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SAU TECH Common Law System Procedural Response

SAU TECH Common Law System Procedural Response


I need a response to this essay:

In legal systems, the adaptability of common law versus the traditional codified legal system depends on several factors. According to the text, some of these factors include flexibility, societal changes, judges’ interpretation, and precedent. While both systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, there is an argument to be made that common law is more adaptable and flexible while codified legal systems are not. This lends favor to common law in the current era because things are changing so rapidly as society advances. Common law as a system is also very old and used by many countries around the globe, including the United States (because we stole it from the British). It is considered to be the most beneficial system because of its flexibility which has evolved over the centuries that it has been in place. I will back up my claims with evidence from the text in the paragraphs below.

As I stated in the paragraph above, the flexibility of common law is a major benefit for the system. Under common law, the legal system is able to evolve and modify itself as society also grows and modifies. I can not imagine trying to use the same law system from centuries earlier without the internet, modern vehicles, or modern government. The British may have come up with the outline of common law as a system, but it is the society of whatever nation is implementing common law that made the system work. Common law allows judges to interpret and apply the law in a way that is responsive to changing societal norms. This means that things that were okay 50-100 years ago may not fly today under the ever-changing common law. The legal system needs to evolve and reflect the needs of the current society, not the society from 50 years ago.

Society is constantly changing. Even in the last 23 years, there has been a massive overhaul of what is considered to be “common”. The explosion of the internet is one of the biggest changes in recent history, and it has led to the creation of MANY new laws and regulations that someone living in the year 2000 would never even dream of. Common law can account for these changes. Common law is so flexible because it is shaped by actual disputes and conflicts that have an impact on the current society. Again, the internet is a great example. At the dawn of the internet, there were no laws against the sexual exploitation of others via the internet. As the internet grew though, the laws and regulations of crimes like sexual exploitation and harassment adapted and grew as well.

How a judge interprets a law can have a major impact on what the outcome may be in a court setting. Judges’ interpretations of laws are at the center of common law as a system. Common law judges have more room for interpretation when applying legal principles to cases. This translates into judges getting to be more “creative” when addressing new issues. Judges that do not operate under common law often require legislative action to address a new issue and this can take years to achieve. While it may sound like a negative thing to give judges so much power, in the end, it is beneficial to the system. Judges can interpret and implement laws in new ways that may help to incarcerate an offender for longer to keep society safe or vice versa and have leniency on a less-serious offender that would be given a harsher sentence.

A final benefit of the common law system is its implementation of precedent. Implementing precedent is beneficial as it allows legal principles to develop over time. Each new case contributes to the growing body of law, which allows the law to adapt without legal reform from a higher court (which can take a really long time). Huge cases like Brown v. Board of Education led to the abandonment of segregated classrooms which was a huge deal at the time. Brown v. Board of Education set the precedent for the evolving societal values at the time and helped shape the education system that we have currently. It is important that precedent is held so that the entire body of law can grow. As society evolves and advances, our laws should as well.

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