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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1answer
46 views

How far does liability extend in a civil conspiracy?

Acme LLC makes widgets. Bob is a member of Acme. Bob tries to take Acme's widget maker, thinking he can operate the machine himself, but breaks it in the process. Of course Bob has also violated his ...
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1answer
76 views

What are the legal implications of manipulating Bitcoin if you could “forge” transactions?

Imagine I have recently been abducted by highly advanced and strangely opinionated aliens who provide me with unfathomably advanced technology on the condition that I undermine Bitcoin (the aliens are ...
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1answer
179 views

When in court, how do you determine when to push the rules aside and make up your own?

I don't know any other way to ask it. I have recently been told that when you are in traffic court there are no references to federal law and to try to use federal law would be considered "pseudo ...
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1answer
253 views

Who is to examine the witness who is the self-represented plaintiff or prosecutor?

Bob is a self-represented plaintiff in a civil case (or, say, private prosecutor in a criminal case). He is also a witness. If the trial is judge-alone aka bench (not jury), he is able to conduct it ...
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1answer
44 views

Deed of undertaking between neighbours

Neighbours have an issue about their adjoining land parcels and have verbally agreed to sort it out in a certain way. One of them wants to make sure that the other is aware of the consequences and ...
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1answer
67 views

What is the extent of “technically feasible” in common law?

If a law requires a website to perform a duty towards its users as far as technically feasible what is the extent ? Does it mainly take care of financxial costs? Meaning is something that is possible ...
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1answer
52 views

What happens when a Canadian not-for-profit organization does not comply with its own by-laws?

When I search "by-law Canada" in Google, everything I get is about "municipal by-laws" such as as the first result which is the website of a law firm that explains what municipal ...
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2answers
257 views

Does “duty to rescue” apply to a child that one has no direct responsibility for?

This appeared in a comment on another SE site: If I am sitting by a deep swimming pool and see an unsupervised toddler child playing close to the edge - and then watch the child fall in and drown, ...
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4answers
89 views

Do proponents of jury trials see it as a means to an end, or an end in itself? [closed]

Let me explain the question. In the U.S., it is common place to hear people express enthusiasm for the fact that many cases are determined by juries. Such enthusiasm may be motivated by the efficiency/...
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3answers
142 views

Street signs and bylaws — what matters more?

The question is specifically about a situation in Canada (province Ontario, city of Toronto), but other common law country view would be useful. Suppose there is a municipal bylaw that prohibits ...
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10answers
5k views

What distinguishes adverse possession from theft?

I understand that, in the United States, adverse possession is a legal (but very rare) way to take ownership of someone else's real property against their will. What I don't understand is how this is ...
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2answers
138 views

Stochastic legal liability

I am trying to understand how do legal systems handle situation where there is no clear causal responsibility of a person, but a well established stochastic relation. I am aware of the "beyond ...
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2answers
136 views

How can we reconcile the fact that common law, relative to civil law, give judges more power in interpreting law but less power in guiding trials? [closed]

In common law, judge-made precedents are more important than in civil law where judges are supposed to stick more closely to the written code. Thus, one may say that judges are given more power in ...
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1answer
61 views

How large is the difference in the amount of reading needed to become familiar with the law in common vs civil law countries? [closed]

Common law relies more on previous rulings while civil law relies more on written code. Therefore, one would expect it takes more work to become familiar with the law in the former case. Please ...
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3answers
99 views

Why are headnotes presumed to be correct in England and Wales, but not USA?

Please see the question in the subject line. I can post a separate question if you want, but are headnotes presumed correct in other Commonwealth jurisdictions? Canada? Australia? New Zealand? ...
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44 views

How distinct (un-continental) are the UK tax and accounting law and court decisions in tax and accounting cases?

UK has common law system which is based on the case law. But meanwhile there is ongoing efforts to codify some laws - e.g. there is https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/23/contents Value Added ...
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2answers
162 views

Does pleading guilty circumvent the 'corpus delicti' rule?

The corpus delicti rule states, if I understand it correctly, that there must be evidence that a crime occured (other than a confession) before anyone can be convicted of that crime. I have found ...
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3answers
8k views

Is it a real legal principle that any ambiguity in a contract is interpreted to the benefit of the side that did not write the contract?

I have heard that there is a legal principle where any ambiguity in the contract is interpreted to the benefit of the side that did not draw up or suggest the contract text. This was presented to me ...
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34 views

Claiming *forum non conveniens* after extended “shadow litigation”

Can someone claim that a particular forum is inconvenient after challenging service through a proxy (the recipient), thus essentially "shadow litigating" intensively for an extended period ...
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3answers
88 views

Northern Ireland: Is Homicide an offence in common law or is it an offence in statute?

In one of the episodes of the British-Irish television series The Fall, a person is charged by PSNI, in Northern Ireland, with multiple counts of murder. The police officer reads out the charges in ...
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1answer
52 views

By what laws can the DoJ be the plaintiff for breaking confidentiality of the First Lady?

Quoting Techdirt: On Tuesday, the Justice Department sued Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former close friend of the First Lady, Melania Trump, who recently published a book about her relationship with ...
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1answer
50 views

Liability and Responsibility what is the importance of the distinction in common Law

In Civil Law( legal system) there is no distinction between Liability and Responsibility. One can only seek(judicially) the cessation of an illegal act if they have suffered damages. One can only ...
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1answer
60 views

How are affirmative defenses of duress and necessity treated in U.S. law?

