1 common law as differentiated from civil law the american system is a common law system which relies heavily on court precedent in formal adjudications in our common law system even when a statute is at issue judicial determinations in earlier court cases are extremely critical to the courts resolution of the matter before it. The contemporary legal systems of the world are generally based on one of four basic systems civil law common law statutory law religious law or combinations of these however the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history and so incorporates individual variations the science that studies law at the level of legal systems is called comparative law. The case law system in america book read reviews from worlds largest community for readers. Sources of law in the united states the law is derived from five sources constitutional law statutory law treaties administrative regulations and the common law which includes case law constitutionality where congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the constitution state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. The american legal system sources of law when attempting to understand how courts interpret the law it is worthwhile to study past cases of similar legal issues past legal cases provide the opportunity to understand the law by studying well argued positions from both sides when studying a case the following points should be identified
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