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UNIT 1 – CD 01
THE HISTORY OF COMMON LAW

I – KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS

Equity
The court of chancery
Uncodified
Case law
Precedent
A common law remedy
An injunction
Discretionary
To apply law
To be applicable to

II – GLOSSARY

|Common law |Ce terme estdifficile à traduire, mais habituellement nous retenons la traduction de mettre |
| |le féminin simplement devant : la common law, car cela désigne le droit jurisprudentiel. |
| |Donc, dans toutes les unités, lorsqu’on parlera de common law en français, nous retenons |
||cette traduction |
|William the Conqueror |Guillaume le Conquérant |
|A dispute |Un litige|
|A remedy |Une réparation |
|Damages |Dommages et intérêts |
|It is up to the court to decide|C’est à la cour de décider |
|A binding precedent |Un précédent qui fait jurisprudence |
|A pass-wayside precedent |Un précédent non impératif ||The background |L’histoire ou l’arrière-plan |
|Equity prevails over |L’équité l’emporte sur |
|Subsequent |Suivant|

III – THE BACKGROUND TO THE ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM

English law is applied in England and Wales as well as in the US except, of course, Louisiana which is still a roman law country. Its influence has also remained in Commonwealth countries which were colonized by the British.
Scottish law is based on roman law and therefore is apart andNorthern Ireland is yet an other system.
We must not either forget that these four countries : England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – in other words : the United Kingdom – share a common parliament, which is the sole statute making body. Statute law therefore is applicable in the whole of the United Kingdom.

English law is uncodified. It is essentially based on jurisprudence, whichaffects the whole approach to law, its conceptualization and methods used. The two main sources of English law are:


➢ Case law: judge-made law
➢ Statute law : legislation
Since the entry of Great Britain into the European economic community on january the 1st 1973, we must also add community law, which often takes precedence over national law.

Case law is made up ofcommon law and equity. Common law has several different meanings :

1°/ - The Norman commun ley or common law, which replaced local customary law in the Middle ages and made the law common or the same for everyone throughout England and Wales. This was in an effort of uniformity so that the law will be the same throughout the country.

2° / - Common law built on local custom, as opposed...
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