common law

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Alternative forms[edit]


common law ‎(uncountable)

  1. (law) Law developed by judges through court decisions and opinions (also called case law), as distinct from legislative statutes and regulations promulgated by the executive branch.
  2. (law, historical) Body of law administered in certain courts (known as law courts) in England and its former colonies characterized by a rigid writ system with a limited set of remedies (as opposed to equity or admiralty).
  3. (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 unwritten law rather than codification.
  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


  1. case law, decisional law, judge-made law, precedential law


  1. statute
  2. equity, admiralty
  3. civil law, Roman law, ius commune, canon law, ecclesiastical law

Derived terms[edit]




common law f (uncountable)

  1. (law) common law (legal system)