Common Law System

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What is common law?

Common law is generally uncodified which is, there are no inclusive collation of legal rules and statutes. Common law is dependent on some scattered statutes. This is the decision of the legislation and is largely based on precedent. Precedent is the judicial decisions that have already been made in similar cases. The function of common law as an adversarial system is a contest between two opposing parties before a judge who moderates. A jury of ordinary people, who is without legal training, decides on the facts of the case. Then the appropriate sentence is decided by the judge based on the jury’s verdict.

Traditional emerge of common law in UK

Common law is also called Anglo- American law. This is a body of customary
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The legal system, likewise, are described in contrast to the dichotomy between customary law and state law and between informal and formal justice. In addition, most countries in the south pacific are based on common law jurisdictions. Fiji is one of them. The supreme law of these countries is the constitution. The power to enact legislation is given to the national legislature by the constitution. Judicial functions are carried out by the national courts.
Thus, at this instant this essay will focus on the statement;
“Judges are not political; they are neutral umpires”. This statement will be discussed with reference to the UK processes of legal reasoning and compare that with Fiji.
To begin with, judges have numerous roles. Their roles are to interpret laws, assess the evidence presented and have the overall control on how hearings and trials make known in their courtroom. Judges are called impartial decision makers in the pursuit of justice also recognized as an adversarial system of
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Common law is still important body in the legal system as parliamentary law. Judiciary plays a vital role in the areas that are not covered by statutes. Judicial precedent hails from from decisions made by judges which create law for later judges to follow in the future. This is based on the Latin term ‘Stare Decisis’ which means let the decision stand. This supports the idea of fairness and certainty in law. If the higher court overruled the decision, in the court hierarchy, then new law applies.
• For example; in the case R v R [1991] UKHL12. Is a court judgement delivered in 1991. In 1990, R, the defendant was convicted of attempting to rape his wife. He appealed under common law on the grounds of a purported marital rape exemption. The defendant claimed that it was not legally possible for the husband to rape his wife. The wife had given irrevocable consent to sexual intercourse with her husband through the contract of marriage, which she could not subsequently
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