The English Legal Inheritance

  • Nadia E. Nedzel
  • Nicholas Capaldi
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism book series (PASTCL)


We present an overview of the English legal inheritance from the Anglo-Saxons to the twenty-first century. Common law is an example of the inductive English mind-set, which originated in the Germanic tribes relatively free of Roman domination, and the ‘rule of law’ evolved within it. There is an ongoing tension between the role of legislation and the role of adjudication. We discuss major figures such as Bacon, Coke, Hobbes, Hale, Blackstone, Bentham, Austin, Maitland, and Pollock. This is sharply contrasted with the Continental legal tradition rooted in the Greek intellectual heritage of deduction, canon law, secularized natural law, and the rediscovery of Justinian and Aristotle. We stress the extent to which the Continental tradition emphasizes a collective good and the ‘rule thru law.’


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadia E. Nedzel
    • 1
  • Nicholas Capaldi
    • 2
  1. 1.Southern University Law CenterBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.College of BusinessLoyola University New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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