The Common Law of England and Wales is one of the major global legal traditions. In order to understand the common law, we need to deal with its history, and the development of its characteristic institutions like the jury, judge made law, parliamentary sovereignty and due process. We also need to ask some critical questions. What role does democracy play in the development of the common law? To what extent are human rights central to the modern common law? How does the common law of England and Wales relate to the law of the European Union? Answering these questions will give us insights into the current challenges the law faces and its possible futures.
- Week 1 - Week One: Dead Kings and Presidents: A Brief History of the Common Law
Week one introduces you to the history of the Common Law, from armies and kings through to modern family life. We will journey through the evolution of the Common Law to the system we see today. By the end of this week, hopefully you'll understand more about: ...
- Week 2 - Week Two: See You In Court: The Court System and the Common Law
Welcome to week 2 of English Common Law. Learning outcomes this week: 1. Describe the Hierarchy of the UK Courts, the Judges who sit there and their Judicial role
- Week 3 - Week Three: Supreme Power: Parliamentary Sovereignty and Law Making
Welcome to week 3 of English Common Law. Learning outcomes this week: 1. Explain the concept of Parliamentary Sovereignty 2. Describe the journey of a Bill
- Week 4 - Week Four: Wigs and Pens: Judicial Law Making and the doctrine of Precedent
Welcome to week 4 of English Common Law. Learning Outcomes this week: 1. Explain the Court Hierarchy in relation to precedent 2. Identify ways in which precedent may be avoided 3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of precedent
- Week 5 - Week Five: Reading the Riot Act: How Statutes are Interpreted
Welcome to week 5 of English Common Law. Learning Outcomes this week: 1. Explain the role of Judges in interpreting the law 2. Compare the rules of interpretation and identify the rules of language
- Week 6 - Week Six: After the War, Before the Peace: The European Union and Human Rights
Welcome to week 6 of English Common Law. Learning Outcomes: 1. Explain the effect of the European Communities Act 1972 on Parliamentary Sovereignty 2. Identify the effect on precedent and statutory interpretation 3. Discuss the effect of the Human Rights Act 1...
- Professor Adam Gearey, Professor of Law
School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London