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Compare Civil Law with Common Law
« on: October 07, 2018, 03:38:33 PM »
I. How would you compare the Civil Law system in its governance and trend with that of the Common Law system? (1997 Bar Question) 

SUGGESTED ANSWER:  As regards "governance": Governance in Civil Law is codal, statutory and written law. It is additionally derived from case law.

Common law is basically derived from case law.  As regards "trend": Civil law is now tending to rely more and more on decisions of the courts explaining the laws. Common law is now codifying laws more and more. So they are now merging towards similar systems. 

ADDITIONAL ANSWERS:  Common law refers to the traditional part of the law as distinct from legislation: it refers to the universal part of law as distinct from particular local customs (Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 7).  On the other hand, civil law is understood to be that branch of law governing the relationship of persons in respect of their personal and private interests as distinguished from both public and international laws.  In common law countries, the traditional responsibility has for the most part been with the Judges; in civil law countries, the task is primarily reposed on the lawmakers. Contemporary practices, however, so indicate a trend towards centralizing that function to professional groups that may, indeed, see the gradual assimilation in time of both systems. (Vitug, Civil Law and Jurisprudence. p. XX]  In Civil Law, the statutes theoretically take precedence over court decisions interpreting them; while in Common Law, the court decisions resolving specific cases are regarded as law rather than the statutes themselves which are, at the start, merely embodiments of case law. Civil Law is code law or written law, while Common Law is case law. Civil Law adopts the deductive method - from the general to the particular, while the Common Law uses the inductive approach - from the particular to the general. Common Law relies on equity. Civil Law anchors itself on the letter of the law. The civilists are for the judge-proof law even as the Common Law is judge-made law. Civil Law judges are merely supposed to apply laws and not interpret them. ...

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