior case law, statutes and other legal authority -- including doctrinal writings by legal scholars such as the Corpus Juris Secundum, Halsbury's Laws of England or the doctrinal writings found in the Recueil Dalloz and law commissions such as the American Law Institute. For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... The Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) with subtitle: Corpus Juris Secundum: Complete Restatement Of The Entire American Law As Developed By All Reported Cases (1936- ) 101 volumes. ... Halsburys Laws of England (also known as Halsburys Laws or simply Halsburys) is a definitive encyclopedic treatise on the laws of England. ... The main French legal publisher, Dalloz, has published commentary, cases and legislation in a series of bulletins referred to generally as Recueil Dalloz. ... The American Law Institute (ALI) was established in 1923 to promote the clarification and simplification of American common law and its adaptation to changing social needs. ...


In the civil law tradition, case law formally plays a minor role compared to the status of the civil code; however, judicial interpretation of the civil code, interpreting the legal meaning of the code's provisions, clarifying them, and providing for unforeseen developments, is often referred to as a jurisprudence constante. In France, the jurisprudence constante of the Cour de cassation (for civil and penal cases) or the Conseil d'État (for administrative cases) is in practice equivalent to case law, and is of considerable import in certain domains such as labor law or administrative law. In particular, the Conseil d'État and the Constitutional Council have distinguished "fundamental principles" that statutes and regulations must follow, even when those principles were not explicitly written in statutes. For other uses of civil law, see civil law. ... The original Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally called the Code civil des francais, or civil code of the French), was the French civil code, established at the behest of Napoléon. ... Jurisprudence constante is a legal doctrine in the civil law of Louisiana: a long series of previous decisions applying a particular rule of law carries great weight and may be determinative in subsequent cases. ... The Court of Cassation (Cour de cassation in French) is the main court of last resort in France. ... In France, the Conseil dÉtat (English: Council of State and sometimes Counsel of State) is an organ of the French national government. ... In France, the Conseil dÉtat (English: Council of State and sometimes Counsel of State) is an organ of the French national government. ... A republican guard giving directions to visitors at the front entrance of the Constitutional Council The Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel) was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


In the common law tradition case law regulates, via precedents, how laws are to be understood, based on how prior cases have been decided. Case law governs the impact court decisions have on future cases. Unlike most civil law systems, common law systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis in which lower courts usually make decisions consistent with previous decisions of higher courts. In law, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court may need to adopt when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. ... Look up case in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stare decisis (Latin: , Anglicisation: , to stand by things decided) is a Latin legal term, used in common law systems to express the notion that prior court decisions must be recognized as precedents, according to case law. ...


Generally speaking there is no direct oversight that appellate courts have over a court of record. If a lower court judge acts against precedent and the case is not taken to appeal the lower court decision will stand. This may occur more frequently than has been documented as an appeal is usually quite expensive to prepare. In common law jurisdictions, a court of record is a court that keeps permanent records of its proceedings. ... In law, an appeal is a process for making a formal challenge to an official decision. ...


Some judges are also known to rule against precedent on principle. A judge (or even an interim appeal court) may rule against a precedent that is outdated. The judge may feel the decision needs to be overturned due to more sophisticated legal reasoning. Such a judge may wish to help the law evolve by ruling against precedent and thereby indirectly inducing a losing party to appeal. The appeal court will then have an opportunity to review the lower court's decision and may adopt the lower court's reasoning, thereby overturning previous case law. This may also happen several times as the case works its way through intermediate appellate jurisdictions.


A famous example of this evolution in jurisprudence was by Lord Denning, first of the High Court of Justice, later of the Court of Appeal in his development of the concept of estoppel starting in the world renowned High Trees case: Central London Property Trust Ltd v. High Trees House Ltd [1947] K.B. 130. Alfred Thompson Denning, Baron Denning (23 January 1899–6 March 1999) was a British barrister from Hampshire who became Master of the Rolls (the senior civil judge in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales) and was generally well liked, both within the legal profession and outside it. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Estoppel (English law). ... Central London Property Trust Ltd. ...


The different roles of case law in civil and common law traditions create differences in the way that courts render their decisions. Common law courts generally explain in detail the rationale behind their decisions with numerous citations to previous decisions and other authority (called ratio decidendi). By contrast, decisions in the courts of most civil law jurisdictions are generally very short, referring only to the statutes used. The reason for this difference is that, in these civil law jurisdictions, the tradition is that the reader should be able to deduce the logic from the decision. Courts in civil law jurisdictions also render their decisions so that, in some cases, it is somewhat difficult to apply previous decisions to the facts presented in future cases. Some pluralist systems, such as Scots law in Scotland and so-called civil law jurisdictions in Quebec and Louisiana, do not follow these traditions as they are jurisdictions that have been influenced heavily by the Anglo-American common law tradition; however, their substantive law is firmly rooted in the civil law tradition. Because of their position between the two main systems of law, these types of legal systems are sometimes referred to as mixed systems of law. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Legal pluralism allows for moral laws that are unwritten as formal laws. ... Scots law is a unique legal system with an ancient basis in Roman law. ... This article is about the country. ... This article is about the Canadian province. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ...


