Welcome to SLS Stanford Law School

In common Law systems, judges may make binding case law through precedent, although on occasion this may be overturned by a higher court or the legislature. Historically, religious law has influenced secular matters and is, as of the 21st century, still in use in some religious communities. Sharia law based on Islamic principles is used as the primary legal system in several countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. Conflict of laws, or private international law in civil law countries, concerns which jurisdiction a legal dispute between private parties should be heard in and which jurisdiction’s law should be applied. Today, businesses are increasingly capable of shifting capital and labour supply chains across borders, as well as trading with overseas businesses, making the question of which country has jurisdiction even more pressing. Increasing numbers of businesses opt for commercial arbitration under the New York Convention 1958.

This case is used to support the view of property in common law jurisdictions, that the person who can show the best claim to a piece of property, against any contesting party, is the owner. By contrast, the classic civil law approach to property, propounded by Friedrich Carl von Savigny, is that it is a right good against the world. Obligations, like contracts and torts, are conceptualised as rights good between individuals. The idea of property raises many further philosophical and political issues. Locke argued that our “lives, liberties and estates” are our property because we own our bodies and mix our labour with our surroundings. European Union law is the first and so far the only example of a supranational law, i.e. an internationally accepted legal system, other than the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

Today Taiwanese law retains the closest affinity to the codifications from that period, because of the split between Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists, who fled there, and Mao Zedong’s communists who won control of the mainland in 1949. The current legal infrastructure in the People’s Republic of China was heavily influenced by Soviet Socialist law, which essentially inflates administrative law at the expense of private law rights. Due to rapid industrialisation, today China is undergoing a process of reform, at least in terms of economic, if not social and political, rights.

  • In France, an ordinary contract is said to form simply on the basis of a “meeting of the minds” or a “concurrence of wills”.
  • Our research is not limited to one single spearhead, but we strive to conduct excellent and cutting-edge research across the full breadth of the law.
  • This became the basis for the four principles of negligence, namely that Stevenson owed Donoghue a duty of care to provide safe drinks; he breached his duty of care; the harm would not have occurred but for his breach; and his act was the proximate cause of her harm.
  • The first specialist administrative court was the Conseil d’√Čtat set up in 1799, as Napoleon assumed power in France.
  • Canon law is only in use by members of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.
  • Common law originated from England and has been inherited by almost every country once tied to the British Empire (except Malta, Scotland, the U.S. state of Louisiana, and the Canadian province of Quebec).

There are distinguished methods of legal reasoning and methods of interpreting the law. The former are legal syllogism, which holds sway in civil law legal systems, analogy, which is present in common law legal systems, especially in the US, and argumentative theories that occur in both systems. The latter are different rules of legal interpretation such as directives of linguistic interpretation, teleological interpretation or systemic interpretation as well as more specific rules, for instance, golden rule or mischief rule. There are also many other arguments and cannons of interpretation which altogether make statutory interpretation possible. Investigating, apprehending, charging, and trying suspected offenders is regulated by the law of criminal procedure.

From the time of Sir Thomas More, the first lawyer to be appointed as Lord Chancellor, a systematic body of equity grew up alongside the rigid common law, and developed its own Court of Chancery. At first, equity was often criticised as erratic, that it varied according to the length of the Chancellor’s foot. Over time, courts of equity developed solid principles, especially under Lord Eldon.

Contribute to law-making

Last week an editorial in the New York Law Journal urged a youthful revolt against the city, twanged an idyll of lawing in the country. In other words, understanding a particular action requires applying the theory’s laws and deriving a solution. This isn’t just any law school, it’s the one that has more judges in more courtrooms than any other. In the 18th century, Adam Smith presented a philosophical foundation for explaining the relationship between law and economics. The discipline arose partly out of a critique of trade unions and U.S. antitrust law. Banking law and financial regulation set minimum standards on the amounts of capital banks must hold, and rules about best practice for investment.

Faculty & Staff

Freedom of speech, freedom of association and many other individual rights allow people to gather, discuss, criticise and hold to account their governments, from which the basis of a deliberative democracy is formed. The more people are involved with, concerned by and capable of changing how political power is exercised over their lives, the more acceptable and legitimate the law becomes to the people. The most familiar institutions of civil society include economic markets, profit-oriented firms, families, trade unions, hospitals, universities, schools, charities, debating clubs, non-governmental organisations, neighbourhoods, churches, and religious associations. There is no clear legal definition of the civil society, and of the institutions it includes.