Case law is a set of past rulings by tribunals that meet their respective jurisdictions' rules to be cited as precedent. These interpretations are distinguished from statutory law, which are the statutes and codes enacted by legislative bodies, regulatory law, which are regulations established by executive agencies based on statutes; the term "case law" is applied to any set of previous rulings by an adjudicatory tribunal that guides future rulings. In common law countries the term is used for judicial decisions of selected appellate courts, courts of first instance, agency tribunals, other bodies discharging adjudicatory functions. In common law countries, "case law" is a near-exact synonym for "common law". In the common law tradition, courts decide the law applicable to a case by interpreting statutes and applying precedents which record how and why prior cases have been decided. Unlike most civil law systems, common law systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis, by which most courts are bound by their own previous decisions in similar cases, all lower courts should make decisions consistent with previous decisions of higher courts.
For example, in England, the High Court and the Court of Appeal are each bound by their own previous decisions, but the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is able to deviate from its earlier decisions, although in practice it does so. Speaking, higher courts do not have direct oversight over the lower courts of record, in that they cannot reach out on their own initiative at any time to overrule judgments of the lower courts; the burden rests with litigants to appeal rulings to the higher courts. If a judge acts against precedent and the case is not appealed, the decision will stand. A lower court may not rule against a binding precedent if it feels that it is unjust. If the court believes that developments or trends in legal reasoning render the precedent unhelpful, wishes to evade it and help the law evolve, it may either hold that the precedent is inconsistent with subsequent authority, or that it should be distinguished by some material difference between the facts of the cases. If that judgment goes to appeal, the appellate court will have the opportunity to review both the precedent and the case under appeal overruling the previous case law by setting a new precedent of higher authority.
This may happen several times. Lord Denning, first of the High Court of Justice of the Court of Appeal, provided a famous example of this evolutionary process in his development of the concept of estoppel starting in the High Trees case: Central London Property Trust Ltd v. High Trees House Ltd K. B. 130. The different roles of case law in civil and common law traditions create differences in the way that courts render decisions. Common law courts explain in detail the legal rationale behind their decisions, with citations of both legislation and previous relevant judgments, an exegesis of the wider legal principles; the necessary analysis constitutes a precedent binding on other courts. By contrast, decisions in civil law jurisdictions are very short, referring only to statutes; the reason for this difference is that these civil law jurisdictions adhere to a tradition that the reader should be able to deduce the logic from the decision and the statutes, so that, in some cases, it is somewhat difficult to apply previous decisions to the facts presented in future cases.
Some pluralist systems, such as Scots law in Scotland and so-called civil law jurisdictions in Quebec and Louisiana, do not fit into the dual "common-civil" law system classifications. Such systems may have been influenced by the Anglo-American common law tradition; because of their position between the two main systems of law, these types of legal systems are sometimes referred to as "mixed" systems of law. Law professors in common law traditions play a much smaller role in developing case law than professors in civil law traditions; because court decisions in civil law traditions are brief and not amenable to establishing precedent, much of the exposition of the law in civil law traditions is done by academics rather than by judges. Common law courts relied little on legal scholarship. Today academic writers are cited in legal argument and decisions as persuasive authority, thus common law systems are adopting one of the approaches long common in civil law jurisdictions. Judges may refer to various types of persuasive authority to reach a decision in a case.
Cited non-binding sources include legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secundum and Halsbury's Laws of England, or the published work of the Law Commission or the American Law Institute. Some bodies are given statu
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence. The trade-off between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the worker compensation system is known as "the compensation bargain". One of the problems that the compensation bargain solved is the problem of employers becoming insolvent as a result of high damage awards; the system of collective liability was created to prevent that, thus to ensure security of compensation to the workers. Individual immunity is the necessary corollary to collective liability. While plans differ among jurisdictions, provision can be made for weekly payments in place of wages, compensation for economic loss, reimbursement or payment of medical and like expenses, benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment. General damage for pain and suffering, punitive damages for employer negligence, are not available in workers' compensation plans, negligence is not an issue in the case.
These laws were first enacted in Europe and Oceania, with the United States following shortly thereafter. Laws regarding workers compensation vary by country, but the Workers’ Accident Insurance system put into place by Otto von Bismarck in 1881 is cited as a model for Europe and the United States. Workers' compensation statutes are intended to eliminate the need for litigation and the limitations of common law remedies by having employees give up the potential for pain- and suffering-related awards, in exchange for not being required to prove tort on the part of their employer; the laws provide employees with monetary awards to cover loss of wages directly related to the accident as well as to compensate for permanent physical impairments and medical expenses. The laws provide benefits for dependents of those workers who are killed in work-related accidents or illnesses; some laws protect employers and fellow workers by limiting the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer and by eliminating the liability of co-workers in most accidents.