Another difference is that law professors in common law traditions play a much smaller role in developing case law than professors in civil law traditions. Because court decisions in civil law traditions are brief and not amenable to establishing precedent, much of the exposition of the law in civil law traditions is done by academics rather than by judges; this is called doctrine and may be published in treatises or in journals such as Recueil Dalloz in France. In the common law the practice has evolved in the other direction; thus, at the turn of the twentieth century, it was very rare to see an academic writer quoted in a legal decision (except perhaps for prominent jurists such as Coke and Blackstone). Today academic writers can be cited in legal decisions as authority; often, they are cited when judges are attempting to find reasoning that has yet to be adopted by any other court or because their restatement of the law is more compelling than the ratio of precedent. Thus common law systems are adopting one of the approaches long common in civil law jurisdictions. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The main French legal publisher, Dalloz, has published commentary, cases and legislation in a series of bulletins referred to generally as Recueil Dalloz. ... Sir Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke (pronounced cook) (1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634), was an early English colonial entrepreneur and jurist whose writings on the English common law were the definitive legal texts for some 300 years. ... William Blackstone as illustrated in his Commentaries on the Laws of England. ...


In federal or multi-jurisdictional law systems there may exist conflicts between the various lower appellate courts. Sometimes these differences may not be resolved and it may be necessary to distinguish on how the law has been applied in one district, province, division or appellate department. Usually only an appeal accepted by the court of last resort will resolve such differences and for many reasons such appeals are often not undertaken. Local government areas called districts are used, or have been used, in several countries. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Appeal. ... The supreme court in some countries, provinces, and states, is the highest court in that jurisdiction and functions as a court of last resort whose rulings cannot be appealed. ...

For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Administrative law in the United States often relates to, or arises from, so-called independent agencies- such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here is FTCs headquarters in Washington D.C. Administrative law (or regulatory law) is the body of law that arises from the activities of administrative agencies... The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to any of various bodies of rules in different jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the potential for unique and often severe impositions as punishment for failure to comply. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... Not to be confused with torte, an iced cake. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about the concept of equity in the jurisprudence of common law countries. ... International law deals with the relationships between states, or between persons or entities in different states. ... Conflict of laws, or private international law, or international private law is that branch of international law and interstate law that regulates all lawsuits involving a foreign law element, where a difference in result will occur depending on which laws are applied as the lex causae. ... Supranational law is a form of international law, based on the limitation of the rights of sovereign nations between one another. ... Image File history File links Scale_of_justice_2. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... Labour law (American English: labor) or employment law is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which addresses the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. ... Human rights law is a system of laws, both domestic and international which is intended to promote human rights. ... Legal procedure is the body of law and rules used in the administration of justice in the court system, including such areas as civil procedure, criminal procedure, appellate procedure, administrative procedure, labour procedure, and probate. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Nationality law is the branch of a countrys legal system wherein legislation, custom and court precendent combine to define the ways in which that countrys nationality and citizenship are transmitted, acquired or lost. ... Family Law was a television drama starring Kathleen Quinlan as a divorced lawyer who attempted to start her own law firm after her lawyer husband took all their old clients. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... Commercial law (sometimes known as business law) is the body of law which governs business and commerce. ... Corporate law (also corporations law or company law) refers to the law establishing separate legal entities known as the company or corporation and governs the most prevalent legal models for firms, for instance limited companies (Ltd or Pty Ltd), publicly limited companies (plc) or incorporated businesses (Inc. ... For the 2006 film, see Intellectual Property (film). ... The following analysis is based on English law. ... Restitution is the name given to a form of legal relief in which the plaintiff recovers something from the defendant that belongs, or should belong, to the plaintiff. ... Tax law is the codified system of laws that describes government levies on economic transactions, commonly called taxes. ... Bank regulations are a form of government regulation which subject banks to certain requirements, restrictions and guidelines, aiming to uphold the soundness and integrity of the financial system. ... Antitrust redirects here. ... Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects the interests of consumers. ... Environmental law is a body of law, which is a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which seeks to protect the natural environment which may be affected, impacted or endangered by human activities. ... International law deals with the relationships between states, or between persons or entities in different states. ... Admiralty law (also referred to as maritime law) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. ... Military law is a distinct legal system to which members of armed forces are subject. ... Products liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause. ... World distribution of major legal traditions The three major legal systems of the world today consist of civil law, common law and religious law. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... For other uses of civil law, see civil law. ... In the religious sense, law can be thought of as the ordering principle of reality; knowledge as revealed by God defining and governing all human affairs. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Socialist Legality. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about law in society. ... Legal history is a term that has at least two meanings. ... For the jurisprudence of courts, see Case law. ... Law and economics, or economic analysis of law is an approach to legal theory that applies methods of economics to law. ... An approach to law stressing the actual social effects of legal institutions, doctrines, and practices and vice versa. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In the law, the judiciary or judicial system is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... A legislatureis a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to ratify laws. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article is about the sociological concept. ... A lawyer is a person licensed by the state to advise clients in legal matters and represent them in courts of law and in other forms of dispute resolution. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that states political system) and commercial institutions. ...

See also


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Laws and court procedures that are "fair on their faces" but administered "with an evil eye or a heavy hand" was discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
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