A legal system is the framework of rules, procedures, and institutions that a community uses to interpret and enforce its laws. These systems encompass a set of laws, institutions, and procedures that guide individuals, organisations, and governments in resolving disputes and maintaining order.
They are designed to maintain social order, protect individual rights, and ensure that justice is served. Legal systems vary greatly across different countries and cultures, reflecting their unique legal traditions and institutions.
Common law systems, like the one in the United States, originated from British rule. Initially, common law was a judge-made law that filled in gaps when there was no written law. Judges looked to prior decisions to determine the unwritten judge-made law and apply it to new cases. Today, almost all laws are in writing and enacted by a legislature as statutes. In a common law system, the court’s reliance on precedent is referred to as stare decisis. This means using judicial decisions made in the past to interpret written laws and appropriately apply those laws to the facts in the present case.
The civil law system, also known as a civilian legal system, is based on written laws rather than legal precedents. It is prevalent in many European countries and emphasises predictability and a systematic approach to legal decision-making. Civil law systems often have a strong focus on individual rights and equality before the law.
Picture a world where laws are neatly coded in comprehensive volumes. In Civil Law systems, written codes take centre stage, with judges acting primarily as impartial interpreters of these predefined rules.
Customary law is based on the traditional practices and customs of a community. In many societies, especially indigenous communities, customary law governs various aspects of life, from land rights to social interactions.
While not always formally codified, customary laws play a crucial role in maintaining social order and resolving disputes within these communities. Think of age-old traditions passed down through generations. Customary Law systems rely on unwritten customs and practices, often specific to communities or regions.
Islamic law, also known as Sharia, is derived from the Quran and Hadith, the teachings and sayings of Prophet Muhammad. It covers various aspects of life, from personal matters to governance and economics.
In countries where Sharia is the primary legal system, religious scholars and judges interpret these teachings to create a legal framework. While it shares similarities with other legal systems in terms of justice and fairness, its foundation is deeply rooted in Islamic principles.
Religious law is the type of legal system that is based on the sacred texts, doctrines, and principles of a particular religion. Religious law regulates the personal and family matters of the adherents of the religion, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and worship.
Religious law may also have an impact on the public and criminal law of the State, depending on the degree of separation between religion and state. Religious law is prevalent in some Islamic, Jewish, and Christian countries. Some societies draw their legal principles from their faith. Religious Law systems base their frameworks on sacred texts and interpretations by religious authorities.
Conclusion – As we all know, the advent of Digital Seva, Digital Seva Kendra, and CSC Digital Seva has significantly transformed legal systems. These digital platforms have made legal services more accessible and efficient, ensuring justice is not just a concept but a reality, thus revolutionising the landscape of legal systems.