In law, common law is that body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals. The defining characteristic of "common law" is. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts, synthesizes the principles of those past cases as applicable to the current facts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision. If, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases, legislative statutes are either silent or ambiguous on the question, judges have the authority and duty to resolve the issue; the court states an opinion that gives reasons for the decision, those reasons agglomerate with past decisions as precedent to bind future judges and litigants. Common law, as the body of law made by judges, stands in contrast to and on equal footing with statutes which are adopted through the legislative process, regulations which are promulgated by the executive branch.
Stare decisis, the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that similar facts will yield similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems. The common law—so named because it was "common" to all the king's courts across England—originated in the practices of the courts of the English kings in the centuries following the Norman Conquest in 1066; the British Empire spread the English legal system to its historical colonies, many of which retain the common law system today. These "common law systems" are legal systems that give great precedential weight to common law, to the style of reasoning inherited from the English legal system. Today, one-third of the world's population lives in common law jurisdictions or in systems mixed with civil law, including Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Cyprus, Fiji, Grenada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zimbabwe.
Some of these countries have variants on common law systems. The term common law has many connotations; the first three set out here are the most-common usages within the legal community. Other connotations from past centuries are sometimes seen and are sometimes heard in everyday speech; the first definition of "common law" given in Black's Law Dictionary, 10th edition, 2014, is "The body of law derived from judicial decisions, rather than from statutes or constitutions. This usage is given as the first definition in modern legal dictionaries, is characterized as the “most common” usage among legal professionals, is the usage seen in decisions of courts. In this connotation, "common law" distinguishes the authority. For example, the law in most Anglo-American jurisdictions includes "statutory law" enacted by a legislature, "regulatory law" or “delegated legislation” promulgated by executive branch agencies pursuant to delegation of rule-making authority from the legislature, common law or "case law", i.e. decisions issued by courts.
This first connotation can be further differentiated into pure common law arising from the traditional and inherent authority of courts to define what the law is in the absence of an underlying statute or regulation. Examples include most criminal law and procedural law before the 20th century, today, most contract law and the law of torts. Interstitial common law court decisions that analyze and determine the fine boundaries and distinctions in law promulgated by other bodies; this body of common law, sometimes called "interstitial common law", includes judicial interpretation of the Constitution, of legislative statutes, of agency regulations, the application of law to specific facts. Publication of decisions, indexing, is essential to the development of common law, thus governments and private publishers publish law reports. While all decisions in common law jurisdictions are precedent, some become "leading cases" or "landmark decisions" that are cited often. Black's Law Dictionary 10th Ed. definition 2, differentiates "common law" jurisdictions and legal systems from "civil law" or "code" jurisdictions.
Common law systems place great weight on court decisions, which are considered "law" with the same force of law as statutes—for nearly a millennium, common law courts have had the authority to make law where no legislative statute exists, statutes mean what courts interpret them to mean. By contrast, in civil law jurisdictions, courts lack authority to act. Civil law judges tend to give less weight to judicial precedent, which means that a
A bencher or Master of the Bench is a senior member of an Inn of Court in England and Wales and Ireland. Benchers hold office for life once elected. A bencher can be elected while still a barrister, in recognition of the contribution that the barrister has made to the life of the Inn or to the law. Others become benchers as a matter of course; the Inn may elect non-members as honorary benchers – for example, distinguished judges and lawyers from other countries, eminent non-lawyers or members of the British Royal Family, who become known as "Royal Benchers" once elected. One member of each Inn is the Treasurer, a position, held for one year only. While succession to the post of Treasurer was once dependent purely on seniority, this is no longer the case; the Treasurer is now elected. The most junior student barristers were only permitted to watch moot court trials and stood within the bar of the moot courtroom. More qualified barristers stood outside the bar; the most senior barristers were permitted to sit on the bench at moots.
This third class of barristers became known as "Benchers" or "Masters of the Bench". The practices and regulations vary from Inn to Inn, but the benchers are the ultimate governing body of the relevant Inn; the benchers govern the finances of the Inn, they alone have the authority to admit students, to call students to the Bar, to elect other benchers. Today, the benchers of the four Inns have common standards agreed with the Bar Council, they have the formal power to discipline members of their Inn by suspending or expelling them from membership of the Inn, by disbarring them. Disciplinary functions are now shared with the Council of the Inns of Court, the Bar Standards Board and its Complaints Committee; the terms bencher and treasurer are in use by the legal profession in Canada. A bencher in the Canadian context is a member of the board of directors of a provincial law society. Most benchers are lawyers, but in some provinces there are lay benchers who represent the public interest. In some provinces the head of the board is known as the treasurer.
