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Law and Legal,Law,Legal,Attorney,Attorney GeneralWp Legal Pages is a simple 1 click legal page management plugin. LAW, CIVIL. The term civil law is generally applied by way of eminence to the civil or municipal law of the Roman empire, without distinction as to the time when the principles of such law were established or modified. In another sense, the civil law is that collection of laws comprised in the institutes, the code, and the digest of the emperor Justinian, and the novel constitutions of himself and some of his successors. Ersk. Pr. L. Scotl. B. 1, t. l, s. 9; 6 L. R. 494.

After the American Revolution, Massachusetts became the first state to establish an official Reporter of Decisions. As newer states needed law, they often looked first to the Massachusetts Reports for authoritative precedents as a basis for their own common law. 53 The United States federal courts relied on private publishers until after the Civil War, and only began publishing as a government function in 1874 West Publishing in Minnesota is the largest private-sector publisher of law reports in the United States. Government publishers typically issue only decisions “in the raw,” while private sector publishers often add indexing, editorial analysis, and similar finding aids.

ius scriptum and ius non scriptum – meaning written and unwritten law, respectively. In practice, the two differed by the means of their creation and not necessarily whether or not they were written down. The ius scriptum was the body of statute laws made by the legislature. The laws were known as leges (lit. “laws”) and plebiscita (lit. “plebiscites,” originating in the Plebeian Council ). Roman lawyers would also include in the ius scriptum the edicts of magistrates (magistratuum edicta), the advice of the Senate (Senatus consulta), the responses and thoughts of jurists ( responsa prudentium), and the proclamations and beliefs of the emperor (principum placita). Ius non scriptum was the body of common laws that arose from customary practice and had become binding over time.

In a common law jurisdiction several stages of research and analysis are required to determine “what the law is” in a given situation. 43 First, one must ascertain the facts. Then, one must locate any relevant statutes and cases. Then one must extract the principles, analogies and statements by various courts of what they consider important to determine how the next court is likely to rule on the facts of the present case. Later decisions, and decisions of higher courts or legislatures carry more weight than earlier cases and those of lower courts. 44 Finally, one integrates all the lines drawn and reasons given, and determines “what the law is”. Then, one applies that law to the facts.

Judge-made common law operated as the primary source of law for several hundred years, before Parliament acquired legislative powers to create statutory law It is important to understand that common law is the older and more traditional source of law, and legislative power is simply a layer applied on top of the older common law foundation. Since the 12th century, courts have had parallel and co-equal authority to make law 77 —”legislating from the bench” is a traditional and essential function of courts, which was carried over into the U.S. system as an essential component of the “judicial power” specified by Article III of the U.S. constitution. 24 Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. summarized centuries of history in 1917, “judges do and must legislate.” 78 There are legitimate debates on how the powers of courts and legislatures should be balanced. However, the view that courts lack law-making power is historically inaccurate and constitutionally unsupportable.