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laws. However, some countries follow an “uncodified” civil law legal system.
• The history of civil laws dates to the sixth century when the Byzantine
emperor Justinian codified the laws of Rome.
• Civil law was reborn due to the work of Italian legal scholars and spread
throughout Europe, as exemplified by the Napoleonic Code of France and
the French Civil Code of 1804.
• Civil legal systems should not be confused with the civil (or tort) laws
found in the U.S.
• Civil law was established by states or nations for self-regulation; thus, civil
law can be divided into subdivisions such as French civil law, German
civil law, and so on.
• It is the most widespread legal system in the world and the most common
legal system in Europe.
• Under civil law, lower courts are not compelled to follow the decisions
made by higher courts.
• Common Law
• Developed in England.
• Based on previous interpretations of laws:
• In the past, judges would walk throughout the country enforcing laws
and settling disputes.
• They did not have a written set of laws, so they based their laws on
custom and precedent.
• In the twelfth century, the King of England imposed a unified legal
system that was “common” to the entire country. ch10.indd 856 12/4/2009 11:39:06 AM All-in-1 / CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 5th Ed. / Harris / 160217-8 Chapter 10: Legal, Regulations, Compliance, and Investigations 857
• Reflects the community’s morals and expectations.
• Led to the creation of barristers, or lawyers, who actively participate
in the litigation process through the presentation of evidence and
• Today, common law uses judges and juries of peers. If the jury trial is
waived, the judge decides the facts.
• Typical systems consist of a higher court, several intermediate appellate
courts, and many local trial courts. Precedent flows down through this
system. Tradition also allows for “Magistrate’s Courts,” which address
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