Paralegals are elected as benchers, in those provinces where law societies govern their profession. Bench Crossbencher Halsbury's Laws of England, para.431 Legal profession to 1850 from Inner Temple Benchers at Lincoln's Inn
Bognor Regis is a seaside resort in West Sussex on the south coast of England, 55.5 miles south-west of London, 24 miles west of Brighton, 5.81 miles south-east of Chichester and 16 miles east of Portsmouth. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton Selsey to the south-west; the nearby villages of Felpham, Aldwick are now suburbs of Bognor Regis, along with those of North and South Bersted. The population of the Bognor Regis built-up area, including Felpham and Aldwick, was 63,855 at the 2011 census. A seaside resort was developed by Sir Richard Hotham in the late 18th century on what was a sandy, undeveloped coastline, it has been claimed that Hotham and his new resort are portrayed in Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon. The resort grew in the first half of the 19th century but grew following the coming of the railway in 1864. In 1929 the area was chosen by advisors to King George V which led to its regal suffix, by royal consent. Butlin's has been present in the town since the early 1930s when an amusement park and zoo were opened.
A holiday camp followed in 1960 and this has more moved towards hotel accommodation with modern amenities. Bognor is one of the oldest recorded Anglo-Saxon place names in Sussex. In a document of 680 AD it is referred to as Bucgan ora meaning Bucge's landing place. Bognor Regis was named just "Bognor", being a fishing village until the 18th century, when it was converted into a resort by Sir Richard Hotham who renamed the settlement Hothampton, although this did not catch on, it has been postulated that Hotham and his new resort are portrayed in Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon. Bognor was part of the ancient parish of Pagham in the county of Sussex, with a port or haven on the Aldingbourne Rife. From around 1465 it was included in the parish of Bersted before attaining ecclesiastical parish status separate from South Bersted in 1873; until 1894 it formed part of the Hundred of an ancient division of Chichester Rape. From 1894 to 1974 it was part of Bognor Urban District, since 1974 it has been a part of Arun District.
On the beach between Bognor Regis and Aldwick lies the wreck of a floating pontoon, once part of the Mulberry floating harbours used by the Allies to invade the French coast on D-Day 6 June 1944. It was a part of the Mulberry harbour which broke free in a storm on 4 June, the day before it was due to go over the channel to Arromanche; this particular section of Mulberry did not make it across the Channel. It was washed up on the beach shortly after D-Day, it is visible at low tide throughout the year. There are a number of Mulberry Harbour relics just off the coast of Pagham - including a'Phoenix' A1 class unit, towed by tugs into a waiting area and sunk into shallow water, ready for the tow across the Channel where it would be re-floated by'blowing' the internal tanks by means of a series of valves. Sadly the unit still off the Pagham coast had sunk lower than anticipated and when being moved, things did not go as planned, it swung around, settled again over a deep depression and was cracked beyond repair.
It was used by the RAF in 1945 for bombing practice. This harbour is still there today and used by scuba divers as a location to study the seabed and fish, which gather around the artificial reef. There is a memorial to the brave men; the memorial was placed there in June, 1999, states: "To mark the 55th Anniversary of D-Day in 1944. This plaque is erected as a memorial to mark the historical association that Pagham Beach had with the Mulberry Harbour Project in support of the liberation of Europe." The plaque continues ` some 50 had been assembled between Pagham Selsey. To hide them from enemy view they were sunk to await refloating when the invasion got under way'; the plaque records "The Mulberry Harbour project was without doubt, a great feat of British and allied engineering skills, many still remain at Arromanches in Normandy." The historic meeting of the crews of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on 17 July 1975 was intended to have taken place over Bognor Regis, but a flight delay caused it to occur over Metz in France instead.
Bognor Regis town centre was damaged in 1994 by an IRA device left in a bicycle outside Woolworth's. Fifteen shops were damaged but no injuries occurred. King George V had become ill, requiring lung surgery to be carried out on 12 December 1928, his recovery was slow and on 22 January 1929 Buckingham Palace issued the statement saying "it has been realised by the King's medical advisers that, prior to the establishment of convalescence, there would arrive a time when sea air would be necessary in order to secure the continuation of His Majesty's progress". The Palace statement went on "with the knowledge, a careful search was made for a "residence" not only suitable in itself but possessing the necessary attributes of close proximity to the sea, southern exposure, protection from wind and reasonable access to and from London; the residence selected was Craigweil House, Bognor placed at His Majesty's disposal by owner Sir Arthur Du Cros", a wealthy businessman, having acquired the house from Dr Stocker who bought it from the Countess of Newburgh who had constructed the building in 1806.
The house, was in Aldwick. As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix "Regis" on "Bognor"; the petition was presented to Lord Stamfordham, the King's Private Secretary, who in turn delivered it to the King. King George replied, "Oh, bugger Bognor
The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, high court of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court. Supreme courts function as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts. However, not all highest courts are named as such. Civil law states tend not to have a single highest court. Additionally, the highest court in some jurisdictions is not named the "Supreme Court", for example, the High Court of Australia. On the other hand, in some places the court named the "Supreme Court" is not in fact the highest court; the idea of a supreme court owes much to the framers of the United States constitution. It was while debating the division of powers between the legislative and executive departments that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention established the parameters for the national judiciary.
