The Reception of English Law
Abstractnew country is faced with choice in deciding upon system of law for itself. It can either copy someone else's codified law or it can adopt system of law which is largely judge-made. If it opts for the latter it cannot afford to spend centuries building up system of judge-made law. Therefore it must copy the rules of society which has already developed sophisticated body of such law. Most of the Commonwealth nations have chosen the latter route and as result have received English law as their own. The rules and consequences inherent in such a reception are discussed in this article. After short discussion of the distinction between the Imperial law in force proprio vigore and the English law received in the colony as such, the modes of reception of English law are described. In this respect the differences in reception between settled and conquered colonies are outlined. The parts of English law which have been received and the general rules of applicability as well as the applicability of particular areas of the law are also analyzed. The article concludes with discussion of repeal, amendment and reform of imported English law by the country receiving such law. An appendix contains an account of the reception of English law in each of the Canadian provinces. The subject of this article is often considered as part of legal history. It should be stressed however that this is not the case, as all the rules described are rules of present-day law and many of them are being applied and expounded continually, particularly in Australia and Canada. This is the author's second article in this area; the first being The Introduction of English Law Into Alberta, (1964) Alta. L. Rev. 262.
For Editions following and including Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
For Editions prior to Volume 61 No. 1, the following applies.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.