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The Common Law: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN13: 9780198705628
To be Published: May 2020
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £8.99

The common law began as England's national system of adjudication for correcting wrongs, protecting rights, and enforcing due administration of government in the Royal courts. Its origins can be traced back to 11th century England, and was soon exported to the rest of Britain and ultimately to the far-flung reaches of the British Empire. The common law has therefore enjoyed nearly a thousand years of development and elaboration, in many lands, influenced by but separate from the systems of continental Europe, with its own distinctive procedures of pleading, fact-finding, and remedies. It developed laws that govern much of today's world of trade, business, and finance; it defended ideas of personal liberty and equality before the law; and it helped establish principles of constitutional, legally-limited government, and administration. Thus the common law provides an original and crucial strand in the history of social organization, politics, and culture around the world.

In this Very Short Introduction Joseph Getzler explains the evolution of the common law. The main institutions of the common law are described - courts, procedures, judges and juries, and means of reporting, analysing, and learning the law; and the main categories of common-law rights and duties are delineated - property, contract, and tort, equitable claims, unjust enrichment, crime, constitutional and public law, and civil liberties.

English Legal System
1: Introduction
2: The common law tradition
3: Courts, judges, juries
4: The common law of property
5: The common law of obligations
6: The common law and government
7: The common law and crime
8: Mapping the common law
9: The common law abroad
Epilogue - the future of the common law
Further reading

Series: Very Short Introductions

The Treaty of Versailles: A Very Short Introduction ISBN 9780190644987
To be published April 2019
Oxford University Press
U.S Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction ISBN 9780199754540
Published March 2012
Oxford University Press
U.S Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (eBook) ISBN 9780199930067
Published March 2012
Oxford University Press
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