Understanding the 4 Complex Systems of Law

Legal systems around the world are often complex and classified according to various criteria. In many countries, more than one system is used to create a hybrid system. The most common systems are common law, civil law, or a combination of both. Civil law systems make a clear distinction between primary and secondary sources.

The main sources are enacted law, custom and “general principles of law”. In some common law countries, such as the United States and Canada, there is no distinction between lawyer and lawyer. Private law helps to reduce the cost of legal transactions by providing a set of patterns that citizens can use if they wish. Nearly 20 different confessional systems (Islamic and Christian sects, as well as Judaism) govern family law; however, inheritance is a matter of civil law and is not subject to religious courts.

In these countries, the independence of the law is protected not so much through a careful public administration-style judicial system and meticulously drafted legal codes, but through a strong legal profession that has close associations with the judiciary. Lawyers are legal advisors to clients, while lawyers, the smallest and most select professional group, are trial lawyers in court. Courts in the civil and common law systems rely on experts to help fact-evaluators issue appropriate legal judgments. Rather, it provides for a legal system in which the law itself is separate and independent from the government.

However, when the law covers politically important issues, such as labor relations or economic regulations, governments around the world are likely to eliminate the jurisdiction of ordinary courts and establish specialized courts that respond more directly to political controls to deal with disputes. This distinction is exaggerated, since the principles of contract law developed by courts and glossed by legislation normally apply to contracts in general, regardless of the discrete type of contract in question. The differences between civil law and common law systems are familiar to anyone with any exposure to comparative law. As a result, the common law courts of the 19th and early 20th centuries enforced agreements according to the subjective intention of the parties.

The economic consequences of successful product liability lawsuits tested the system in another direction, especially in the growing number of class action civil liability actions that threatened industries with bankruptcy. On the European continent, independence is ensured by subordinating the role of judges to the democratic principle, the will of the people expressed through parliament, and insisting on detailed codes so that judges do not have to make laws, but only apply them. Its essential characteristic is that the participants are presumed to be legally equal (unlike the structure of public law, in which relationships are hierarchical), so that one cannot give orders to another, unless authorized by virtue of a previous contractual or family agreement. The fixed decision doctrine, also known as jurisprudence or precedent by courts, is the main difference from codified civil law systems. The main types of religious law are sharia in Islam, halakha in Judaism and canon law in some Christian groups. The four main systems of laws that are extremely complex and classified according to various criteria include common law, civil law, hybrid systems and religious laws.

Common law is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action while civil laws are based on codified statutes or written laws. Hybrid systems combine elements from both common and civil laws while religious laws are based on religious beliefs or doctrines. Understanding these four complex systems of laws can be difficult but it is important for citizens around the world to be aware of them in order to ensure their rights are protected under their respective legal systems.