The development of the common law was accomplished through the decisions of judges. The importance of judges in specifying the exact nature of the law has been maintained from this common law tradition. The importance of judicial decisions in the development of the common law was so important that the terms case law and common law are sometimes used interchangeably. Under the common law tradition, nearly every law was judge-made law. In modern America, many areas of law have come to be dominated by legislatures. In most states, for example, criminal law is said to be “entirely a matter of statute.” Even when the letter of the law comes to us from statutory provisions, the legal context for understanding those statutes is still provided by case law.
Modification History File Created: 07/30/2018 Last Modified: 08/10/2018