The meaning of the term "common law" This term has at least four different meanings. 1. (in contrast to local law) The law common to the whole of England after 1066, as opposed to local law (which had existed before 1066 and continued to exist to some extent after 1066). This was the original meaning of the term. This common law was the law made in the King's (or Queen's) courts. E.g.
The common law was developed gradually over a period of time, beginning in 1066. Eventually it became a rigid system and ceased to develop to any great extent.
The term is only used in connection with legal history. 2. (in contrast to legislation) Law made by the decisions of judges, as opposed to legislation (statutes), which is law made by Parliament. This meaning arose because the law of England was often made by judges. Another expression with a similar meaning is "case law": much of English law is case law. E.g.
Murder is a common-law offence ( = its definition is contained in an old report of a legal case where the judge defined the offence of murder in the course of giving his opinion) ...Zum vollständigen Artikel