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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19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can I trick an innocent third party into doing something that would be illegal if the third party had mens rea without either of us being guilty?

Lets say I want something to happen but doing it directly would be a crime. This is one crime that requires intent or mens rea. So I hunt down an innocent third party, someone naïve, perhaps even a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
58 views

What is the "fringe on the flag" argument?

Another answer on this question refers to the "fringe on the flag" category of arguments. What is the "fringe on the flag" argument?
0 votes
2 answers
68 views

Is it necessary for a signature to be reasonably legible on a legal document?

In general some legal documents must be signed. So what determines whether a signature on such a document requiring to be signed is valid or not? More specifically, is a signagure that is completely ...
1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Does an MLAT request have an age limit?

Having recently found out about Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) requests, I had some questions that I could not find on the government (gov.uk) website. I am interested in both between UK and EU ...
4 votes
2 answers
167 views

Can my ex take back a laptop he gifted to me? [duplicate]

My ex gifted me a gaming laptop about six and a half months ago. He told me straight ward that he was giving me the laptop. I even offered money to him for it and he denied it. Now he's saying he ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Minimum sentence for Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request

I was told by a friend studying Law, that for a country to submit a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request there would be certain criteria that must first be met. If they are not met, the MLAT ...
4 votes
2 answers
625 views

What are the regulatory equivalents of "prosecute" and "convict"?

If I understand correctly, the terms "prosecute," "convict," "guilty," and "innocent" are only used in criminal cases. What are the equivalents in cases of ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the origin and basis of stare decisis?

When, where, how, and why did the doctrine that courts must have regard to the entirety of the infinitely ever growing corpus of judicial decisions that came before that sub judice and align their ...
1 vote
1 answer
55 views

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act statute of limitations

I was looking into the criminal law application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the United States of America. Since, to the best of my knowledge, it is a Federal crime the statute of ...
0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Do principles of common law apply everywhere? [closed]

For example presumed innocent until proven guilty is a principle of common law. Does it apply in every country which has common law?
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Date on Legal letter

Very often, the letters will state to respond within x days from the date of letter. Are there any regulations for law firms, banks or credit companies to provide a reasonable window of time for ...
3 votes
1 answer
382 views

Defendant not present for sentencing

If the defendant does not turn up to court for sentencing, can the defence still put forward mitigations and character references? One would assume that the defence would be prevented from bringing ...
3 votes
1 answer
64 views

How would an extradition work when only one of two actions was criminal?

Pretend somebody committed two different acts that were considered crimes in their country. This person then fled to another country, where only one of their acts is considered a crime. In the above ...
2 votes
2 answers
68 views

Are civil law cases precedents in common law states?

So, Louisiana is a bit of an odd-ball state in that it observes civil law (Napoleonic law). The big difference between common law and civil law is that in civil law, the judge is expected to base his ...
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Until what stage can a judge overrule a jury's verdict?

In the England & Wales jurisdiction, at a Crown Court, I have heard that the judge has the power to overrule a jury's guilty verdict. I assume, as an example, this would happen if the jury ...
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Sentencing guidelines - released after half or two thirds?

The Sentencing Council website explains how long an offender would spend in prison. I was interested in the first part of the below paragraph. For some serious violent or sexual offences where the ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Appealing a verdict due to the lawyers being incompetent and or failing to follow instructions?

Pretend there is a criminal court case against a defendant in England and Wales. The instructed solicitor from a firm, and barrister from a Chambers, do not follow the defendant's wishes regarding a ...
4 votes
1 answer
52 views

Similar website to TheLawPages in the USA?

I use a website called TheLawPages to research various crimes, and sentences given to offenders. It is an invaluable tool, especially because it allows me to pick the type of court, offence type, and ...
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Are there "common-law-marriage" like implications in states without common law marriage?

There are only under 20 states that recognize common-law marriage. My question is, in the other 30+ states, is there any legal effect caused by "common-law-like conditions"? In other words, ...
0 votes
3 answers
59 views

If a business partner did not put money into the founding of the company are they still entitled to their shares?

Consider the scenario in Western Australia: Me and 2 others want to go into business together based on what we believe will make us profit (etc.). The decision is to form a company, however, due to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
267 views

How do you prove a fact at issue in litigation?

Many questions on this site ask some variant of the question: "how does one prove something in court?" Paraphrasing a few: How do you prove that someone forged your signature? How do you ...
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3 votes
2 answers
644 views

Can a person be fired, banned and evicted (etc.) without a court order?

It seems like a lot of "punishments" can be applied to a person without having to go to court. For example a person can be banned from private or public property for any or no reason. I've ...
3 votes
1 answer
54 views

Valid definition of "vagrant" per Washington state law

RCW 9.66.010 suggests that in "every place... [w]here vagrants resort... [e]very act unlawfully done and every omission to perform a duty, which act or omission [s]hall offend public decency"...
3 votes
3 answers
164 views

What is the point of requiring consideration in a contract?

If a contract where Bob gives Alice a peppercorn and she gives him an airplane will be enforced by a court if one of them tries to back out, what's the point of not enforcing a contract where Alice ...
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0 votes
1 answer
64 views

Wife involved in car accident, minor injuries, not her fault, driver failed to yield [closed]

my wife was in a car accident back in March of this year. She was in a 2001 Toyota Sequoia when a car failed to yield and turned left in front of her causing the accident. The air bags did deploy and ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
135 views

Have any countries banned helicopters?

I was curious as to whether any countries had banned helicopters being flown within their air space? Whether this be people flying there for business purposes, flying domestically, or leaving the ...
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Is there a legal procedure in debt collection?

