A Common law legal system is a system of law characterized by case law which is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals. Common law systems also include statutes enacted by legislative bodies, though those statutes typically either codify judicial decisions or fill in areas of the law not covered by case law. In contrast to common law systems, civil law (codified/continental law) systems are founded on a set of legal codes, which are organized laws that attempt to cover exhaustively the various legal domains, and is characterized by an absence of precedent in the judicial application of those codes. In the modern period, both systems tend to include administrative regulations which may also be codified.
A common law system is a legal system that gives great potential precedential weight to common law, on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions. The body of precedent is called "common law" and it binds future decisions. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is usually bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision (this principle is known as stare decisis). If, however, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases (called a "matter of first impression"), judges have the authority and duty to make law by creating precedent. Thereafter, the new decision becomes precedent, and will bind future courts.
Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership and tenancy in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights and obligations thereon.
The concept, idea or philosophy of property underlies all property law. In some jurisdictions, historically all property was owned by the monarch and it devolved through feudal land tenure or other feudal systems of loyalty and fealty.
Property damage (or, in England and Wales, criminal damage) is damage to or the destruction of public or private property, caused either by a person who is not its owner or by natural phenomena. Property damage caused by persons is generally categorized by its cause: neglect (including oversight and human error), and intentional damage. Intentional property damage is often, but not always, malicious. Property damage caused by natural phenomena may be legally attributed to a person if that person's neglect allowed for the damage to occur.
Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It regulates social conduct and proscribes threatening, harming, or otherwise endangering the health, safety, and moral welfare of people. It includes the punishment of people who violate these laws. Criminal law differs from civil law, whose emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation than on punishment.
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong which unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act, called a tortfeasor. Although crimes may be torts, the cause of legal action is not necessarily a crime as the harm may be due to negligence which does not amount to criminal negligence. The victim of the harm can recover their loss as damages in a lawsuit. In order to prevail, the plaintiff in the lawsuit must show that the actions or lack of action was the legally recognizable cause of the harm. The equivalent of tort in civil law jurisdictions is delict.
Legal injuries are not limited to physical injuries and may include emotional, economic, or reputational injuries as well as violations of privacy, property, or constitutional rights. Torts comprise such varied topics as auto accidents, false imprisonment, defamation, product liability, copyright infringement, and environmental pollution (toxic torts). While many torts are the result of negligence, tort law also recognizes intentional torts, where a person has intentionally acted in a way that harms another, and in a few cases (particularly for product liability in the United States) "strict liability" which allows recovery without the need to demonstrate negligence.
A social issue (also called a social problem or a social situation) is an issue that relates to society's perception of a person's personal lives. Different cultures have different perceptions and what may be "normal" behavior in one society may be a significant social issue in another society. Social issues are distinguished from economic issues. Some issues have both social and economic aspects, such as immigration. There are also issues that don't fall into either category, such as wars.
Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man and Common Sense, addresses man's duty to "allow the same rights to others as we allow ourselves". The failure to do so causes the birth of a social issue.
The term crime does not, in modern times, have any simple and universally accepted definition, but one definition is that a crime, also called an offence or a criminal offence, is an act harmful not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state (a public wrong). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.