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Law in Malaysia

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Explain the features found in a Civil Law System and a Common Law System. (20 marks) Legal system is basically defined as a system for interpreting and enforcing the law. According to Wu Min Aun, a legal system is a framework of rules and institutions within a nation, regulating the individual’s relation with others and between the individuals and the government. Two most prevalent legal systems in the world are Civil Law System and Common Law System.

Firstly, common law is law that became common to the realm which developed in medieval England. It mainly uses evolving bodies of case (judge-made) precedents. Example of countries which applies this type of system is Australia, United Kingdom and India. On the other hands, the civil law carries the meaning of citizen law which said to be derived the word jus sivil (citizen law). It is mainly developed from Roman Law and Emperor’s Justinian’s Code. Countries which use this type of legal system are mainly located in the European continent, for example; France and Italy. This legal system uses codified (or statute) laws which comes from the parliament.

Basic feature of the common law system is that, its primary source is case law, neither statutes nor legislation. Legal principles from previous cases are applied to similar facts in later cases. On the other hand, civil law regards statutes/codes as its primary and only official sources. Law are codified, or placed into codes or statutes.

Other prominent difference is the role of the judges, in common law system, the judges have more influential role. They interpret the law and statutes. Their decision become precedent and thus, other judges are bound to follow it. Doctrine of Binding Precedent and adversarial system are applied in common law system along with equity....

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