There are generally considered to be five legal systems in the world today. They include civil law, common law, customary law, religious law, and mixed legal systems. Each system has unique characteristics that make it stand out from the others.
Civil law is based on Roman law and is used primarily in Europe and those countries that have been heavily influenced by European cultures, such as Latin America, South Africa, Quebec, Louisiana (USA), Puerto Rico (USA), etc.
The common law developed from English Law and has been adopted by most commonwealth countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, etc. Customary law is followed by indigenous or tribal populations around the world.
Customary law refers to customary laws or practices accepted by communities within a specific region or country. These laws may be unwritten, but they still govern major aspects of people’s lives. These include respect for elders, community cooperation, and an understanding of nature as being preserved rather than exploited for profit or gain.
Religious laws refer to religious principles that guide individual behavior; examples include Sharia Law in Islam and Halakha Law in Judaism. Religious laws are derived from specific religions. These laws can be found in all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam.
Mixed Legal Systems
Mixed legal systems combine elements from more than one of the four categories listed above. An example would be India which has both civil and customary laws since certain areas follow Hinduism. In contrast, others follow Islam so there are separate courts for each religion depending on where someone lives within India.
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