Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property. The term includes property damage, such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner; the term finds its roots in an Enlightenment view that the Germanic Vandals were a uniquely destructive people. The Vandals, an ancient Germanic people, are associated with senseless destruction as a result of their sack of Rome under King Genseric in 455. During the Enlightenment, Rome was idealized, while the Goths and Vandals were blamed for its destruction; the Vandals may not have been any more destructive than other invaders of ancient times, but they did inspire British poet John Dryden to write, Till Goths, Vandals, a rude Northern race, Did all the matchless Monuments deface. However, the Vandals did intentionally damage statues, which may be why their name is associated with the vandalism of art; the term Vandalisme was coined in 1794 by Henri Grégoire, bishop of Blois, to describe the destruction of artwork following the French Revolution.
The term was adopted across Europe. This new use of the term was important in colouring the perception of the Vandals from Late Antiquity, popularising the pre-existing idea that they were a barbaric group with a taste for destruction. Vandalism has been justified by painter Gustave Courbet as destruction of monuments symbolizing "war and conquest". Therefore, it is done as an expression of contempt, creativity, or both. Gustave Courbet's attempt, during the 1871 Paris Commune, to dismantle the Vendôme column, a symbol of the past Napoleon III authoritarian Empire, was one of the most celebrated events of vandalism. Nietzsche himself would meditate after the Commune on the "fight against culture", taking as example the intentional burning of the Tuileries Palace on 23 May 1871. "The criminal fight against culture is only the reverse side of a criminal culture" wrote Klossowski after quoting Nietzsche. In a proposal to the International Conference for Unification of Criminal Law held in Madrid in 1933, Raphael Lemkin envisaged the creation of two new international crimes: the crime of barbarity, consisting in the extermination of racial, religious, or social collectivities, the crime of vandalism, consisting in the destruction of cultural and artistic works of these groups.
The proposal was not accepted. Private citizens commit vandalism when they willfully damage or deface the property of others or the commons; some vandalism may qualify as culture jamming or sniggling: it is thought by some to be artistic in nature though carried out illegally or without the property owner's permission. Examples include at least some graffiti art, billboard "liberation", crop circles. Criminal vandalism takes many forms. Graffiti on public property is common in many inner cities as part of a gang culture, where they might be used as territorial markers. More serious forms of vandalism that may take place during public unrest such as rioting can involve the willful destruction of public and private property. Vandalism per se is sometimes considered one of the less serious common crimes, but it can become quite serious and distressing when committed extensively, violently, or as an expression of hatred and intimidation. In response, local governments have adopted various legal measures to prevent vandalism, but research has shown that the conventional strategies employed by the government in response to at least unapproved graffiti are not the most effective.
Examples of vandalism include salting lawns, cutting trees without permission, egg throwing, breaking windows, spraying paint on others' properties, placing glue into locks, tire slashing, keying paint, throwing shoes on power lines or similar structures, ransacking a property, flooding a house by clogging a sink and leaving the water running, pulling up plants from the roots without permission. In elections, opposing candidates' supporters may engage in "political vandalism" — the act of defacing opponents' political posters, bumper stickers and other street marketing material. Although the nature of this material is temporary, its effect can be long-lasting as it may reflect both negatively and positively on the candidate whose material is being vandalized as well as on the presumed candidate whose supporters are engaging in the vandalism. In addition, activists may use the tactic of property destruction as means of protest, e.g. by smashing the windows of banks and government institutions and setting fire to cars.
This takes place during riots but can happen as a stand-alone event, e.g. by animal rights activists destroying property owned by farmers, biotech companies, research facilities and setting free animals. Vandalism is a common tactic of black blocs. Actions of this kind can be ascribed to anger or envy, or to spontaneous, opportunistic behaviour for peer acceptance or bravado in gang cultures, or disgruntlement with the target person or society. Opportunistic vandalism of this nature may be filmed, the mentality of which can be akin to happy slapping; the large-scale prevalence of gang graffiti in some inner cities has made it acceptable to the societies based there, so much so that it may go unnoticed, or not be removed because it may be a fruitless endeavour, to be graffitied on once again. Greed can motivate vandalism as can some political ideologies, wish to draw attention to problems, frustration playfulness. Youngsters, the most common vandals experience low status and boredom. Vandalism enables powerless people to take control and frighten others.
