Naturally the legal systems of these countries all

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Naturally, the legal systems of these countries all differ in specifics; but, there are strong, unmistakeable influences of German law in all of them. The legal systems in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland have also been influenced by German law. However, these countries traditionally have tended to hold themselves apart from the rest of Europe, prizing their independence and unique culture. The result of this is that scholars have tended to regard the Scandinavian countries as another Legal Group within the Civil Law Family, separate from the Roman and Germanic Groups. Therefore, although there may be many separate legal systems, many can be grouped together into individual ‘families’ , because of their shared origins and influences. 26
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CO5119:03 Business Law SUBJECT MATERIALS >> SCHOOL OF LAW JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY 2.3 The Common Law Family The Common Law family can be referred to as the Anglo-American family and, as was the case in the Civil Law Family - where countries tend to belong to either the Roman or Germanic Group, countries in the Common Law family can be grouped into those where the predominant modern influence has been modern English Law and those where the influence has been mainly from the law as it developed in the United States. The two systems are very similar but there are some key differences. Jurisdictions that follow the English influence include England, Wales, Northern Ireland; the Republic of Eire; Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Jamaica, the West Indies, Fiji, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya and many others. The United States’ influence really applies mainly in the United States but it applies both at federal level and in each of the fifty individual states (and Canadian law is also influenced by it). Within the United States there are other, particularly civil law, influences (including the State of Louisiana, which is heavily influenced by French law and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where the law is heavily influenced by the Spanish legal system). 2.3.1 The Anglo-American Legal System While the Common Law family is made up of the legal system of England (and the legal systems of other countries which have been influenced by English law) and the American legal system, the American legal system originated in the laws of England, which the early colonists brought with them when they settled the ‘New World’. The differences are to be found in the fact that, following the American War of Independence, America's legal system developed separately. Therefore, while they are still very similar there are differences. 2.3.2 The Law of England English law is shaped primarily through its judicial procedure and application. Many of its defining characteristics are a result of the fact that the function of law and of the courts in England was different from that in continental Europe. This was due largely to the political
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