A company sells your data to a debt collection agency without proven attempts to collect payments from you for years. A law firm sends you a letter of demand when they have not attempted to contact ...
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Law about adult video websites retaining actors' PII

Pretend there is a British person in the United Kingdom (England & Wales jurisdiction), that for some legally justifiable reason needs to obtain the name (and other information) of a female adult ...
7 votes
2 answers
803 views

What are "equity" and "equitable remedies"?

What is equity and/or an equitable remedy? How does it relate to the common law?
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0 votes
0 answers
55 views

Universal Credits and community service?

I have read many cases of criminals within the United Kingdom, focusing on England and Wales, being given community service rather than a prison sentence. What I am curious to discover is whether they ...
2 votes
1 answer
49 views

Does absence of legal advice affect litigation of a written agreement?

It is common for parties to a contract to adapt templates (in a generally misguided effort to avoid legal costs). In such cases, the Written Agreement may not reflect the parties' Actual Agreement. ...
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21 votes
7 answers
5k views

When does silence imply consent?

Does the saying qui tacet consentire videtur (silence implies consent) carry any weight in civil litigation? For example, suppose that Alice emails Bob, "When I began work we agreed that the rate ...
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0 votes
1 answer
84 views

What is the threshold of suspicion for retail loss prevention to subject shoppers to various impositions

Meet Bob. Bob purchased something and elects not to print/collect a receipt from the self checkout till. The security then accosts him suspecting him of not paying for it and he insists that he did, ...
21 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to "withdraw consent" without implying consent was ever given?

Privacy policy often states that one can "withdraw consent" to the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. Unfortunately, it is often the case that consent was given to the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

What was the scope of the Norman influence upon the English legal system?

Which aspects of the English legal system are characterized by clear influences from France? How is this reconciled with the different (civil/common law) paradigms? For example, the justices of the ...
5 votes
1 answer
350 views

Picking fruit that overhangs public property

Today I was eating plums from a tree growing on private property, which I picked from branches overhanging the public highway. A passing cyclist said "That is scrumping" and I replied "...
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4 votes
1 answer
90 views

Statutory Interpretation in Civil-Legal Systems?

There are several Statutory Interpretation rules which judges within the United Kingdom must follow when trying criminal cases under the Common Law system. These rules are used to prevent laws from ...
0 votes
3 answers
57 views

When is evidence deemed adduced in bench (judge-alone) criminal trials?

Background This question is answered easily for jury trials: something is put in evidence ("adduced") when the jury hears / sees it and there is no direction from the judge to disregard it. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

How when and why were the chancery and common law courts merged?

What had previously been the respective roles of each? Was chancery court system the last one to finally be subsumed by the common law courts? What social and political forces drove this change and ...
3 votes
1 answer
115 views

What is the history of minors being unable to bind themselves to contracts?

What was the first jurisdiction that had special rules for contracts to which a person under a certain age is a party? How did the modern concept that people under 18 can back out of contracts except ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
33 views

Does the phrase exclusive possession actually denote a covenant or "implied term" of tenancies which landlords must respect, as is often claimed?

Or is it more a taxonomical device used to deduce as to whether or not a given agreement for accommodation is legally to be deemed a tenancy? In other words, considering the following quotation from ...
1 vote
2 answers
59 views

Is there consideration if one item is given from someone who doesn't want it to someone who does?

Suppose I have an old refrigerator that no longer works. I don't want it, and would pay someone to take it; its value to me is negative. But my neighbor has an appliance repair company. My ...
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1 vote
3 answers
165 views

Hypothetical invoving the Felony Murder rule and a violent crime intermeddled-upon by an un-involved murderer

This is a hypothetical that I encountered in a work of fiction. The work itself wasn't really a story about law and only briefly discussed the possible ramifications, but I thought I would bring it ...
1 vote
1 answer
148 views

What was the mens rea of being a common scold?

The obsolete offence of being a common scold is somewhat quaintly described by Blackstone (IV:13.5.8, p. 169) as Lastly, a common scold, communis rixatrix, (for our law-latin confines it to the ...
0 votes
0 answers
66 views

Common law occupation/"co-tenancy" rights trumping lease restrictions on cohabiting or reassigning?

If I'm not mistaken, under s30, Family Law Act 1996 a tenant's spouse or partner implicitly has the same rights to occupy a dwelling let by the tenant themselves and various illegal eviction rulings ...
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Does the doctrine of unlawful ouster apply throughout the common law world?

Like England for example? If so then why do English legal materials speak so much rather of illegal eviction than of unlawful ouster?
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there ever any consultation between judiciary and legislative draftspeople?

Often one sees judges attempting speculatively to infer legislators' intents by reasoning about their language. Yet nonetheless the objective seems to be to ascertain the legislators' original ...
2 votes
2 answers
135 views

Does Google have a right to block our app for trademark use?

In a recent app store update, we've included in our description the names of several brands that we support through functionality in our app. Some if not all of these names are trademarked in the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
166 views

What would happen if you staged or hoaxed the commission of a crime?

This was inspired by the title of the following: In a state with the common law definition of theft, can you force a store to take cash by "pretending" to steal? but in this situation, we ...
22 votes
3 answers
6k views

In a state with the common law definition of theft, can you force a store to take cash by "pretending" to steal?

If I understand correctly, (a) under common law, theft requires an intent to permanently deprive the owner, and (b) legal tender only applies to debts, not purchases. B is the reason why stores do not ...
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