Quotes About Common Law

Quotes tagged as "common-law" (showing 1-7 of 7)
John  Adams
“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.

But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, 'whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,' and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”
John Adams, The Portable John Adams

Thomas Jefferson
“If, therefore, from the settlement of the Saxons, to the introduction of Christianity among them, that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians; and if, having their laws from that period to the close of the common law, we are able to find among them no such act of adoption; we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.

['Whether Christianity is Part of the Common Law?', letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, from Monticello, February 10, 1814]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
“Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., The Common Law

“Uniformity in the common law, consisting of broad principles like the "reasonable person" standard, generally permits adjustment for the circumstances. This type of uniform principle is almost synonymous with fairness. Uniform application of a detailed rule, on the other hand, will almost always favor one group over another. p. 34”
Philip K. Howard, The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America

Antonia Fraser
“It was a fact generally acknowledged by all but the most contumacious spirits at the beginning of the seventeenth century that woman was the weaker vessel; weaker than man, that is. ... That was the way God had arranged Creation, sanctified in the words of the Apostle. ... Under the common law of England at the accession of King James I, no female had any rights at all (if some were allowed by custom). As an unmarried woman her rights were swallowed up in her father's, and she was his to dispose of in marriage at will. Once she was married her property became absolutely that of her husband. What of those who did not marry? Common law met that problem blandly by not recognizing it. In the words of The Lawes Resolutions [the leading 17th century compendium on women's legal status]: 'All of them are understood either married or to be married.' In 1603 England, in short, still lived in a world governed by feudal law, where a wife passed from the guardianship of her father to her husband; her husband also stood in relation to her as a feudal lord.”
Antonia Fraser, The Weaker Vessel

Auberon Herbert
“To live in a state of liberty is not to live apart from law. It is, on the contrary, to live under the highest law, the only law that can really profit a man, the law which is consciously and deliberately imposed by himself on himself.”
Auberon Herbert

“The difference between the past and the present is that individual freedom and security no longer fall to be protected solely through the D vehicle of common-law maxims and presumptions which may be altered or repealed by statute, but are now protected by entrenched constitutional provisions which neither the Legislature nor the Executive may abridge. It would accordingly be improper for us to hold constitutional a system which, as Sachs J has noted, confers on creditors the power to consign the person of an impecunious debtor to prison at will and without the interposition at the crucial time of a judicial officer.”
Pius Langa

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