Creating a "third branch" of government was a novel idea. It was proposed that the judiciary should have a role in checking the executive power to exercise a veto or to revise laws. In the end the Framers of the Constitution compromised by sketching only a general outline of the judiciary, vesting of federal judicial power in "one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." They delineated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Judicial Branch as a whole. Some countries have multiple "supreme courts" whose respective jurisdictions have different geographical extents, or which are restricted to particular areas of law; some countries with a federal system of government may have both a federal supreme court, supreme courts for each member state, with the former having jurisdiction over the latter only to the extent that the federal constitution extends federal law over state law. However, other federations, such as Canada, may have a supreme court of general jurisdiction, able to decide any question of law.
Jurisdictions with a civil law system have a hierarchy of administrative courts separate from the ordinary courts, headed by a supreme administrative court as is the case in the Netherlands. A number of jurisdictions maintain a separate constitutional court, such as Austria, Germany, Portugal, Russia and South Africa. Within the former British Empire, the highest court within a colony was called the "Supreme Court" though appeals could be made from that court to the United Kingdom's Privy Council. A number of Commonwealth jurisdictions retain this system, but many others have reconstituted their own highest court as a court of last resort, with the right of appeal to the Privy Council being abolished. In jurisdictions using a common law system, the doctrine of stare decisis applies, whereby the principles applied by the supreme court in its decisions are binding upon all lower courts. In civil law jurisdictions the doctrine of stare decisis is not considered to apply, so the decisions of the supreme court are not binding beyond the immediate case before it.
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh is created by the provisions of the Constitution of Bangladesh, 1972. There are two Divisions of i.e. Appellate Division and High Court Division. Appellate Division is the highest Court of Appeal and does not exercise the powers of a court of first instance. Whereas, the High Court Division is a Court of first instance in writ/judicial review and admiralty matters; the Supreme Court of Canada was established in 1875 but only became the highest court in the country in 1949 when the right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was abolished. This court hears appeals from the courts of appeal from the provinces and territories, appeals from the Federal Court of Appeal; the Supreme Court is a "General Court of Appeal." It can decide any question of law considered by the lower courts, including constitutional law, federal law, provincial law. The court's decisions are final and binding on the federal courts and the courts from all provinces and territories.
The title "Supreme" can be confusing because, for example, the Supreme Court of British Columbia does not have the final say and controversial cases heard there get appealed in higher courts - it is in fact one of the lower courts in such a process. In Hong Kong, the Supreme Court of Hong Kong was the final court of appeal during its colonial times which ended with transfer of sovereignty in 1997; the final adjudication power, as in any other British Colonies, rested with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, United Kingdom. Now the power of fi
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
William Field, 1st Baron Field
William Ventris Field, 1st Baron Field PC was an English judge. Field was the fourth son of 18th Baron of Fielden, Bedfordshire, he was educated at King's School, Somerset. Field entered the legal profession as a solicitor. In 1843, however, he ceased to practise as such, entered at the Inner Temple, being called to the Bar in 1850, after having practised for some time as a special pleader, he soon exchanged it for the Midland. He obtained a large business as a junior, became a Queen's Counsel and bencher of his inn in 1864; as a QC he had an extensive common law practice, had for some time been the leader of the Midland circuit, when in February 1875, on the retirement of Mr. Justice Keating, he was raised to the bench as a justice of the queen's bench. Field was considered an excellent puisne judge of the type that attracts but little public attention, he was a first-rate lawyer, had a good knowledge of commercial matters, great shrewdness and a quick intellect, while he was painstaking and scrupulously fair.
When the rules of the Supreme Court 1883 came into force in the autumn of that year, Field was so well recognized an authority upon all questions of practice that the Lord Chancellor Lord Selborne selected him to sit continuously at Judge's Chambers in order that a consistent practice under the new rules might as far as possible be established. This he did for nearly a year, his name will always, to a large extent, be associated with the settling of the details of the new procedure, which did away with the former elaborate system of special pleading. In 1890, he retired from the bench and was raised to the peerage from 19th Baron of Fielden to Lord Field of Bakeham, in the County of Surrey, on 10 April 1890, he had sworn a member of the Privy Council earlier the same year. In the House of Lords he at first took part, not infrequently, in the hearing of appeals, notably delivered a reasoned judgment in the case of the Bank of England v. Vagliano Brothers, in which, with Lord Bramwell, he differed from the majority of his brother peers.
Before long, however and advancing years rendered his attendances less frequent. Lord Field died at Bognor on 23 January 1907, aged 95; as he left no issue the peerage of Bakeham became extinct and due to the law of primogeniture his hereditary title of Baron of Fielden was succeeded by Leslie Charles Field. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Field, William Ventris Field, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Lee, Sidney. "Field, William Ventris". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Field, William Ventris Field, Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10. Cambridge University Press. P. 323