A contract is a legally-binding agreement which recognises and governs the rights and duties of the parties to the agreement. A contract is enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. An agreement involves the exchange of goods, money, or promises of any of those. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages and cancellation. In the Anglo-American common law, formation of a contract requires an offer, consideration, a mutual intent to be bound; each party must have capacity to enter the contract. Although most oral contracts are binding, some types of contracts may require formalities such as being in writing or by deed. In the civil law tradition, contract law is a branch of the law of obligations. At common law, the elements of a contract are offer, intention to create legal relations and legality of both form and content. Not all agreements are contractual, as the parties must be deemed to have an intention to be bound.
A so-called gentlemen's agreement is one, not intended to be enforceable, "binding in honour only". In order for a contract to be formed, the parties must reach mutual assent; this is reached through offer and an acceptance which does not vary the offer's terms, known as the "mirror image rule". An offer is a definite statement of the offeror's willingness to be bound should certain conditions be met. If a purported acceptance does vary the terms of an offer, it is not an acceptance but a counteroffer and, therefore a rejection of the original offer; the Uniform Commercial Code disposes of the mirror image rule in §2-207, although the UCC only governs transactions in goods in the USA. As a court cannot read minds, the intent of the parties is interpreted objectively from the perspective of a reasonable person, as determined in the early English case of Smith v Hughes, it is important to note that where an offer specifies a particular mode of acceptance, only an acceptance communicated via that method will be valid.
Contracts may be unilateral. A bilateral contract is an agreement in which each of the parties to the contract makes a promise or set of promises to each other. For example, in a contract for the sale of a home, the buyer promises to pay the seller $200,000 in exchange for the seller's promise to deliver title to the property; these common contracts take place in the daily flow of commerce transactions, in cases with sophisticated or expensive precedent requirements, which are requirements that must be met for the contract to be fulfilled. Less common are unilateral contracts in which one party makes a promise, but the other side does not promise anything. In these cases, those accepting the offer are not required to communicate their acceptance to the offeror. In a reward contract, for example, a person who has lost a dog could promise a reward if the dog is found, through publication or orally; the payment could be additionally conditioned on the dog being returned alive. Those who learn of the reward are not required to search for the dog, but if someone finds the dog and delivers it, the promisor is required to pay.
In the similar case of advertisements of deals or bargains, a general rule is that these are not contractual offers but an "invitation to treat", but the applicability of this rule is disputed and contains various exceptions. The High Court of Australia stated that the term unilateral contract is "unscientific and misleading". In certain circumstances, an implied contract may be created. A contract is implied in fact if the circumstances imply that parties have reached an agreement though they have not done so expressly. For example, John Smith, a former lawyer may implicitly enter a contract by visiting a doctor and being examined. A contract, implied in law is called a quasi-contract, because it is not in fact a contract. Quantum meruit claims are an example. Where something is advertised in a newspaper or on a poster, the advertisement will not constitute an offer but will instead be an invitation to treat, an indication that one or both parties are prepared to negotiate a deal. An exception arises if the advertisement makes a unilateral promise, such as the offer of a reward, as in the famous case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co, decided in nineteenth-century England.
The company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, advertised a smoke ball that would, if sniffed "three times daily for two weeks", prevent users from catching the'flu. If the smoke ball failed to prevent'flu, the company promised that they would pay the user £100, adding that they had "deposited £1,000 in the Alliance Bank to show our sincerity in the matter"; when Mrs Carlill sued for the money, the company argued the advert should not be taken as a serious binding offer. Although an invitation to treat cannot be accepted, it should not be ignored, for it may affect the offer. For instance, where an offer is made in response to an invitation to treat, the offer may incorporate the terms of the invitation to treat. If, as in the Boots case, the offer is made by an action without any
Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health and moral welfare of people inclusive of one's self. Most criminal law is established by statute, to say that the laws are enacted by a legislature. Criminal law includes the rehabilitation of people who violate such laws. Criminal law varies according to jurisdiction, differs from civil law, where emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation, rather than on punishment or rehabilitation. Criminal procedure is a formalized official activity that authenticates the fact of commission of a crime and authorizes punitive or rehabilitative treatment of the offender; the first civilizations did not distinguish between civil law and criminal law. The first written codes of law were designed by the Sumerians. Around 2100–2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the Neo-Sumerian king of Ur, enacted the oldest written legal code whose text has been discovered: the Code of Ur-Nammu although an earlier code of Urukagina of Lagash is known to have existed.
