English Law/Introduction

An Introduction to the law of England and Wales edit

The legal system of England and Wales includes the courts, tribunals, legal aid, procedures and the people who work to administer the whole system, such as judges, solicitors, barristers, magistrates and clerks.

Although the law may seem complex and hard to understand, it governs the daily life of every single person in the land, as well as regulating commercial relationships and business decisions around the world. The legal system of England and Wales is often referred to as the Common Law. This is generally understood to be a system in which the courts decide on legal principles and how they should be interpreted according to the social conditions of the time. This is in contrast to Civil Law systems, which rely much more heavily on statutes passed by legislative bodies, where courts have a much less decisive say in how laws are applied. Another major legal system is found in the Sharia Law, which draws its basis from the Koran and administers the law based on the principles that it sets out to govern social and economic relationships in the Islamic world.

In practice, every legal system is complex and nuanced. The common law relies on a combination of statute and precedent, set out in often in an uncodified way, which makes its application a specialism that requires significant training.