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Questions tagged [common-law]

For questions regarding English common law, or legal systems based on judge-made law descended from it.

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Can all members of a group be civilly liable when some are provably innocent?

Scenario: A crime involving property damage is committed. Suppose that it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that of a group of 3 people, 2 of them were involved and one was not. However, there's ...
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Can a real-life example be used to describe the difference between common and civil law?

I've done a lot of research into trying to understand the difference between the two systems, but their definitions are so verbose, and without examples it's more challenging. The only thing I was ...
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Can a sitting president of the United States be indicted by one of the states?

Some lawyers say a sitting president cannot be indicted, other lawyers disagree. Apart from that, does what they are saying apply to both federal and state indictments? I mean could the president be ...
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Is there any constitutional precedents or laws against bills of “anti-attainder?

In South Dakota an attorney for adults sexually abused as children by priests and nuns contended that the state legislature passed a statute of limitations (in approximately 2010)preventing lawsuits ...
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70 views

What establishes the U.S. as a common law country?

Its well known that the U.S. is a common law country, but I'm not sure if that's codified anywhere (like the U.S. constitution) or if just happened organically because that's the way its always been. ...
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Are damages in civil cases assessed by the judge or the jury?

In common law countries, criminal cases are usually tried by jury, but the judge is responsible for sentencing. Even in the United States, where there is a constitutional right to a criminal trial by ...
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Could the USA abandon common law?

I understand that the USA has a "common law" system and that ambiguous written legislation is turned into unambiguous law by courts, such as has happened in many famous Supreme Court rulings. My ...
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75 views

What protections does Common Law copyright give me?

What does Common Law copyright protection give me exactly? From my research, all I've found is that if I create a work, it is automatically protected by common law copyright, and that if I register ...
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55 views

What is the common law definition or key elements of “selling” something

Is there a common law definition of "sell" or some key elements? What is required for a transaction to constitute a "sale"? I have a situation where a license is required by statute to "sell" some ...
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Legal status of an ongoing situation pending an appeal

Apologies for the title. I could not think of a concise and accurate way to phrase it. I will phrase this question in terms of charitable trusts, but my question is really about the general principle....
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Is answering a question you are not sure about under oath perjury?

Suppose I struggle to see at night, but was witness to a crime that took place and have been asked to give testimony. At the stand, I am asked whether I saw the defendant committing the crime, and ...
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Legal principles in refusing to pay advertised reward for return of lost item if it was returned without knowledge of the ad

Say person X lost his valuable item and advertised a reward for the return of it. Person Y, who knew X personally, found the item before reading the ad, and returned it to X, who just thanked Y for ...
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Was there a consideration in Merritt v Merritt case agreement?

The Merritt v Merritt case is often used in teaching Contract Law for demonstrating one of the six elements of contract — intention to create legal relations (the parties had been separated and the ...
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Rights and licensing of joint works in Canada

In researching copyright laws relating to works of joint authorship, I came across this McMillan article. While the situation is clearer in the US and UK, the article discusses how in Canada, absent ...
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157 views

Is there legal recourse against revenge defecation?

TL;DR If someone were to maliciously defecate in their roommate's room, perhaps hiding it under their bed or in a drawer, what kind of legal action could their roommate take against them. Background ...
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55 views

Grokking the difference between Civil Law and Common Law

My history teacher told us yesterday, the difference between Civil Law and Common Law, if specified in one sentence is: The Civil Law is to make and create laws, While the Common Law is to find and ...
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656 views

Can you take back a gift?

Suppose that I unconditionally and unambiguously give a person a thing such as a necklace with a moderate value (say $1000): I hand it to them and say "Here, you can have this, I don't need it anymore"...
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How would you know if the court should apply foreign or local law?

I have a question about laws in general. If someone were to get arrested in the United States for charges on misappropriation of trade secrets committed in Canada, would the court apply international (...
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47 views

Are the limitations on freedom of contract in common law countries unbreakable?

We normally have to adhere to regulations when: Buying labour (employment: minimum wage, parental leave etc.) Renting out property (tenancy: notice periods, property standards etc.) Selling goods (...
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What is the status of using mens rea as a defense in this manner in Canada or similar jurisdictions?

In Canadian man found not guilty of raping wife, the prosecution of a rapist in Ontario, Canada failed due to mens rea because it wasn't proved that the man knew his behaviour was illegal. Not because ...
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What can I do if someone does not pay as decided by court order?

Following a custody battle, a court ordered that 100% of the cost of higher education for the children would be paid by the father. He (the father) instead chose to cosign student loans which he has ...
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39 views

latin expressions in jurisprudence

I'm from Austria, which is a german speaking country. In the german language, in jurisprudence, we have lots of latin terms / expressions, because latin expressions seem to be more exact. Is this ...
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358 views

What is the difference between Common Law and Civil Law in the U.S.?

Is there a difference between Common Law and Civil Law in the U.S., and if so, what is it?
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Is there a defence of persecution by law?

Justice derives from just, what is right and fair. If you are guilty (as in, you've committed the offence not been judged) of an offence but your arrest/prosecution is unfair in its application can ...
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Can UK citizens claim common law rights in a UK court, and what would happen if they did?

