SUCCESSIONS AFTER DEATH. In the Lecture on Possession, I tried to show that the notion of possessing a right as such was intrinsically absurd. All rights are consequences attached to filling some situation of fact. A right which may be acquired by possession differs from others simply in being attached to a situation of such a nature that it may […]

We now come to a period of steady growth in the common law covering just over a century and a quarter (1272-1399). The reign of Edward I is marked by one of the greatest outbursts of reforming legislation in English history until the nineteenth century. The first Statute of Westminster (1275) made numerous changes in procedure, many of them designed to protect the subject against the King’s officers, for the evidence collected by the commission of inquiry set up in the previous year had revealed a good deal of oppression.

The common law originally developed under the auspices of the adversarial system in historical England from judicial decisions that were based in tradition, custom, and precedent. The form of reasoning used in common law is known as casuistry or case-based reasoning. Common law may be unwritten or written in statutes or codes. The common law, as applied in civil cases (as distinct from criminal cases), was devised as a means of compensating someone for wrongful acts known as torts, including both intentional torts and torts caused by negligence and as developing the body of law recognizing and regulating contracts.

In the sense and for the causes I have now shortly set forth, I propose as the general subject of these lectures the Genius of the Common Law. For reasons which seem imperative, I do not propose to handle the matter as a chronicler. A concise history of the Common Law might be a very good thing; I have thought once and again of its possibilities; but if ever the time comes when it can be brought within the compass of eight, ten or twelve lectures, it will be after much more searching and sifting have been done.

The Indian Courts in the absence of any specific law are enjoined to decide cases “according to justice, equity and good conscience.” The expression “justice, equity and good conscience” has been interpreted to mean “the rules of English law if found applicable to Indian society and circumstances”; Waghela Rajsanji v. Shekh Masluddin (1887) 14 IA 89 at 96 (PC). Sir […]

It must be remembered that an easement is a specific right subtracted from the general rights constituting ownership of one property and attached to the ownership of another property. In the language of the Act an easement is a restriction of a natural right. An easement, therefore, must be distinguished from natural rights. The latter, as their name imports, are […]

WHEREAS the Process, Practice, and Mode of Pleading in the Superior Courts of Common Law at Westminster may be rendered more simple and speedy : Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows : Only Active […]

In common law cases the appellate court could ordinarily review only rulings of law. In equity cases, on the other hand, the appellate court could review findings of fact as well as conclusions of law. The significant thing about common law pleadings in error was that their scope was so limited that they did not bring about a review of the merits of the judgment. […]

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