Common-law meaning

kŏmən-lô
Common law is defined as a body of legal rules that have been made by judges as they issue rulings on cases, as opposed to rules and laws made by the legislature or in official statutes.

An example of common law is a rule that a judge made that says that people have a duty to read contracts.

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A legal system derived from the broad and comprehensive principles encompassed within the unwritten laws of England and applied in most English-speaking countries, including the United States (except the state of Louisiana). The principles are created and modified by judicial decisions; passed on through custom, traditional usage, and precedent; are adaptable when applied to new facts and circumstances; and are changeable when required. Although much of what was once part of the common law, such as commercial law and criminal law, has been codified, other areas of the law, such as contract law, property law, and tort law, are still primarily governed by the principles of the common law. See also case law, casus omissus, civil law, and natural law.
noun
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The definition of common law is a union between a couple who has lived together for long enough that they are essentially considered for some legal purpose to be married, even though they never actually legally wed.

An example of a common law marriage is when two people have lived together for 10 or more years and have thus earned a legal right to share their assets because of it.

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Of or relating to a common-law marriage.
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Of, relating to, or based on common law.
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Law established by court decisions rather than by statutes enacted by legislatures.
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The legal procedures and decisions of courts of law as distinguished from courts of equity. Also called law.
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(law, typically in the phrase "common law jurisdiction") A jurisdiction that uses a common law system (in sense 2), United Kingdom and most of its former colonies and possessions, including the United States.
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Relating to common-law marriage.
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The law of a country or state based on custom, usage, and the decisions and opinions of law courts: it is now largely codified by legislative definition.
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The case law derived from federal court decisions interpreting federal statutes or addressing other matters of federal concern.
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(law, typically in the phrase "common law system") A legal system that gives great precedential weight to common law (in sense 1), as opposed to a civil law, Islamic law, and Soviet law systems.
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Of or pertaining to common law.
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(law) Law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals (also called case law), as distinguished from legislative statutes or regulations promulgated by the executive branch.
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(law, archaic) One of two legal systems in England and in the United States before 1938 (the other being equity).
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The law of England adopted by its territories and colonies, including the United States at the time of its formation.
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