Duress and Necessity are two common law "affirmative defenses" that can be argued for acquittal of a criminal charge. However I can't find clear law or precedent for either in the United ...
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2answers
245 views

Where does the legal principle of “can't benefit twice” come from?

I've been told there is a legal principle (in UK law, specifically England) that a person cannot be allowed to benefit twice from a court's decision. I've found criminal law which addresses that, and ...
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2answers
2k views

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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1answer
365 views

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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63 views

How is an American citizen expected to know how to live lawfully? [duplicate]

I am looking for a resource(s) to learn "The laws of daily living", and trying to understand what the U.S government had in mind for the layperson who may not be able to read the law codes ...
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1answer
163 views

Why require unanimous jury for 'not guilty' verdict?

People say that the rationale for requiring unanimous jury decisions is rooted in favouritism of the defendant. But is that true? Without referencing certain game theoretic experiments/models, it ...
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0answers
82 views

Is allowing kids to leave their bike out on their lawn an example of attractive nuisance?

I know plenty of friends who have allowed their kids to leave their bikes in the front yard. I'm wondering what would happen if a random child were to steal a bike left out and get hurt playing with ...
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92 views

How long do a man and a woman live together before they are considered common law married?

How long do a man and a woman live together before they are considered common law married in Dallas, Texas?
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1answer
228 views

USA: Do 911/PD phone operators have a 'duty to rescue'?

As I understand it: 'duty to rescue' does not generally exist for regular citizens in the USA. (Some exceptions apply!) Let's say I'm in Europe and I call the general inquiry phone number of a local (...
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1answer
87 views

Reversing (overturning) vs remanding (remitting)

When a higher (appellate) court finds that a lower court erred in law, there are two possible outcomes: The lower court's decision is reversed / overturned and replaced with a new one. No new ...
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2k 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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1answer
24 views

Is a decree of civil court mandatorily required to be executed in common law juridictions?

In short, my question is that are execution proceedings mandatorily required to be concluded before a decree holder may enjoy the fruits of his decree against the judgment debtor OR are execution ...
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2answers
37 views

What are “cooperation in perfecting rights” and are they enforcable?

Bellow is an example "Perfection Rights" provision from a employment contract. To me it seems to be saying 1) you agree to do paper work we may need you to do, even after you are no longer ...
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1answer
82 views

Would a jury have been used in a divorce trial in 1920s England?

Alfred Hitchcock's silent film Easy Virtue opens with a divorce trial, interspersed with flashbacks. The film is set in the 1920s, and the trial is in England. It seems to show a jury meeting and ...
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1answer
30 views

Neighbour dispute

If any visitor comes to my home, then when they return from my home, my neighbour comes near the fence and starts talking with my visitors. I feel it as a disturbance for my privacy and for ...
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33 views

What is meant by Capacity to Perform Juristic Acts

What is the difference between Capacity to Act and Legal Capacity?
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1answer
58 views

Does a U.S. District judge's decision set binding horizontal precedent in the same district?

Suppose a U.S. district judge in, say, the Southern district of New York writes a decision regarding some legal procedure. Can a different U.S. district judge in the same district write a ...
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1answer
95 views

Pipes Froze BC Condo Owner Blocked Furnace Vents

TL;DR: I live in a condo and a majority owner turned off the furnace which heats our crawlspace. Our pipes froze and I would like to explore legal actions to resolve this issue. Hi Everyone, I am in ...
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120 views

At what point could courts in England no longer legally create new Common Law offenses?

Common Law offenses, of course, were crimes created solely through case law rather than statute. At what point was the legal authority of courts in England to create new Common Law offenses abolished?...
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3answers
1k views

Is there one body of common law?

I'm a bit confused by the usage of the phrase "common law" on this site. The Wikipedia article initially describes it as an abstract concept. The first paragraph reads: Common law (also known as ...
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1answer
48 views

What standing does the delegatee have?

I'm working on understanding some topics from contract law -- specifically about delegation (a type of contract assignment). Let's say the client bought a kit to build something and then realized he ...
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1answer
79 views

Can a private individual issue receipts?

In certain jurisdictions such as Singapore, sole proprietorships must be registered. In these jurisdictions, can a private individual issue receipts? Perhaps a more specific legal question is: where ...
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5answers
417 views

Is an illegal abortion a Malum in Se offense or a Malum Prohibitum offense?

Anglo-American Common Law generally divides criminal offenses into two categories. Malum in Se offenses are inherently wrong. This includes traditional offenses such as Murder, Robbery, and Assault. ...
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246 views

Elements of bribery: what is a “thing of value”?

There is lately some suggestion that a US president who withholds aid to a foreign country on the condition that the foreign country investigate a political opponent constitutes bribery. The ...
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9k views
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117 views

Was new law created when the UK Supreme Court ruled against the prorogation?

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that: a ruling on a prorogation was justiciable and that the duration of the prorogation Boris Johnson advised the Queen to enact, was unlawful Does this mean new ...
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89 views

What is the correct way of discharging contract when parties can't agree on shipping?

When selling stuff on TradeMe, one way of specifying shipping options is "To be arranged". That is, seller can skip researching shipping options/costs and only worry about it once the item is ...
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3answers
141 views

What is the equivalent for “Consideration” (English common law) in Spanish speaking countries?

Consideration is a concept of English common law and is a necessity for simple contracts. Consideration may be thought of as the concept of value offered and accepted by people or organisations ...