English law

Sources of English Law

  • Common law is the foundation and prime source of English law.
  • Statutory legislation, including Acts of Parliament, regulations, and by-laws, is the most authoritative law.
  • In the absence of statutory law, common law based on judicial decisions, custom, and usage is the residual source of law.
  • Equity is another historic source of judge-made law, mainly concerned with trusts and equitable remedies.
  • Hierarchy of sources: legislation, case law (common law and equity), parliamentary conventions, general customs, books of authority.
  • European Union law no longer applies in England due to Brexit.
  • Statute law includes Acts of Parliament, Acts of the Scottish Parliament, Acts of the Senedd, and statutory rules of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  • Secondary legislation includes statutory instruments, ministerial orders, and by-laws.
  • Statutes are cited using the Short Title and year, e.g., Theft Act 1968.

Legal Terminology

  • Criminal law deals with crime and punishment, prosecuted by the Crown.
  • Civil law covers torts, contracts, families, companies, etc.
  • Civil law courts provide remedies such as damages or declarations.
  • Terms used in legal proceedings include claimant, plaintiff, petitioner, etc.

Common Law and Civil Law

  • Civil law is prevalent in Europe and based on codified law, like the Napoleonic Code in France.
  • English law is a common law jurisdiction built upon case law.
  • Common law refers to judge-made law of the Kings Bench, while equity is the judge-made law of the Court of Chancery.
  • Equity operates according to maxims of equity, such as 'Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy.'
  • The Judicature Acts of the 1880s merged the courts into one Supreme Court of Judicature administering both law and equity.

British Legal System and International Law

  • The UK has a central federal Supreme Court and a supreme court in each state.
  • Decisions of the Privy Council made before the change of jurisdiction remain binding legal precedent.
  • International treaties must be ratified by Parliament and incorporated into statute before becoming binding in the UK.
  • Britain has played a leading role in drafting international conventions on shipping and maritime trade.
  • The English law of salvage, collisions, ship arrest, and carriage of goods by sea are subject to international conventions.

Application of English Law to Different Jurisdictions

  • Wales is not a separate jurisdiction within the UK.
  • The customary laws of Wales were abolished by King Henry VIII's Laws in Wales Acts.
  • Wales has a devolved parliament, but legislation must adhere to circumscribed subjects under the Government of Wales Act 2006.
  • Any reference to England in legislation between 1746 and 1967 includes Wales.
  • The UK comprises three legal jurisdictions: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate legal systems.
  • The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest civil appeal court, binding on all three UK jurisdictions.
  • Scots law has remained distinct from English law.

English law Mentions


English law Data Sources

Reference URL
Glossary https://www.alternix.com/blogs/glossary-of-terms/english-law
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_law
Wikidata https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q1138780
Knowledge Graph https://www.google.com/search?kgmid=/m/0lpls