I've read in numerous blogs and heard from a few people that common law is more important than statute law in the UK, and that UK citizens can claim common law rights in some cases for their benefit. ...
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Child Custody : Cases supporting Father as primary care giver or shared care and control

Does anyone have Court of Appeal cases where by custody is awarded to the father or shared custody is awarded? Basically Father proposed a shared care and control parenting arrangement but mother is ...
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146 views

Have there ever been any thought crimes?

Has there ever been anywhere a law criminalizing certain thoughts? The closest I can find is The Treason Act 1351, which is still in force in Britain today. This criminalizes compassing or imagining ...
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Do single-party binding pledges exist in common-law jurisdictions?

I have recently been asked to make a pledge to take actions in the future and I would like to have a legally binding and enforceable document to bind me to this pledge. Is there a means under U.S. ...
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42 views

How did marriage certification deviate away from the older idea of common law marriage?

I'm seeking to better understand the history of how marriage licenses came about, and specifically, the transition from cohabitation and public announcement of the marriage to requiring a literal ...
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What happens to court precedent after a constitutional amendment?

What happens to the precedent (or whatever their interpretation is called) of the judicial branch when a constitution (like in the USA), is amended? Like, if a constitution said some meats were ...
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140 views

What governs the common law marriage status of polyamorous marriages?

When common law marriages are enforceable, in a situation where three or more individuals live together as a "married" romantic group, what determines the married or unmarried status of the ...
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188 views

Why is a case often decided by more than one instance?

Often times a case is decided by more than one instance. For example, a defendant may lodge an appeal against the judgment given by a trial judge. Where the court of appeal found in favour of the ...
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Can contracts include irrevocable terms of imprisonment for breach?

As noted here: At least in Israel, by agreeing to marry under religious law a person is irrevocably subject to that law's rulings, to the extent that a religious court can sentence one to a term in ...
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Assault in an airplane aisle

Consider the following scenario: A, B, and C are passengers on a single-aisle commercial airplane that is disembarking in New York. A is blocking B from passing. A makes way for C to pass, but C ...
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156 views

I think I'm being unfairly punished in my workplace - do I have legal recourse?

I have suffered what I think is unreasonable, prejudiced punishment at my (industrial) job. Is there any legal recourse for me to defend against this? I'm in Manitoba, Canada. My superior is unfairly ...
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65 views

Does intent affect whether or not repudiation or fundamental breach has occurred?

Consider the case of nonpayment under a very simple contract, where the only promise made is that Person A will perform and deliver some specific work, and Business B will pay them a stated amount for ...
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Is the modification / removal of service by a private organization during the term of service illegal?

Suppose an organization have advertised to provide multiple services throughout the course of a year. Each service is sequential, one begins as the previous ends. The organization has advertised that ...
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68 views

Arizona Common Law Marriage and Kids

In Arizona, Common Law Marriage is not recognized. I heard if a couple has a common law marriage and has kids, if the man dies without a will, the kids/wife don't end up inheriting his possessions. ...
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Possible consequences of bugging in game

Is it possible to suffer any consequences for the using bugs or programs that use these bugs, in multiplayer game where enter usually 20 - 60 players at the same time? Headquarter of the company is in ...
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Do courts in a common law system ever make decisions about law without a presented case?

In the United States, the Supreme Court does not make a decision about the validity of a law without a specific case presented to them. Are there any examples of common law systems in which a court is ...
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141 views

What is the meaning of N.B.?

From my research it seems N.B. stands for Nota Bene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nota_bene). But I would like to understand the legal significance of this term in Common Law Jurisdictions. I am ...
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Can court enforce an implied contract?

We developed a demo for a client, who after the last meeting went silent and elusive claiming to be busy at our every request. After a year he launched the new website which was a copy and paste of ...
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How are damages calculated for intentional torts of assault and outrage?

Intentional torts like assault and outrage (a.k.a. infliction of emotional distress), or for that matter, dignitary torts (e.g., invasion of privacy, or alienation of affection) don't have readily ...
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54 views

Is “accusing one liable to offence” indirectly libel?

Suppose there are three people, A, B, and C. A and B has a personal dispute, all parties know each other, and on one day, B's private chat group was attacked and destroyed by an unknown person, whose ...
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When can punching be legal?

My neighbor kissed my wife. I was pissed and wanted to punch him in his face. But I was able to suppress my anger. If I did punch him, would that be okay? I saw people punch one another over this in ...
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In English Law, official guidance can state “minor” matters exempt from a statutory requirement — but on what authority?

I just noticed an oddity in some legal guidance published by the UK Government. The Party Wall Act states that certain works are covered by its requirements, including the requirement to give notice. ...
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Common law ancestors/relatives and citations/precedents

This is a continuation of an existing question: Is there one body of common law? Now, referring to an article on NPR: On Libel And The Law, U.S. And U.K. Go Separate Ways, it is stated by the ...
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Using a celebrities likeness in a small game - what are the legal issues surrounding this?

A friend and I are currently brainstorming ideas for a little game project we have in a few weeks and one of the ideas involves using two currently alive celebrities as the protagonists. The game ...
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Good Samaritan / Bad Samaritan

While I know that in common law countries there's no legal requirement to provide assistance, is there any liability for failing to do so once you've volunteered to? I'm interested both in a general ...
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Consensus-Criminal Justice

How is it possible to have a consensus about what should or should not be legal in a country with several hundred million people from all races, religions, and walks of life?