The History of English Common Law in Hong Kong

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General BackgroundFor general background, when we talk about the English Law, we must have to mention Norman Conquest in 1066, 1066 is a very important year in the law history.

Before the Norman Conquest, life was governed by the customary law. However, different places have different customary rules, each place has its own court and its customary rule was enforced. After the Norman Conquest, the Kings of England slowly gained control over the local courts. Through the central authority, a unified system of Law was slowly used and it is known as the Common Law. We called it Common Law because the Common Law was common to all men within the King judicial system. As the local custom preceded both judicial precedent and legislation, we can say it is the original source of Law.

The Writ SystemWithin the three hundred years after Norman Conquest, local custom was slowly replaced by the Common Law; it was part of the process of extension of the power of the Crown.

In fact, one of the reasons was King Writ.

At that time in England, the King was the fountain of justice, he needed to deal with any cases of his subjects contended. Since the justice denied him in a local court, all the claimants must grant the King writ as a means of legal process. The writs defined both the rights and obligation which were only enforceable in the King court, the writs became formalized so all the arguments in civil matters became more determinable by the Common Law then by the local custom. Moreover, the Norman King started the feudalism; it means all the land was owned by the King. No people except the King had rights to own a piece of land. As a result , all disputes concerning the title...