Is your jurisdiction a common law or civil law jurisdiction?

Construction (2nd edition)

Australia Small Flag Australia

Australia is a common law jurisdiction. It is also a federal system with Commonwealth and state/ territory laws based on the constitutional allocation of jurisdiction in relation to specific powers. Consequently, both Commonwealth and state/territory legislation may apply to a specific legal issue. This may result in different legal approaches between jurisdictions (e.g. in relation to security of payment and proportionate liability legislation).

Belgium Small Flag Belgium

Belgium has a civil law tradition.

NB: Belgium is a federal state, consisting i.a. of three regions: the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Metropolitan Region.

There is an historic evolution to entrust the Regions with authority in ever increasing matters. Environmental protection, including planning law, is almost entirely left to the Regions. Contract law (including insurance and securities), public procurement, product regulations and (occupational) health and safety remain within the scope of the federal authority. On the other hand, much of the matters have been pre-empted by EU law.

China Small Flag China

China is a civil law jurisdiction.

Croatia Small Flag Croatia

Croatia is a civil law jurisdiction.

Germany Small Flag Germany

Germany is a code-based civil law jurisdiction. Its civil law has been subject to a wide array of influences from Roman law (Corpus Juris Civilis), the Prussian Civil Code (Allgemeines Preußisches Landrecht, 1794) to Napoleonic law (Code civil, 1804). Germanys most important body of civil laws is the German Civil Code (“Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch” - BGB) which was in development since 1881 and became effective on January 1, 1900. The German Civil Code contains five books (general part/ law of obligations/ law of property/ family law/ law of succession) with roughly 2.450 articles (“Paragrafen”).

Greece Small Flag Greece

Greece has adopted the civil law legal system. The sources of Greek law are national legislation (constitution, laws, presidential decrees, ministerial decisions, legislative decrees) custom, the generally accepted rules of international law, the international treaties and the European Union Law. As opposed to the common law jurisdictions, case law (or precedent) is not recognised as a source of law.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

Switzerland is a civil law jurisdiction.

United States Small Flag United States

The United States is a common law jurisdiction. The common law in the United States is comprised of both state specific rulings as well as federal jurisprudence. The federal courts are comprised of the United States district courts, courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court. Each state has its own unique judicial system typically with courts of common jurisdiction, appellate courts and a final appellate court that issues final rulings on state law. As a common law country, the courts in both the federal and state systems rely upon prior rulings when deciding disputes or interpreting statutory language.

The sole exception is Louisiana, which is a civil law jurisdiction. As a result, judges in Louisiana are supposed to rely upon interpretation of the civil code when deciding matters. Louisiana is the only civil law jurisdiction in the United States.

Austria Small Flag Austria

Our legal system is a civil-law system.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

Cyprus is neither an absolutely common law jurisdiction, nor an unquestionably civil law jurisdiction. It is in fact a mixed legal system, a unique jurisdiction.

More specifically, in the domain of private law principally common law and the doctrines of equity, long codified in statutes, accompanied with corresponding rules of procedure and evidence are applied. On the other hand, in the domain of public law administrative law is applied based on the continental tradition, namely the Greek model which is itself predominantly based on the French Droit Administratif. Moreover, the country and the legal elites identify with, and are active participants in, European law and institutions.

All of these are reflected in the Cyprus Constitution of 1960, when Cyprus became an independent Republic and was enacted, in accordance with the Courts of Justice Law of the same year, according to which the Courts of Cyprus apply mainly:

(a) The Constitution of Cyprus which embodies and guarantees all the fundamental human rights and liberties, on the model of the European Convention on Human Rights.

(b) The Laws which have been retained by virtue of the Constitution.

(c) The principles of Common Law and Equity, and

(d) The Laws enacted by Parliament, after 1960.

Brazil Small Flag Brazil

Brazil is a civil law jurisdiction, even though some contractual practices have been incorporating legal concepts more typical of common law systems. Both German and Italian legal systems highly influenced Brazilian contractual legal framework.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

Ireland is a common law jurisdiction.

Mexico Small Flag Mexico

Mexico is a civil law jurisdiction based on the Spanish and French law tradition.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

England and Wales is a common law jurisdiction in which statutes are enacted by Parliament and then clarified by judgments of the higher courts, which are followed by the lower courts using the system of precedent. The law of England and Wales is often referred to as English law. (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own court systems and laws, which are outside the scope of these answers.)

Spain Small Flag Spain

Our jurisdiction, as an abstract general system, is a civil law jurisdiction.

The construction process of buildings in Spain is regulated by the state regulation, Law 38/1999, of November 5th, of Building Regulation, hereinafter LOE, published in the Official State Gazette of November
event of conflicts between the agents involved in the building (6th, 1999.

In the developer, constructor, technical technicians -planners and construction and execution managers -) or between them and the consumer, the the Courts of Law of the civil order will be acquainted with such conflicts.

For the execution of infrastructures in Spain such as roads, railways, power lines, etc., the sectoral regulations of the regulatory State of each of them must be complied with.

Turkey Small Flag Turkey

Turkey is a civil law jurisdiction.

South Africa Small Flag South Africa

Whilst South Africa is generally considered to be a common law jurisdiction, it is more accurately described as a hybrid system, consisting of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law and South African customary law.

As a general rule, contract law and the law of delict (tort) are governed by Roman-Dutch common law. Civil procedure, company law, the law of evidence, damages and constitutional law are governed by English common law.

France Small Flag France

Our jurisdiction is a civil law jurisdiction.

Sweden Small Flag Sweden

Sweden is a civil law jurisdiction.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

Denmark is a civil law jurisdiction. The primary source of Danish law is statutory law and government orders authorized by law, supplemented by customary law and case law.

South Korea Small Flag South Korea

  • South Korea is a civil law jurisdiction. As such, it is based on codified laws, and does not follow the principle of stare decisis, under which past judgments of the courts constitute binding precedent for lower courts. However, in practice, courts usually follow the decisions of higher courts, and in the case of Supreme Court decisions, rarely if ever depart from them.
  • The court system for civil cases consists of three tiers: district courts, high courts and the Supreme Court. There is also a Constitutional Court that operates on the same tier as the Supreme Court. District courts are the first instance courts for all civil disputes, regardless of the amount in dispute.
  • The Korean legal system also has certain specialized courts, namely, the Patent Courts, the Administrative Courts, the Family Courts and the Bankruptcy Courts. Korea does not have separate federal and provincial court systems.

Updated: June 3, 2019