What is Common about Common Law?

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The Roots of Law

It is an error to think that we can run a society completely on “common sense”. Common sense is not so common! If we make our own rules, anarchy prevails as there is no agreed upon parameters with which to function. Laws must exist to balance what we are inclined to do to harm others verses the sanctity of other people’s personal physical space, identity, and property.

While we are at it, what is so common about “common law”?

Common law equals case law.  Each recorded case is given a title or citation.  It lists the basic information on who is involved with the case, whether it is public or private law, the year the court decision was reached, which court heard the case and specific information on the law report in which the decision appears which enables interested parties to locate the case easily in a law library. See: All About Law: Exploring the Canadian Legal System, 4th Edition, Dwight L. Gibson et al.

We also need laws to protect us from harm to the communal unit. Two communal laws, for example, deal with graffiti on private and public spaces and the other ensures a citizen’s right to move and travel the country to seek employment or for any other reason.

Other enforcement procedural laws need to be in place to avoid vigilante-ism where individuals decide to be neighbourhood avengers. Untrained, with a complexity of motives, such behaviours shall surely exacerbate the troubled waters!

Labour Law:

“body of law” affects relations between employer and employees covering issues such as minimum wage, pay equity, hours of work, working conditions, dismissal procedures and workman’s compensation.

Canadian Law Review:

substantive law is public and private; public is criminal, constitutive and administrative whereas private is family, contract, tort, property, labour. Procedural law affect all citizens including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and so on.

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