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The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XI1820–1914 English Legal System$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.001.0001

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Sources of Law

Sources of Law

Chapter:
(p.41) III Sources of Law
Source:
The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XI
Author(s):

William Cornish

Michael Lobban

Keith Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.003.0003

This chapter concentrates on the sources of English law that were treated within the system as rules of recognition; as authority, in other words, for what the law was, rather than as mere descriptions of propositions that courts would apply as law. In formal terms, legislation and judicial precedent were the two sources that predominated, as they had for centuries. Some legal writings, together with established customs and similar practices, might also rate on occasion; but if they were admitted at all as sources, they tended to be treated as secondary.

Keywords:   English law, secondary legislation, judicial precedent, statues, custom, judgement, legal history

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