Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-4nk8m Total loading time: 0.243 Render date: 2021-10-22T03:08:36.473Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

CHAPTER 1 - THE SOURCES OF AMERICAN LAW

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Get access

Summary

A consideration of the sources of law in a legal order must deal with a variety of different, although related, matters. Historical roots and derivations need explanation. The system's formal allocation of authority over the creation and adaptation of legal rules and principles deserves attention, as do the manner in which legal rules are presented and the processes of analysis through which they are applied. Finally, those structural features somewhat particular to the legal system that may affect significantly its general style and operational modes should be discussed.

HISTORICAL ROOTS

Historically speaking, American private law's source is the English common law. The reception on the North American continent of the common law is considered in Chapter 2, The American common law. A few words can be said here respecting certain structural features of the common law thus received that have particular importance for American law's general style and modes of operation.

The common law makes extensive use of juries in the administration of civil as well as criminal justice. The jury, which always deliberates separately from the judge, is basically responsible for deciding disputed issues of fact. Widespread use of juries carries with it a number of consequences, some of which are mentioned later in this chapter or considered in greater detail in Chapters 6 and 8. These include concentration of the trial at first instance into a single episode, the development of a sophisticated and complex body of exclusionary rules of evidence, and giving community feelings and views greater weight in the administration of justice than is the case where professionals alone bear responsibility.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×