US state statutes establish this framework for most employment. US federal statutes are limited to federal employees or to workers employed in some significant aspect of interstate commerce; the exclusive remedy provision states that workers compensation is the sole remedy available to injured workers, thus preventing employees from making tort liability claims against their employers. In common law nations, the system was motivated by an "unholy trinity" of tort defenses available to employers, including contributory negligence, assumption of risk, the fellow servant rule. Common law imposes obligations on employers to provide a safe workplace, provide safe tools, give warnings of dangers, provide adequate co-worker assistance so that the worker is not overburdened, promulgate and enforce safe work rules. Claims under the common law for worker injury are limited by three defenses afforded employers: The Fellow Servant Doctrine is that employer can be held harmless to the extent that injury was caused in whole or in part by a peer of the injured worker.
Contributory negligence allows an employer to be held harmless to the extent that the injured employee failed to use adequate precautions required by ordinary prudence. Assumption of risk allows an employer to be held harmless to the extent the injured employee voluntarily accepted the risks associated with the work; as Australia experienced a influential labour movement in the late 19th and early 20th century, statutory compensation was implemented early in Australia. Each territory has its own governing body. A typical example is Work Safe Victoria, its responsibilities include helping employees avoid workplace injuries occurring, enforcement of Victoria's occupational and safety laws, provision of reasonably priced workplace injury insurance for employers, assisting injured workers back into the workforce, managing the workers' compensation scheme by ensuring the prompt delivery of appropriate services and adopting prudent financial practices. Compensation law in New South Wales has been overhauled by the state government.
In a push to speed up the process of claims and to reduce the amount of claims, a threshold of 11% WPI was implemented. Workers' compensation regulators for each of the states and territories are as follows: Australian Capital Territory – Work Safe Act New South Wales – State Insurance Regulatory Authority Northern Territory – NT Work Safe Queensland – The Workers' Compensation Regulator South Australia – ReturnToWork SA Tasmania – WorkCover Tasmania Victoria – WorkSafe Victoria Western Australia – WorkCover WAEvery employer must comply with the state, territory or commonwealth legislation, as listed below, which applies to them: Federal legislation - Safety and Compensation Act 1988 New South Wales - Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 Northern Territory - Work Health and Safety Regulations Australian Capital Territory - Workers Compensation Act 1951 Queensland - Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 South Australia - Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986 Tasmania - Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 Victoria - Workplace Injury
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process; the formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws played a significant role in settling of secular matters, is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most used religious law, is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; the adjudication of the law is divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct, considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits between individuals and/or organizations. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, economic analysis and sociology. Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality and justice. Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries; the Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are of great importance." There have been several attempts to produce "a universally acceptable definition of law". In 1972, one source indicated. McCoubrey and White said that the question "what is law?" has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used, he said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not be abandoned, it is possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law". The history of law links to the development of civilization. Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code, broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; the most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, has since been transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian and French. The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society; the small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class. However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", relying instead on the three-way distinction between divine law, human decree and custom.
Yet Ancient Greek law contained major constitutional innovations in the development of democracy. Roman law was influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were sophisticated. Over the centuries between the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, law was adapted to cope with the changing social situations and underwent major codification under Theodosius II and Justinian I. Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts. Latin legal maxims were compiled for guidance. In medieval England, royal
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a city, state, or country. Statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies. In all countries, newly enacted statutes are published in a Government gazette, distributed so that everyone can look up the statutory law. A universal problem encountered by lawmakers throughout human history is how to organize published statutes; such publications have a habit of starting small but growing over time, as new statutes are enacted in response to the exigencies of the moment. Persons trying to find the law are forced to sort through an enormous number of statutes enacted at various points in time to determine which portions are still in effect; the solution adopted in many countries is to organize existing statutory law in topical arrangements within publications called codes ensure that new statutes are drafted so that they add, repeal or move various code sections. In turn, in theory, the code will thenceforth reflect the current cumulative state of the statutory law in that jurisdiction.
