Blackstone`s comments and English common law remain an important part of our current American legal system. The authors of our Constitution created the Supreme Court of the United States by Article III. Another example is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is a government agency created by the federal government to ensure that food and drugs sold in the United States meet certain guidelines. The guidelines are designed to help protect U.S. citizens from harmful chemicals and other biological compounds such as trans fats. There are many government agencies with the U.S. legal system and in each of the 50 states, each of which monitors compliance with legislative law. Create your legal strategy and do important work with authoritative primary law, analysis, advice, court records and validation tools. Common law systems, such as ours, are largely adversarial, in which two parties investigate the truth and plead their case before an impartial person or a group of people, usually a jury or a judge, who try to determine whether or not they agree with what each party has presented as evidence in the case. Ashley holds a JD degree and is a lawyer.
She has extensive experience as a prosecutor and law writer and has taught and written various law courses. English common law is based on a cultural system of dispute resolution through local customs. The early tribes of England each had their own customs, but this system became increasingly formalized as these early tribal peoples came together and organized. These ancient customs are the basic principles that have come to become part of the American judicial system. Cases are legal decisions based on a number of specific facts involving parties with a genuine interest in the controversy. Civil law systems rely less on precedents than on codes that explicitly provide decision-making rules for many specific disputes. If a judge has to go beyond the letter of a code to settle a dispute, the judge`s settlement will not become binding or perhaps even relevant to subsequent decisions involving other parties. Our ultimate source of law is really what connects all the other sources. As there are several sources of law, they sometimes conflict with each other. It is also about ensuring that each law is applied consistently over time. This is where a common law system comes in. A common law system is a legal system based on historical cases and precedents.
In other words, this type of system looks at past cases that are similar to a current case and tries to govern in the same way. So if you`ve broken this law, a judge who wants to punish you will look at previous cases to see how the courts have treated underage drinkers, and then try to rule on them as accurately as possible. For example, the legal drinking age in the United States is 21. This law exists to ensure that you do not hurt yourself or harm others. In addition, all laws passed by a legislature are collectively referred to as its statutory law. Thus, all the rules you come into contact with on a daily basis would all fall under legal law, as would any other type of rule or law you can think of. There are four main types of laws: the constitution, laws, regulations and common laws. Responsibility for these four main types of laws is divided among the three branches of the United States government, namely the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
The U.S. legal system and the founding principles of the U.S. government are set forth in the U.S. Constitution and are upheld by U.S. citizens and its branches of government. Here are some of the basic principles that make up the U.S. legal system. Each of them is discussed in more detail in this chapter and others in this book. They are summarized below to give the reader an overview of some of the basics of U.S. common law.
There are different sources of law, depending on how the law is established. Constitutional law is a set of basic principles. The legal law is determined by the legislature of the government. The common law is established by the judicial system within the judiciary. Regulatory law is also controlled by the judiciary. As we discussed, our legal system has deep historical roots. The legal system develops on the English common law and has inherited all these established rules. Once you have gained a thorough understanding of this lesson, measure your ability to analyze the sources of law in the U.S.
legal system, which include the Constitution, laws, regulations, and common law systems. A constitution is a set of rules maintained by a state, country or governing body as a set of rules and decrees. The Constitution of the United States is the fundamental document that describes the principles on which the United States was founded. The Constitution of the United States was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates present on September 17, 1787 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Constitution is very important to the U.S. legal system because it grants U.S. citizens specific constitutional rights that are respected by the U.S.
judicial system. These constitutional rights are set out in the Bill of Rights and are protected rights of U.S. citizens. The different sources of law can also be divided into primary and secondary sources of law. Primary sources of law may be binding on a particular court or they may simply be persuasive. Whether they are binding or convincing depends on various factors. Secondary authority is not itself a law and is never a mandatory authority. However, a court may look for secondary sources of law to guide itself towards solving a particular problem. Secondary authority is also useful as a case finding tool and for obtaining general information on a particular topic. The next source of law deriving from the Constitution is that of the Statutes. Laws are written laws passed by the Legislative Assembly of our government. The words “law” and “laws” for our purposes are quite synonymous here.
Laws have the force of binding law and have consequences of punishment if they are not respected. In the United States, our federal, state, and local governments are all oversight agencies, so they are the ones who create the rules that we are supposed to follow. In addition, the purpose of laws is to promote justice and avoid harm. In other words, laws are intended to promote the good. Check. There are a number of rules that control our behavior in the United States. The authority of these rules comes from several places. The main source of law we have is the U.S. Constitution, followed by federal, state, and local laws, and then the regulatory power given to federal agencies. After all, our common law system connects all other sources of law and prevents them from conflicting with each other, and maintains consistency in how the law is applied. Address the business side of your legal business with solutions to manage, track, and analyze issues, finances, critical processes, relationships, and performance.
Early Supreme Court decisions often cited comments because there were many new cases that did not exactly match previous U.S. cases. But even today, our modern Supreme Court often turns to commentary for advice on new decisions.