Every country in the world is governed by a legal system. The myriad differences between legal systems around the world show that there are many forms that the law can take. However, most of the legal systems used today can be divided into three main types. These are civil law, common law and religious law. Each type gives legal power to different authorities, but by understanding the legal system itself, we have the power to question their authority. Note that before discussing the different legal systems, it is important to distinguish between what the term civil law means in the context of legal systems and what it means in terms of civil and criminal law. In the United States, certain customary tribal laws can be applied to tribal lands recognized by the U.S. government.56 However, the U.S. government exercises some control over tribal justice systems in the United States. There is a growing global movement to recognize tribal autonomy and customary legal systems.57 For example, in New Zealand, part of Maori customary law is recognized.58 A customary legal system is one based on long-standing traditions in a particular community. Traditions are so deeply rooted in society that the courts recognize them as enforceable rules.
However, customary laws are rarely interpreted and enforced by the government. Instead, the group`s selected leaders usually implement customary rights. Therefore, customary rights are generally not written down and are only disclosed to group members. Today, customary rights are found in gated and isolated communities in combination with general or civil systems, so they can exist alongside government systems in a hybrid system. Summary of the differences between civil law and common law legal systems A common law system is less prescriptive than a civil law system. A government may therefore wish to include the protection of its citizens in specific legislation related to the planned infrastructure programme. For example, it may want to prohibit the service provider from interrupting the water or electricity supply to defaulting payers, or it may require that documents related to the transaction be disclosed in accordance with an access to information law. There may also be legal requirements that include equivalent tariff provisions in a contract when one party is in a much stronger negotiating position than the other. For more information, see Laws and Regulations. A contract that takes up a substantive administrative principle and specifies exactly how it is to be applied will generally be effective. But a modification or repeal of a principle of administrative law may or may not be legally possible – this should be reviewed. For example, it may not be possible to completely deprive a contracting authority of the possibility of unilaterally changing service standards.
In France, the law annuls any attempt to derogate from the possibility for the contracting authority to unilaterally terminate a contract. Some civil law books also contain mandatory notice periods before the breach of contract, which cannot be avoided or cancelled. In civil law systems, on the other hand, codes and laws are designed to cover all eventualities, and judges have a more limited role in applying the law to this case. Past judgments are nothing more than cowardly guides. When it comes to court proceedings, judges in civil systems are more like investigators, while their counterparts in common law systems are more likely to be arbitrators between the parties presenting arguments. Legal systems around the world vary widely, but they generally follow civil law or common law. At common law, previous precedents or court decisions are used to decide pending cases. According to civil law, codified laws and regulations prevail over the country.
Some countries, such as South Africa, use a combination of civil and customary law. The common law has its origins in England. It is now used in many English-speaking countries such as the United States and some African countries such as Sudan. The main feature of the common law is a precedent. This uses the results of past legal cases to evaluate future cases. For this reason, the common law is sometimes referred to as jurisprudence. Judges have a lot of power in common law systems because their decisions affect the outcome of future cases. In a religious legal system, the law relies on religious texts as the main basis, and the courts interpret current facts and laws in the light of these religious texts. Many countries in the Middle East use religious legal systems for all or part of their laws.49 In Saudi Arabia, for example, the legal system is based on Sharia law, which is derived from the Qur`an, islamic religious text, and the Sunnah and Hadith.50 Legislators legislate, but all are tested against Islamic principles.
Some religious leaders may override any act of government, including court decisions, for religious reasons. The legal system includes general and summary Sharia courts with a few administrative courts for specific issues. Religious legal systems do not use juries, and criminal trials do not present defensive evidence to the same extent as in other jurisdictions. Each judge, a specialist in the religious text of Sharia law, interprets the law and is not bound by any precedent. In civil law systems, judicial proceedings are investigations conducted by the court to see how the facts fit into the already established codes applicable to the situation. The judicial system is set up in such a way that the jurisdiction of each court is a certain type of code: tax courts, administrative courts, maritime courts, constitutional courts, etc. The common law is based on tradition, past practices and legal precedents created by the courts through interpretations of statutes, legal statutes and previous decisions. The common law seeks “interpretation by previous decisions of higher courts interpreting the same laws or applying established and customary principles of law to a similar set of facts.” A hybrid legal system combines parts of more than one approach to create a unique system in the country. Many countries have mixed legal systems that include general, civil, religious, and customary systems.59 For example, the U.S. state of Louisiana has a hybrid system.
Louisiana uses some customary law, but it also uses a civil law system for much of its law and state procedures because of its origins as a French territory. Even on recognized tribal lands, the tribe`s customary tribal rights can be used in place of state or federal laws. Another example is the Philippine system which, because of its history, includes French civil law, American-style common law, Sharia law, and indigenous customary law.60 Many African countries have a parallel tribal or ethnic legal system for deciding family law issues.61 In many civil law countries, a separate administrative law governs PPP agreements. It is important to seek legal advice on the ground to see if these rules apply in a particular civil system. It is also important to note that in a civil jurisdiction, unless the contract provides that the parties have agreed to arbitration, the contract will be performed by the administrative courts. Some of the main administrative provisions applicable to delegated administrative arrangements are listed below. Find out how to earn your Master`s degree in Legal Studies entirely online and advance your career with legal expertise. Code Law is based on a global system of written rules (codes) of law.
Under the Code Act, the legal system is generally divided into three distinct codes: commerce, civil law and criminal law. The civil law system, also known as the codified legal system, is based on a detailed set of laws that form a code. The rules governing the conduct of commercial transactions are part of the Code. There are five basic types of legal systems in the world. These are civil law, customary law, customary law, religious law and hybrid or mixed systems. Today, mixed or hybrid systems are common. Since each system varies from country to country, this chapter focuses on the characteristics of each type of system. However, in civil law countries, the judge is usually the lead investigator, and the role of the lawyer is to advise a client in court proceedings, draft pleadings and provide evidence favorable to the investigating judge. The basis of competence for the application of the law consists of (1) a written or oral constitution; (2) primary law, laws and regulations; authorized by the legislative body authorized by the Constitution; (3) The body approved under primary law shall adopt laws or ancillary statutes; (4) traditional practices confirmed by the courts; (5) Civil, common, Roman or other legal norms as the source of such principles or practices. (*Dictionary of Law: What is a Legal System? Definition) The American legal system and other legal systems emanating from the British rule are a common law system.44 Originally, the common law meant a law made by judges who filled in the gaps when there was no written law.
Judges have used previous decisions to determine the judges` unwritten law and apply it to new cases. Today, however, almost all laws are established in writing and are issued by a legislator as laws. Many laws codify established customary law, modify it or abolish it altogether, depending on the subject of the law.