What Are the Different Sources of Law?

桑迪。约翰逊
桑迪。约翰逊
Legislation in the United States is created by Congress at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Legislation in the United States is created by Congress at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The four most common sources of law include cultural customs, 普通法的先例, 立法. Each culture, country, state, or municipality has its own methods and standards for creating laws. While methodologies and technicalities may differ, the basic law sources are consistent, approaching near universal sourcing standards, no matter the country, 文化历史, 或政治气候. 在不同程度, nearly all governments and other forms of leadership rely on similar sources or combination of sources to establish laws.

All United States laws must conform to the federal Constitution.
All United States laws must conform to the federal Constitution.

Australian law, for example, stems from 普通法, 立法, and Australia’s constitution. 相对, sources of law in Spain include 立法, commonly referred to as the principles of law, as well as cultural customs. In the United States and many European countries, law sources include 判例法 or precedent, 立法, and 普通法. All law sources in the United States must conform to federal and state constitutional rights and guidelines, ensuring that they serve the greater good of society.

美国.S. has a 普通法 legal system which relies on judicial precedents to make rulings.
美国.S. has a 普通法 legal system which relies on judicial precedents to make rulings.

Even the most primitive of societies have sources of law, albeit generally less formalized. Where developed nations use 普通法, tribal groups and nations rely on 习惯法. 这样的法律 are based on cultural customs and beliefs regarding acceptable behaviors and practices held by tribal society and its elders. 这样的法律, whether deemed customary or 普通法, seldom appear in written form, yet citizens adhere to such rules to the same extent as to written law. In terms of law sources, customs and 普通法 represent the universal source for societal rules across all cultures and countries.

Regarding the most 普通法 sources in civilized society, 立法 is a form of formal written law found in virtually every country and municipality worldwide. Legislation includes executive as well as royal decrees, federal and state statutes, 全景, and constitutional authority. In short, 立法 is written law enacted by the official governing body of a particular people. 这样的法律 are codified in specific language for use and interpretation by each country’s judicial system.

最后, although not all governmental bodies use 判例法 or precedent as sources of law, those that do often use 判例法 to establish legitimacy and application of law. When a court of law or other official entity rules on a particular question of law not previously addressed, 开创了一个先例. Such 判例法 histories provide a documented record whereby common and legislative laws are applied to real situations. 作为法律的来源, precedence and 判例法 serve to establish documented, real world application of a given law.

Considering the life of a single law, each of the four sources of law can be seen as a stage of development. To illustrate, a society may establish proper marrying age through cultural customs. As the society grows and advances, cultural beliefs and practices establish a more formal understanding of proper marrying age, forming the basis of 普通法. 先例, meaning leaders make public decisions and thus a public record of such laws, backs up 普通法 and establishes its validity through documentation. Eventually, such laws are written and codified, resulting in legislative law.

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Melonlity

What is fascinating is how rooted 普通法 is in the United States. When a law student takes the multiple choice part of a bar exam, the majority of those questions deal with 普通法 in most states.

Here's the point -- we are far removed from the days when 普通法 as adopted and codified. 不管, 普通法 still provides the underpinnings for our legal system and knowing it is almost as important for a lawyer today as it was when the nation was founded.

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    • Legislation in the United States is created by Congress at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
      :安德里亚Izzotti
      Legislation in the United States is created by Congress at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
    • All United States laws must conform to the federal Constitution.
      : Gramper
      All United States laws must conform to the federal Constitution.
    • 美国.S. has a 普通法 legal system which relies on judicial precedents to make rulings.
      :安德烈Burmakin
      美国.S. has a 普通法 legal system which relies on judicial precedents to make rulings.