History of UK Law

You may already know common law is also referred to as Anglo-American law in some books. It is the originator of the legal systems in many countries, including the US and several in the Commonwealth. It has been used in England since the middle ages, and many modern laws borrow heavily from it. Any law student has encountered these teachings at college and law school.

Origins of Common Law

The English common law dates back to the Middle Ages when many systems were more invested in remedies than substantive rights. These laws have changed quite some to give substantive rights the same weight as remedies. You can read more about such details at https://writix.co.uk/essay-examples/history, where essays break down rules and procedures in the most precise manner. Most of the history essay samples we have online dig deep into what we had versus what we now have, and readers are always impressed by the journey and people who made these changes happen. Any essay about history allows the reader to reflect, appreciate, and maybe be inspired by what they can achieve at the university level and beyond.

Common law history shows they were created around the Norman Conquest of 1066. The church was also involved in this process where crimes were treated as such and the aggrieved compensated. Most serious crimes were treated as public even when they were private, and the perpetrators, who were to serve as a lesson to other like-minded people, were either condemned to die or forced to forfeit their property. This Anglo-Norman realm was quite ruthless, and almost every part of its rules has been abolished except juries, writs, outlawry, and ordeals.

One of the challenges of the Anglo-Saxon law was that judges or lawyers did not administer it but by clergy, some of who were familiar with the Roman and Canon laws that were taught at schools in the 12th century. When the Norman custom couldn’t work in England anymore, it was replaced with the feudal land law.

Feudal Land Law

Land was an essential part of the English economy, largely dependent on agriculture. It gave lords the right to inherit the land where owners died intestate, and they also got a cut (of property) for granting people the right to marry.  Land was held in tenancies called estates. Land title transfer was through a formal ritual and not deed, and so the public would participate in the transactions. The rules governing these land transfers were made at the King’s Court in the 12th century, and they established common law. You will find material in a library of the set of these rules and how they were administered.

The Spread of Common Law into Other Jurisdictions

The US and several European countries adopted common regulations after adapting some parts to suit them. In some parts of the US, some English precedents were not legally binding, so different legal codes in some states – Massachusetts in 1648 and Pennsylvania in 1682 – were enacted. There were only a handful of lawyers and judges to pass the teachings on in the US and other countries, so the introduction of common law was relatively slow. From the 17th century, students started enrolling for legal education, improving the pace of common law into jurisdictions outside England.

Pros of Studying Law

Students in medieval times were taught canon law in the universities in Europe, but that slowly changed over time. By the 1800s, it was taught formally, and students got their degrees. There are several reasons why people take this academic course, among them:

  • A stable income
  • A challenging career that keeps one on their feet.
  • You learn critical thinking.
  • You become a great negotiator.
  • You could become a courtroom hero and inspire some kids with your words.
  • There are several branches, so you have several options.
  • Most advocates are well-read and comfortable handling complex conversations.

Nations are always going to need lawyers for whatever reason. There are several areas of life where one will need a person to interpret the law, so you will always have some work. You also become a lifelong reader since almost every new case, especially challenging ones, will need research and dedication. You will always find an advocate reading a book because their career depends on continuous learning if you think about it. The digital era introduces new areas of the law that is creating frontiers for those in this profession to have even more on their plate.


If you pursue a legal education, you can count on learning about common law and even more on the origins of the law that governs us today. You will also have to read lots of books along the way, and we all know the perks of being well-read. You become quite good at telling a story, you are able to handle discussions from a wide range of topics, and you get to win battles using words. You may have to get through a lot of coursework at school to get there, but it is all worth it.

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