common law

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See also: common-law


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common law (uncountable)

  1. (law) Law developed by judges, courts, and agency adjudicatory tribunals, through their decisions and opinions (also called case law) (as opposed to statutes promulgated by legislatures, and regulations promulgated by the executive branch).
  2. (law) Legal system mainly in England and its former colonies with a heavy emphasis on judge-made law, doctrines deduced by casuistry rather than from general principles, and law distributed among judicial decisions rather than codified statutes (as opposed to civil law).
  3. (law, historical) Body of law and procedure administered in certain courts (known as law courts) in England and its former colonies characterized by a rigid system of writs, with a limited set of remedies (as opposed to equity or admiralty).
  4. (law, Scots law, Roman-Dutch law) Law of general application throughout a country, province, or state as opposed to law having only a special or local application



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Unadapted borrowing from English common law.


common law f (uncountable)

  1. (law) common law (legal system)