Common law

Legally binding rules or principles of justice developed in the course of history from the gradual accumulation of rulings by judges in individual cases, as differentiated from the kind of statute law embodied in special legal codes or statutes enacted by legislative assemblies or imposed by executive decrees. The importance of the common law heritage is particularly great in the legal systems of Great Britain and of most former British colonies, including the U.S.

[See also: tort, contract, property rights]