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Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. The term European ius commune (in its historical sense) signifies that, from the fourteenth to the start of the sixteenth centuries, most of Europe shared a common legal tradition. Many local and regional variations on the law existed, but the terminology, concepts, and structure provided by elements of Roman law provided a common framework. This chapter traces how Justinian's codification came to influence the modern world.

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From the beginning of the international community, States have evolved two principal methods for creating legally binding rules: treaties and custom. Both were admirably suited to the exigencies of their creators. Both responded to the basic need of not imposing obligations on States that did not wish to be bound by them. This chapter focuses on custom. It discusses the main features and elements of custom; local customary rules; the present role of custom; and codification treaties.

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After the legal sources of the UK constitution considered in previous chapters, this chapter turns its attention to an important non-legal source of the UK constitution: its constitutional conventions. It will be shown that constitutional conventions relate to practical and significant political matters which allow the UK constitution to function. They also represent a means by which the executive branch can be made accountable for its actions. The discussion explores the nature of constitutional conventions, gives examples of constitutional conventions, enforcing conventions, the Cabinet Manual, and investigates the courts and conventions. Codification of conventions and the importance of conventions in relation to devolution is also discussed.

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D Fox, RJC Munday, B Soyer, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter introduces the reader to commercial law. It first considers the nature of commercial law by focusing on the definitions offered by previous scholars of note. It then examines its function and historical development, and discusses various sources of commercial law such as contracts and national legislation. In addition it refers importantly to the role of equity and trusts in commercial law, to public law in the commercial arena, and to the philosophy and concepts of commercial law. Possible codification of commercial law is discussed. Finally, the chapter assesses the challenges for commercial law in the twenty-first century and briefly discusses the impact of Brexit on English commercial law.

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Extracts have been chosen from a wide range of historical and contemporary cases to illustrate the reasoning processes of the courts and to show how legal principles are developed. This chapter reviews the royal prerogative and constitutional conventions, and the relationship between these two sources of constitutional rules. It identifies the various types of prerogative power, and the attempts to place such powers on a statutory basis, including in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. It also examines attempts to codify constitutional practice, including the Crown's personal prerogative of the appointment of the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Manual. The discussion moves on to constitutional conventions as a source of the constitution, their relationship with law, and their nature as rules of political behaviour. The chapter considers the treatment of conventions in the courts, and whether they can obtain legal force. Finally, the chapter discusses the codification of conventions.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on an important non-legal source of the UK constitution: constitutional conventions. It will be shown that constitutional conventions relate to practical matters which allow the UK constitution to function. They also represent a means by which the executive branch can be made accountable. The discussion includes the nature of constitutional conventions, examples of constitutional conventions, enforcing conventions, the Cabinet Manual, and the courts and conventions. Codification of conventions and the importance of conventions in relation to devolution is also discussed.

Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter discusses the sources of Roman law. It covers sources of law in the archaic period; sources of law in the Republic; sources of law in the Empire; the post-classical era; and Justinian's codification of Roman law.

Chapter

MA Clarke, RJA Hooley, RJC Munday, LS Sealy, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter introduces the reader to commercial law. It first considers the nature of commercial law by focusing on the definitions offered by Roy Goode, Tony Weir, and G. Samuel. It then examines the function of commercial law and the historical development of commercial law, tracing its roots to the lex mercatoria (law merchant) of the Middle Ages. It also discusses various sources of commercial law such as contracts and national legislation, along with the role of equity in commercial law, public law in the commercial arena, the philosophy and concepts of commercial law, and the codification of commercial law. Finally, it assesses the challenges for commercial law in the twenty-first century and the impact of Brexit on English commercial law.

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This introductory chapter examines the functions of criminal law and discusses the sources of criminal law. These include common law and statutes, EU and international law, and the Human Rights Act 1998. It also considers the principle of fair labelling in criminal law and the codification of criminal law.

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This chapter studies the codification of the director's duties, how breach of duty can be avoided, and the duties in ss 171–74 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006). Section 171–74 of the CA 2006 provides that a director is under a duty to act in accordance with the company's constitution; a duty to act in a way that would promote the success of the company; a duty to exercise independent judgement; and a duty to exercise reasonable skill, care, and diligence. Ultimately, the standard expected under s 174 is that of a reasonably diligent person with the general knowledge, skill, and experience that the director has. Meanwhile, a breach of duty may be avoided if the breach is approved or authorized, ratified under s 239, or if the court relieves the director of liability under s 1157.

Chapter

This introduction outlines the book’s contents. The book explores the substantive criminal law of England and Wales, that is, the law that governs the general principles of legal liability for an offence (commonly known as a ‘crime’) and specific offences. It focuses on offences which are more serious in nature. Almost all the general principles of criminal liability can be found in the common law, that is, judge-made law. In contrast, very few offences are currently governed by the common law. This chapter discusses the characteristics of criminal offences, the purposes of criminal law, the courts of criminal jurisdiction, jurisdiction, maximum sentences, sources of criminal law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998, and codification of the criminal law.

