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Sources of Law

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The pure origin of law was founded on the rudimentary platform of customs, or what H. L. A. Hart describes it as “rules of obligation”. It forms the essence of the framework of order within a society. He stated the conditions required for the existence and effective implication of an “obligation” in a society would be the introduction of constrictions on the actions of its citizens and those who oppose the idea of it constitutes the minority of the population. This would effectively conjure social pressure for people to adhere to the rules. This has worked well in primitive societies. However, home to many societies bearing differing culture and religious practices, the sources of law of a modern nation does not simply come from the amalgamation of legally binding customs from respective societies as a solitary and direct source. By far, the law has been compounded, overruled, refined and developed over past centuries under the influences of historical, economical and social events. As such, the sources of law in a developed nation of UK today would involve common law and statutes as the leading sources, supplemented by delegated legislation, academic doctrines, customs, constitution, transnational and European Law.

The Ius Commune

In 1066, William the conqueror emerged victorious in the Battle of Hastings and became King of England. He unified counties with disparate customary practices into a national legal system, giving birth to common law. The word “common” was used to distinguish it from prior customary local laws. The nation consisted of 8 nonpartisan large kingdoms governed under a feudal rule. King William I fashioned the national legal system such that it would bring huge monetary benefit to the monarchy. This was in contrary to Aristotle’s philosophy on distributive justice by which the law ensured equal distribution of wealth and...

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