Our Blog

5 Advantages of Common Law Legal Systems

Posted on 6/23/2017 by in International Law Common Law System Common Law
image

Common law refers to the law made by judges and not the parliament. It's basically that law that develops organically in due course and is based on the accepted shared values and customs of society.

 

As judges consider both criminal and civil matters, they make informed decisions, develop precedents, and deliver rulings. When all these things are taken together, they constitute common law. Some civil laws like negligence and torts began as common law. Common law systems come with many advantages, five of which are listed below.

 

Specificity

 

The common law clarifies, expands on, and implements legislation. Acts of parliament wording are often generic and broad, providing only general information on the law. The focus is not on how the law should work in certain specific situations. Judges play a role in common laws by examining specific facts in each case, administering the law in line with findings, and interpreting relevant legislation.

 

Consistency

 

The doctrine of precedent works more effectively in most parts because it provides consistency and stability in the legal system. The parties involved in hearings and trials can understand that the decisions made are based solely on precedent and not arbitrary judgment or personal views. Senior judges in higher courts are the ones that develop precedents, and that lends them experience.

 

Unforeseen Cases

 

Common law can respond to cases, facts, and situations that were not anticipated or foreseen by legislators just like on the point about specifics. It's hard for parliament to legislate for each possible problem, condition or action that can arise in a society. Common law can develop and examine responses to situations in real life.

 

Speed and Efficiency

 

Common law is more flexible, faster, and responsive than parliamentary law. Often, common law reacts and responds rapidly to community expectation, changing social values and so on. Institutional law change bodies or parliament years so that to decide on change need, courts and judges can do it while still reviewing one case. Because the courts are not bound by procedural and political constraints of any legislative process, they can, therefore, achieve law reform faster.

 

Political Independence

 

Courts and judges are not controlled or dominated by ideology or party politics compared to their counterparts in the legislative. Due to this, unpopular or controversial law reforms can be implemented by the courts even if those same reforms would sabotage or affect the chances of re-election if they were implemented via Parliament. For instance, abortion is permitted in three states under common law, but the legislative body in those states has declined to legislate on the matter. Common law systems have helped facilitate and accelerate economic growth in the country by delivering the effective rule of law for economic actors.