Another important early code was the Code of Hammurabi. Only fragments of the early criminal laws of Ancient Greece have survived, e.g. those of Solon and Draco. In Roman law, Gaius's Commentaries on the Twelve Tables conflated the civil and criminal aspects, treating theft as a tort. Assault and violent robbery were analogized to trespass as to property. Breach of such laws created an obligation of law or vinculum juris discharged by payment of monetary compensation or damages; the criminal law of imperial Rome is collected in Books 47–48 of the Digest. After the revival of Roman law in the 12th century, sixth-century Roman classifications and jurisprudence provided the foundations of the distinction between criminal and civil law in European law from until the present time; the first signs of the modern distinction between crimes and civil matters emerged during the Norman Invasion of England. The special notion of criminal penalty, at least concerning Europe, arose in Spanish Late Scholasticism, when the theological notion of God's penalty, inflicted for a guilty mind, became transfused into canon law first and to secular criminal law.
The development of the state dispensing justice in a court emerged in the eighteenth century when European countries began maintaining police services. From this point, criminal law formalized the mechanisms for enforcement, which allowed for its development as a discernible entity. Criminal law is distinctive for the uniquely serious, potential consequences or sanctions for failure to abide by its rules; every crime is composed of criminal elements. Capital punishment may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or corporal punishment may be imposed such as whipping or caning, although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be incarcerated in prison or jail in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Confinement may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a day to life. Government supervision may be imposed, including house arrest, convicts may be required to conform to particularized guidelines as part of a parole or probation regimen.
Fines may be imposed, seizing money or property from a person convicted of a crime. Five objectives are accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, incapacitation and restoration. Jurisdictions differ on the value to be placed on each. Retribution – Criminals ought to Be Punished in some way; this is the most seen goal. Criminals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others and the criminal law will put criminals at some unpleasant disadvantage to "balance the scales." People submit to the law to receive the right not to be murdered and if people contravene these laws, they surrender the rights granted to them by the law. Thus, one who murders may be executed himself. A related theory includes the idea of "righting the balance." Deterrence – Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a sufficient penalty to discourage the offender from criminal behavior. General deterrence aims at society at large. By imposing a penalty on those who commit offenses, other individuals are discouraged from committing those offenses.
Incapacitation – Designed to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is achieved through prison sentences today; the death penalty or banishment have served the same purpose. Rehabilitation – Aims at transforming an offender into a valuable member of society, its primary goal is to prevent further offense by convincing the offender that their conduct was wrong. Restoration – This is a victim-oriented theory of punishment; the goal is to repair, through state authority, any injury inflicted upon the victim by the offender. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired. Restoration is combined with other main goals of criminal justice and is related to concepts in the civil law, i.e. returning the victim to his or her original position before the injury. Many laws are enforced by threat of criminal punishment, the range of the punishment varies with the jurisdiction; the scope of criminal law is too vast to catalog intelligently.
The following are some of the more typical aspects of criminal law. The criminal law prohibits undesirable acts. Thus, proof of a crime requires proof of some act. Scholars label this the requir
Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rule making, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law; as a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of the administrative units of government that are part of a national regulatory scheme in such areas as police law, international trade, the environment, broadcasting and transport. Administrative law expanded during the twentieth century, as legislative bodies worldwide created more government agencies to regulate the social and political spheres of human interaction. Civil law countries have specialized courts, administrative courts, that review these decisions. Unlike most common-law jurisdictions, the majority of civil law jurisdictions have specialized courts or sections to deal with administrative cases which, as a rule, will apply procedural rules designed for such cases and different from that applied in private-law proceedings, such as contract or tort claims.
In Brazil, unlike most Civil-law jurisdictions, there is no specialized court or section to deal with administrative cases. In 1998, a constitutional reform, led by the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, introduced regulatory agencies as a part of the executive branch. Since 1988, Brazilian administrative law has been influenced by the judicial interpretations of the constitutional principles of public administration: legality, publicity of administrative acts and efficiency; the President of the Republic exercises the administrative function, in collaboration with several Ministries or other authorities with ministerial rank. Each Ministry has one or more under-secretary that performs through public services the actual satisfaction of public needs. There is not a single specialized court to deal with actions against the Administrative entities, but instead there are several specialized courts and procedures of review. In France, most claims against the national or local governments as well as claims against private bodies providing public services are handled by administrative courts, which use the Conseil d'État as a court of last resort for both ordinary and special courts.
