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Law and legal systems A

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Binding authority
A source of law that a court must follow in deciding a case.
A failure to perform an obligation created by law, promise, or duty.
Case law
Law established by decisions in cases as distinguished from law created by legislation.
A caption that identifies the publication in which a legal authority (for example, a statute or court decision) may be found.
Civil law
Laws that determine the rights and duties between persons and their governments and the relief available when rights are violated or duties are breached.
Common law
A body of law based on custom and general principles and embodied in case law that serves as precedent.
Concurring opinion
An opinion written by a judge who agrees with the majority as to the outcome of a case but not as to the legal reasoning for that outcome.
Court of equity
A court having jurisdiction over suits in equity and providing remedies according to the rules and principles of equity.
Court of law
A court that hears cases and decides them on the basis of statutes and common law.
Criminal law
Laws concerned with wrongs committed against the public as a whole and which are prosecuted by public officials.
Money awarded in a civil suit to compensate the plaintiff for harm.
The party against whom a civil or criminal action is brought.
Dissenting opinion
An opinion by a judge who disagrees with the result in a case.
Philosophy of law
Undue delay in asserting a right or privilege.
Enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and society.