What type of Law?

When we talk about law it is important to realise there are several ‘types’ of law. Military personnel will be subject to Military Courts. There are religious laws, although religious law has no part in the legal structures of the UK. Then there is common law and civil law.

The general legal structures of the UK follow a common law tradition, where there are the basic statutes written and then how the law rules is based on precedent and experience. This a constantly evolving law, yet based on firm and well understood principles.

Civil Law, more common in Europe, codifies all situations, seeking to define rather than judge. Civil Law does have a place in UK law, in matters often related to finance and contracts.

The conceptual difference between having key principles and then judging in context and a law with detailed codified responses to all situations is an important aspect of understanding both the difference between criminal (common ) law and Civil law in the UK and also the overarching differences between UK and European law in general.