In many nations statutory law is subordinate to constitutional law. The term statute is used to refer to an International treaty that establishes an institution, such as the Statute of the European Central Bank, a protocol to the international courts as well, such as the Statute of the International Court of Justice and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Statute is another word for law; the term was adapted from England in about the 18th century. In the Autonomous Communities of Spain, the autonomy statute is a legal document similar to a state constitution in a federated state; the autonomies statutes in Spain have the rank of "Ley Organica", a category of special laws reserved only for the main institutions and issues and mentioned in the Constitution. Leyes Organicas rank between ordinary laws; the name was chosen, among others. In biblical terminology, statute refers to a law given without any justification; the classic example is the statute regarding the Red Heifer. The opposite of a chok is a mishpat, a law given for a specified reason, e.g. the Sabbath laws, which were given because "God created the world in six days, but on the seventh day He rested".
That which upholds, supports or maintains the regulatory order of the universe meaning the Law or Natural Law. This is a concept of central importance in Indian religion. Constitution Legislation Legislature Organic statute Statutory law Super statute
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that aim to reduce the ability of victims to bring tort litigation or to reduce damages they can receive. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another person, property or other protected interests. Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury common law rules in particular. In the United States, tort reform is a contentious political issue. US tort reform advocates propose, among other things, procedural limits on the ability to file claims, capping the awards of damages. Supporters of the existing tort system, including consumer advocates, argue that reformers have misstated the existence of any real factual issue and criticize tort reform as disguised corporate welfare. In Commonwealth countries as well as U. S. states including Texas and California, the losing party must pay court costs of the opposing party.
Some legal scholars propose to replace tort compensation with a social security framework that serves victims without respect to cause or fault. In 1972, New Zealand introduced the first universal no-fault insurance scheme for all accident victims, which provides benefit from the government-run Accident Compensation Corporation without respect to negligence, its goal is to achieve equality of compensation, while reducing costs of litigation. In the 1970s, Australia and the United Kingdom drew up proposals for similar no-fault schemes but they were abandoned. Tort requires those responsible for harming others to compensate the victims in money. Typical harms can include loss of income; the classical purpose of tort is to provide full compensation for proved harm. This is known under the Latin phrase restitutio in integrum. In other words, the idea underpinning the law of tort is that if someone harms someone else, they should make up for it. Compensation should be, in the words of Lord Blackburn in Livingstone v Rawyards Coal Co, "that sum of money which will put the party, injured in the same position as he would have been if he had not sustained the wrong for which he is now getting his compensation or reparation."
A number of recurrent issues can be identified in the debates about tort reform. The primary criticism of the tort system is economic. Critics decry the cost of compensation payments themselves when they are out of proportion to the damage. If it is held that extreme compensation is a worthy goal, litigation is arguably an inefficient method of giving compensation. In Britain, for instance, it has been argued that 85p is spent on litigation for every £1 of compensation paid. In contrast, the social security system costs 12p for every £ 1 delivered; this figure is disputed, because there is no easy method for accounting for transaction costs when pre-litigation settlements are considered. Three particular charges are levelled for having distorting economic effects. First, the costs of litigation and compensation payouts raise the cost of insurance; because most tort claims will be paid from the pockets of insurance, because the public pays into insurance schemes of all kinds, tort reform proponents assert that reducing tort litigation and payouts will benefit everyone who pays for insurance.
Secondly, related to insurance in countries which do not have universal health care, the costs of the tort system, in particular medical malpractice suits, raise the costs of health care. The difficulty in this area is to distinguish between private health care providers. In the UK, the cost was £1.6B a year as for 2014, increasing at 10%+ yearly Rising from £446m a year a decade earlier. The UK, has exceptionally low claims, as tort claims have been restricted, for instance in disallowing loss of chance cases; the Medical Defence Union combats, attempts to settle all cases where potential negligence claims are at stake. While successful, the costs of litigation to the health system are growing. In the United States, it is easier for victims of medical malpractice to seek compensation through the tort system; the American medical record in hospitals is poor, with around 195,000 deaths due to negligence per year, which itself leads to a higher number of claims. It is open to debate as to whether a change in the law of tort either way would lead to significant reductions in cost or changes in practice.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, "Study after study shows that costs associated with malpractice lawsuits make up 1% to 2% of the nation's $2.5 trillion annual health-care bill and that tort reform would make a dent in the total."Third, there is an argument that tort liability could stunt innovation. This argument comes in connection with product liability, which in every developed country is strict liability, subject to a "state of science" defence. If a product is faulty, injures somebody who has come across it the manufacturer will be responsible for compensating the victim regardless of whether it can be shown that the manufacturer was at fault; the standard is lower in other injury cases, so that a victim would have to prove that a tortfeasor had been negligent. It can be argued that strict liability deters innovation, because manufacturers could be reluctant to test out new products for fea