The main administrative courts are the tribunaux administratifs and appeal courts are the cours administratives d'appel. Special administrative courts include the National Court of Asylum Right as well as military and judicial disciplinary bodies; the French body of administrative law is called "droit administratif". Over the course of their history, France's administrative courts have developed an extensive and coherent case law and legal doctrine before similar concepts were enshrined in constitutional and legal texts; these principes include: Right to fair trial, including for internal disciplinary bodies Right to challenge any administrative decision before an administrative court Equal treatment of public service users Equal access to government employment without regard for political opinions Freedom of association Right to Entrepreneurship Right to Legal certainty French administrative law, the founder of Continental administrative law, has a strong influence on administrative laws in several other countries such as Belgium, Greece and Tunisia.
Administrative law in Germany, called "Verwaltungsrecht" de:Verwaltungsrecht rules the relationship between authorities and the citizens and therefore, it establishes citizens' rights and obligations against the authorities. It is a part of the public law, which deals with the organization, the tasks and the acting of the public administration, it contains rules, regulations and decisions created by and related to administrative agencies, such as federal agencies, federal state authorities, urban administrations, but admission offices and fiscal authorities etc. Administrative law in Germany follows three basic principles. Principle of the legality of the authority, which means that there is no acting against the law and no acting without a law. Principle of legal security, which includes a principle of legal certainty and the principle of nonretroactivity Principle of proportionality, which says that an act of an authority has to be suitable and appropriateAdministrative law in Germany can be divided into general administrative law and special administrative law.
The general administration law is ruled in the administrative procedures law. Other legal sources are the Rules of the Administrative Courts, the social security code and the general fiscal law; the Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz, enacted in 1977, regulates the main administrative procedures of the federal government. It serves the purpose to ensure a treatment in accordance with the rule of law by the public authority. Furthermore, it contains the regulations for mass processes and expands the legal protection against the authorities; the VwVfG applies for the entire public administrative activities of federal agencies as well as federal state authorities, in case of m
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to deal with the core areas of private law such as for dealing with business and negligence lawsuits and practices. A jurisdiction that has a civil code also has a code of civil procedure. In some jurisdictions with a civil code, a number of the core areas of private law that would otherwise be codified in a civil code may instead be codified in a commercial code; the concept of codification dates back to ancient Babylon. The earliest surviving civil code is the Code of Ur-Nammu, in. 2100–2050 BC. The Corpus Juris Civilis, a codification of Roman law produced between 529-534 AD by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, forms the basis of civil law legal systems. Other codified laws used since ancient times include various texts used in religious laws, such as the Law of Manu in Hindu law, the Mishnah in Jewish Halakha law, the Canons of the Apostles in Christian Canon law, the Qur'an and Sunnah in Islamic Sharia law to some extent; the idea of codification re-emerged during the Age of Enlightenment, when it was believed that all spheres of life could be dealt with in a conclusive system based on human rationality, following from the experience of the early codifications of Roman Law during the Roman Empire.
The first attempts at modern codification were made in the second half of the 18th century in Germany, when the states of Austria, Prussia and Saxony began to codify their laws. The first statute that used this denomination was the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis of 1756 in Bavaria, still using the Latin language, it was followed in 1792 by a legal compilation that included civil and constitutional law, the Allgemeines Landrecht für die Preussischen Staaten promulgated by King Frederick II the Great. In Austria, the first step towards fully-fledged codification were the yet incomplete Codex Theresianus, the Josephinian Code and the complete West Galician Code; the final Austrian Civil Code was only completed in 1811 after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire under the influence of the Napoleonic Wars. One of the first countries to follow up through legal transplants in codification was Serbia, the Serbian Civil Code. Meanwhile, the French Napoleonic code was enacted in 1804 after only a few years of preparation, but it was a child of the French Revolution, reflected by its content.
