Common law refers to law which is created in the form of judicial precedent, sometimes known as judge-made law. It is one of the main sources of law within common law systems, alongside legislation.

Many laws, like the crime of murder, were created by common law and not statute.

Due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK, common law can be overridden by legislation passed by Parliament. Common law is essentially created to ‘fill the gaps’ which have been left by legislation, or on occasions where the meaning of legislation is ambiguous (statutory interpretation).

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