Image by Federico Respini

Common Law

Put simply, Common Law, or the Law of the Land, has been used to govern and keep the peace in communities ever since mankind gathered together for their mutual protection. It is the body of law decided on by a community to govern themselves and to ensure all people can gain a remedy for any wrong done against them.

The basis of common law - Natural Law

What we call the Common Law arises from the normal interaction of people with one another according to their nature and customs, which maintain peace and equity between themselves. This Common Law is the human manifestation of the universal Natural Law and creates no hierarchy or dominating force over people. On the contrary, common law engenders and defends the natural liberty and just equality of all people without regard to rank or distinction.

The root of the common law lies in the Anglo-Saxon tribal traditions of Europe and their village-based system of justice and government. In this tradition, authority arose from the will of the people and not a ruler, since liberty was understood to dwell inherently within every man and woman born. Rights are not granted by one person to another, since they exist “ab initio”: from the beginning. All people, therefore, have the inborn capacity to govern themselves, to know right from wrong and act justly, and to judge for themselves all things, including the conduct of others.

This inborn capacity rather than imposed statute was the tribal guarantee of social peace and harmony. But alongside this common law arose a contrary system of governance derived from state-level Empires and their religions that saw people not as inherently free but rather as chattels and property of others. This imperial system of domination has always been at permanent war with the liberty and equality of the common law.

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Common-Law in action, Santos Bonacci speaks after winning his court case. (2014)