The French code was the most influential one because it was introduced in many countries standing under French occupation during the Napoleonic Wars. In particular, countries such as Italy, the Benelux countries, Portugal, the Latin American countries, the province of Quebec in Canada, the state of Louisiana in the United States, all other former French colonies which base their civil law systems to a strong extent on the Napoleonic Code; the late 19th century and the beginning 20th century saw the emergence of the School of Pandectism, whose work peaked in the German Civil Code, enacted in 1900 in the course of Germany's national unification project, in the Swiss Civil Code of 1907. Those two codes had been most advanced in their systematic structure and classification from fundamental and general principles to specific areas of law. While the French Civil Code was structured in a "casuistic" approach attempting to regulate every possible case, the German BGB and the Swiss ZGB applied a more abstract and systematic approach.
Therefore, the BGB had a great deal of influence on codification projects in countries as diverse as Japan, Turkey and Macau. Since 2002 with the First law of the Civil Code of Catalonia, Parliament of Catalonia's several laws have approved the successive books of the Civil Code of Catalonia; this has replaced most of the Compilation of the Civil Law of Catalonia, several special laws and two partial codes. Only the Sixth book, relating to obligations and contracts, has to be approved. In Europe, apart from the common law countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland, only Scandinavia remained untouched by the codification movement; the particular tradition of the civil code enacted in a country is thought to have a lasting influence on the methodology employed in legal interpretation. Scholars of comparative law and economists promoting the legal origins theory of development subdivide the countries of the civil law tradition as belonging either to the French, Scandinavian or German group; the first civil code promulgated in Canada was that of New Brunswick of 1804, inspired by the 1800 project of the French civil code, known as the Projet de l'an VIII.
In the United States, codification appears to be widespread at a first glance, but U. S. legal codes are collections of common law rules and a variety of ad hoc statutes. For example, the California Civil Code codifies common law doctrine and is different in form and content from all other civil codes. In 1825, Haiti promulgated a Code Civil, a copy of the Napoleonic one; the Mexican state of Oaxaca promulgated t
In common usage, theft is the taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it. The word is used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, larceny, robbery, library theft, fraud. In some jurisdictions, theft is considered to be synonymous with larceny. Someone who carries out an act of or makes a career of theft is known as a thief; the act of theft is known by other terms such as stealing and filching. Theft is the name of a statutory offence in California, Canada and Wales, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Australian states of South Australia, Victoria; the actus reus of theft is defined as an unauthorized taking, keeping, or using of another's property which must be accompanied by a mens rea of dishonesty and the intent permanently to deprive the owner or rightful possessor of that property or its use. For example, if X goes to a restaurant and, by mistake, takes Y's scarf instead of her own, she has physically deprived Y of the use of the property but the mistake prevents X from forming the mens rea so no crime has been committed at this point.
But if she realises the mistake when she gets home and could return the scarf to Y, she will steal the scarf if she dishonestly keeps it. Note that there may be civil liability for the torts of trespass to chattels or conversion in either eventuality. Section 322 of the Criminal Code provides the general definition for theft in Canada: 322; every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his/her use or to the use of another person, whether animate or inanimate, with intent to deprive, temporarily or the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it. Sections 323 to 333 provide for more specific instances and exclusions: theft from oyster beds theft by bailee of things under seizure exception when agent is pledging goods theft of telecommunications service possession of device to obtain telecommunication facility or service theft by or from person having special property or interest theft by person required to account theft by person holding power of attorney misappropriation of money held under direction exception for ore taken for exploration or scientific research In the general definition above, the Supreme Court of Canada has construed "anything" broadly, stating that it is not restricted to tangibles, but includes intangibles.
To be the subject of theft it must, however: be property of some sort. Because of this, confidential information cannot be the subject of theft, as it is not capable of being taken as only tangibles can be taken, it cannot be converted, not because it is an intangible, but because, save in exceptional far‑fetched circumstances, the owner would never be deprived of it. However, the theft of trade secrets in certain circumstances does constitute part of the offence of economic espionage, which can be prosecuted under s. 19 of the Security of Information Act. For the purposes of punishment, Section 334 divides theft into two separate offences, according to the value and nature of the goods stolen: If the thing stolen is worth more than $5000 or is a testamentary instrument the offence is referred to as Theft Over $5000 and is an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment. Where the stolen item is not a testamentary instrument and is not worth more than $5000 it is known as Theft Under $5000 and is a hybrid offence, meaning that it can be treated either as an indictable offence or a less serious summary conviction offence, depending on the choice of the prosecutor.if dealt with as an indictable offence, it is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, and, if treated as a summary conviction offence, it is punishable by 6 months imprisonment, a fine of $2000 or both.