Chapter

The term European ius commune (in its historical sense) signifies that, from the fourteenth to the start of the sixteenth centuries, most of Europe shared a common legal tradition. Many local and regional variations on the law existed, but the terminology, concepts, and structure provided by elements of Roman law provided a common framework. This chapter traces how Justinian’s codification came to influence the modern world. The influence of Roman law in the modern world is immense: it constitutes the historical and conceptual basis of many legal systems throughout the world. Its impact has not been confined to those countries in Western Europe that historically formed part of the Roman Empire. Wherever Europeans went, they normally took their law (usually based to some extent on the principles of Roman law) with them.

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This chapter explores aspects of the criminal law’s history. The main focus is the influence of religious—and, especially, biblical—thought on the criminal law. This influence does something to explain the law’s harsh attitude to theft and homosexuality, as well as to murder. Examination of efforts to codify the law is also included. This exploration is central to the analysis of how the past has shaped the criminal law’s values. However, the development of the law has not been one of continuous moral improvement. Old injustices have been replaced by new ones. In that regard, threats to civil liberties are also discussed in the final section, focusing on bureaucratic regulation, terrorism, and free speech.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the sources of Roman law. It covers sources of law in the archaic period; sources of law in the Republic; sources of law in the Empire; the post-classical era; and Justinian’s codification of Roman law. It is difficult to provide a comprehensive and finite list of the sources of Roman law, since the Roman jurists never defined the term ‘source of law’ and different sources were emphasized at certain periods in the history of the Roman legal system to reflect their prominence as instruments of legal reform. There are three statements in which the sources of Roman law are listed, seemingly without any specific order. The earliest is by Cicero in the first century BC. The second is a comment by the second-century jurist Gaius in his Institutes. The latter was adopted and amended in Justinian’s Institutes of the sixth century AD.

Chapter

This introductory chapter examines the functions of criminal law and discusses the sources of criminal law. These include common law and statutes, international law, and the Human Rights Act 1998. It also considers the principle of fair labelling in criminal law and the codification of criminal law.

Chapter

This chapter looks at the separation of powers. The separation of powers is a doctrine requiring that executive, legislative, and judicial powers within a state should be clearly divided and allocated to separate institutions; the aim is to prevent the concentration of power in any one branch and reduce the potential for arbitrary or oppressive exercise of power. Although the degree of separation between the three branches varies between states, codified constitutions will regulate those spheres of power by allocating specific roles and functions to each branch and will allow checks or controls to operate between them to ensure accountability. The separation of powers in the UK is weakest between the legislative and executive, and strongest and most distinct between the judiciary and the other two branches. Indeed, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 has brought stronger separation between the judiciary and the executive, making the judiciary more autonomous.

Chapter

This chapter looks at the separation of powers. The separation of powers is a doctrine requiring that executive, legislative, and judicial powers within a state should be clearly divided and allocated to separate institutions; the aim is to prevent the concentration of power in any one branch and reduce the potential for arbitrary or oppressive exercise of power. Although the degree of separation between the three branches varies between states, codified constitutions will regulate those spheres of power by allocating specific roles and functions to each branch and will allow checks or controls to operate between them to ensure accountability. The separation of powers in the UK is weakest between the legislative and executive, and strongest and most distinct between the judiciary and the other two branches. Indeed, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 has brought stronger separation between the judiciary and the executive, making the judiciary more autonomous.

Chapter

D Fox, RJC Munday, B Soyer, AM Tettenborn, and PG Turner

This chapter serves as an introduction to the English law governing sale of goods, along with relevant definitions. It introduces the common law of sale of goods and its subsequent codification by the Sale of Goods Act 1893, later consolidated in 1979 and which (following further minor amendments) is now the principal source of the law. It also considers some key definitions relating to sale of goods, before discussing the nature of a sale and how it differs from related transactions such as barter or exchange, bailment, agency, and hire-purchase.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the UK’s constitutional arrangements, and in particular, four important issues concerning the UK constitution, of which it is necessary to be aware at the outset. First, it sets out the three key themes that emerge from the study of contemporary UK public law, and second, examines the sources of the UK constitution. Third, the chapter addresses a number of principles that occupy a central role in UK public law, before finally considering whether the UK should adopt a written, or codified, constitution.

Chapter

In this chapter administrative law is considered in its wider constitutional context. In the absence of a codified constitution the twin doctrines of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law set out by Professor Dicey in the late nineteenth century continue to elucidate much of the relationship between Parliament and the courts. The question of constitutional accountability under the convention of individual ministerial responsibility is explored with reference to the Westminster and Whitehall models. This chapter proceeds to emphasise the relative importance of the separation of powers as an integral part of the rule of law and judicial independence and presents a comparison with the situation in the USA which has a strict separation of powers written into its constitution. The emerging influence of supra-national law on constitutional practice, particularly since the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force, comprises part of this analysis.