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International & Foreign Law Legal Research

Common Law v. Civil Law

When researching foreign law, it is important to note if you are in a common law or civil law jurisdiction. 
 
In the United States, we practice common law.  In common law jurisdictions, case law or judicial precedent is important.  In civil law jurisdictions, legislative enactments are binding on everyone and case law is binding only on the parties to the dispute.
 
To view a map roughly indicating common law and civil law jurisdictions, see:  JuriGlobe