Where a motor vehicle is stolen, Section 333.1 provides for a maximum punishment of 10 years for an indictable offence, a maximum sentence of 18 months on summary conviction. Article 2 of the Theft Ordinance provides the general definition of theft in Hong Kong: A person commits theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it, it is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit. Theft is a crime with related articles in the Wetboek van Strafrecht. Article 310 prohibits theft, defined as taking away any object that belongs to someone else, with the intention to appropriate it illegally. Maximum imprisonment is 4 years or a fine o
In jurisdictions following the English common law system, equity is the body of law, developed in the English Court of Chancery and, now administered concurrently with the common law. For much of its history, the English common law was principally developed and administered in the central royal courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer. Equity was the name given to the law, administered in the Court of Chancery; the Judicature Reforms in the 1870s effected a procedural fusion of the two bodies of law, ending their institutional separation. The reforms did not effect any substantive fusion, however. Judicial or academic reasoning which assumes the contrary has been described as a "fusion fallacy". Jurisdictions which have inherited the common law system differ in their current treatment of equity. Over the course of the twentieth century some common law systems began to place less emphasis on the historical or institutional origin of substantive legal rules. In England, New Zealand, Canada, equity remains a distinct body of law.
Modern equity includes, among other things: The law relating to express and constructive trusts. The latter part of the twentieth century saw increased debate over the utility of treating equity as a separate body of law; these debates were labelled the "fusion wars". A particular flashpoint in this debate centred on the concept of unjust enrichment and whether areas of law traditionally regarded as equitable could be rationalised as part of a single body of law known as the law of unjust enrichment. After the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, royal justice came to be administered in three central courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer; the common law developed in these royal courts. To commence litigation in these royal courts, it was necessary to fit one's claim within a form of action; the plaintiff would purchase a writ in the Chancery, the head of, the Lord Chancellor. If the law provided no remedy, litigants could sometimes appeal directly to the King.
The King would delegate resolution of these petitions to the King's Council. These petitions were delegated to the Lord Chancellor himself. In the early history of the United States, common law was viewed as a birthright. Both the individual states and the federal government supported common law after the American Revolution. U. S. courts draw on decisions of English courts, individual state courts, federal courts in formulating common law. By the 14th century it appears that Chancery was operating as a court, affording remedies for which the strict procedures of the common law worked injustice or provided no remedy to a deserving plaintiff. Chancellors had theological and clerical training and were well versed in Roman law and canon law. By the 15th century the judicial power of Chancery was recognised. Equity, as a body of rules, varied from Chancellor until the end of the 16th century. After the end of the 17th century, only lawyers were appointed to the office of Chancellor. Over time, Equity developed a system of precedent much like its common-law cousin.
One area in which the Court of Chancery assumed a vital role was the enforcement of uses, a role that the rigid framework of land law could not accommodate. This role gave rise to the basic distinction between equitable interests, it was early provided that, in seeking to remove one who wrongfully entered another's land with force and arms, a person could allege disseisin and demand a writ of entry. That writ gave him the written right to re-enter his own land and established this right under the protection of the Crown if need be, whence its value. In 1253, to prevent judges from inventing new writs, Parliament provided that the power to issue writs would thereafter be transferred to judges only one writ at a time, in a "writ for right" package known as a form of action. However, because it was limited to enumerated writs for enumerated rights and wrongs, the writ system sometimes produced unjust results, thus though the King's Bench might have jurisdiction over a case and might have the power to issue the perfect writ, the plaintiff might still not have a case if there was not a single form of action combining them.
Therefore, lacking a legal remedy, the plaintiff's only option would be petitioning the King. People began petitioning the King for relief against unfair judgments, as the number of petitioners grew, so the King delegated the task of hearing petitions to the Lord Chancellor; as the early Chancellors lacked formal legal training and showed little regard for precedent, their decisions were widely diverse. In 1529, a lawyer, Sir Thomas More, was appointed as Chancellor. After this time, all future Chancellors were lawyers. Beginning around 1557, records of proceedings in the Courts of Chancery were kept and several equitable doctrines developed. Criticisms continued, the most famous being 17th-century jurist John Selden's aphorism:Equity is a roguish thing: for law we have a measure, know what to trust to. One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot:'tis the same thing in a Chancellor's conscience. A criticis