List of National Legal Systems

The law is a body of rules and regulations implemented by the government to ensure social fairness and wellbeing. The social, political, economic, and cultural facets of society are reflected in India's legal system. During India's legal history, the common law system developed its foundations. The Constitution, legislation, common law, and the rulings of the higher courts are the primary sources of law in India. While state legislature-approved legislation typically only applies inside the borders of the respective states, laws passed by the parliament may apply throughout all or part of India.

What is the Meaning of National Legal system?

National legal system is main legal frame work that governs country and regulates political, economic, and social activities of respective nation. Modern national legal systems are often founded on one of five fundamental systems −

  • Civil law system,

  • Common law system,

  • Statutory law system,

  • Religious law system,

  • Mixtures of these.

Nonetheless, because each nation's legal system is influenced by its distinct past, it includes unique variants. Comparative law is the name of the field of study that examines law from the perspective of different legal systems. Both civil law (also known as Roman law) and common law systems can be regarded as the most prevalent across the globe. Civil law is the most prevalent in terms of both population and landmass; however, common law is used by the most people out of all civil law systems.

Civil Law System

The civil law system is one of the widely accepted and old legal systems, which is inspired from Roman law. Also known as the continental legal system, civil law system primarily defines codified and written legal system. Because of this, judges have to rely on written laws and legal precedents to make decisions.

In other words, the legislations created by the law experts and approved by the legislators are the guiding principles that every governing body has to follow. The civil law system is largely practiced in Europe and Latin America.

Common Law System

The decisions made by judges in court cases serve as the foundation for common law and equity, two legal systems. Each system will also have a legislature that enacts new rules and regulations. The connections between laws and court rulings can be intricate. Such laws may, in some jurisdictions, preempt judicial rulings or codify a subject that has been the subject of multiple conflicting or unclear rulings. In some jurisdictions, judicial rulings may determine whether the constitution of the jurisdiction permitted the passage of a specific statute or statutory provision or the interpretation that the statute's provisions should have.

The Norman conquest of England, which introduced legal notions from Norman law, which in turn had its roots in Salic law, had a far less impact on the development of the common law in England. Anglo-Saxon law also played a role in this development. Nearly all of the former colonies of the British Empire have embraced common law, which the Commonwealth of Nations eventually inherited (Malta being an exception). The principle of stare decisis, sometimes referred to as case law or precedent by courts, is the primary distinction between uncodified civil law systems and them.

Statutory Law

Statutory legislation is any written law that has been adopted by a legislative body to control how its citizens behave. Lawmaking is done by the national government through the Parliament, the state government through the Vidhan Sabha, and the local government through the municipalities. When a bill is introduced in the legislature, the President must give his or her approval before it can be considered an act and voted on by the members of both chambers. His assent may be blocked by the Indian President.

Religious Law

Religious law is the idea that a religious system or document may be used as a legal source, albeit the exact process may vary. For instance, the use of Judaism and halakha for public law has a static and unchangeable quality that forbids amendment through legislative acts of government or development through judicial precedent; Christian canon law is more comparable to civil law in its use of codes; and Islamic sharia law (and fiqh jurisprudence) is based on legal precedent and reasoning by analogy (qiyas), and is therefore considered similar to common law.

Sharia in Islam, halakha in Judaism, and canon law in some Christian organizations are the three primary categories of religious law. They might serve as moral guidelines for individuals in some situations, or they can serve as the foundation for a nation's legal system; the latter was notably prevalent during the Medieval Ages.


The legal system of any country defines the types of legal framework through which the whole country is governed. Such framework is supreme, as every governing body in the country has to follow; however, under the given circumstance, the governing body can amend the provision, but with proper means and legislation. India's legal system, which is defined by ‘common law system’ (or now mixed law system) has seen numerous changes over the years. The Indian Constitution, which has created the operation of the entire justice system in India, is the ultimate pillar and foundation. The country's quick development necessitates substantial judicial reforms as well. The Indian government is making an effort to clear the obstacles and backlog. Nonetheless, additional development still has to be made.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What was the first system of law?

Ans. The Babylonian monarch Hammurabi, who ruled from 1792 to 1750 B.C., established the Code of Hammurabi, one of the first and most comprehensive written law systems.

Q2. What are the current legal system's five pillars?

Ans. The United States’ Constitution, state constitutions, federal and state statutes, common law, case law, and administrative law are the main sources of law in the country.

Q3. Who established India's legal system?

Ans. The Indian legal system has evolved over centuries and has been influenced by various factors, such as its history, culture, religion, and British colonialism. However, the modern legal system of India is largely based on the English common law system, which was introduced during the British colonial period.

Q4. Which country has best legal system?

Ans. Denmark, Norway, and Finland topped the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index 2021.

Q5. What is the most common legal system?

Ans. The civil law system is the most widespread system of law in the world, in force in various forms in about 150 countries.

Updated on: 07-Apr-2023


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