The common law is a tradition in which judicial decisions are sources of law, distinct from statutes enacted by the legislature. The common law is an authoritative source of legal principles that bind everyone, not just the parties to the case. Those principles are formulated by judges of the superior courts in common law jurisdictions including Hong Kong. It is “case” law, law that develops through the cases. The common law is an “open” system, capable of expanding or contracting so that the content of the rules may change over time. And perhaps most importantly of all, the common law is expressed in the English language. It is a linguistic phenomenon, so that the scope and application of legal rules is ultimately a question of interpretation of words and phrases.

At Paul Kent Legal Training we know that students and lawyers in non-common law countries wish to know about the common law. With this in mind, we have designed an E-Learning programme which demonstrates how lawyers and judges trained in the common law tradition respond to problem situations raised by clients and litigants, and reveals the common law examination skills derived from common law processes and principles.

Our approach is practical not theoretical. Our aim is to help readers to comprehend the common law as a system, and to recognise and apply relevant common law principles in practice and in law examinations.