What is Common Law?

You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is common law?” Common law or “judge-made” law follows the rule of jurisprudence called precedence. For example, a court or judge basis its ruling (decision) from a previous court case, along with its rulings. Common law can be summarized by the legal doctrine: Stare Decisis. This is a latin phrase that, when translated, means, “Let the decision stand.” Furthermore, the courts’ interpretations of the law can be overridden by rewriting the law in question, by amending the state or federal constitution or by enacting a new statute. Rulings about the common law can also be overridden through statutes.


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