legal history

Apartheid

Apartheid refers to the implementation and maintenance of a system of legalized racial segregation in which one racial group is deprived of political and civil rights. Apartheid is a crime against humanity punishable under the Rome Statute of the...

Canon Law

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe laws of a church or religion, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, that govern the powers of the clergy, administration of the church, and church ceremonies. Roman Catholic laws, which are...

Case Law

Case law is law that is based on judicial decisions rather than law based on constitutions, statutes, or regulations. Case law concerns unique disputes resolved by courts using the concrete facts of a case. By contrast, statutes and regulations...

Chancellor

In the old English legal system, a chancellor is a judge who sit in a chancery court—an equity court. In equity courts, the chancellor has the power to order acts rather than damages. As a result, injunctions, specific performance and vacatur are...

Chancery

Chancery originated in Medieval England as a distinct court of equity, named for the Lord Chancellor. In its earliest form, those who were unable to obtain an adequate common law remedy could petition the King of England, who would refer the...

Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law on May 6, 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur, effectively terminated Chinese immigration for ten years and prohibited Chinese from becoming US citizens. All Chinese persons- except travelers, merchants,...

Church and State

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

See: separation of church and state

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Circuit Riding

Many years ago, judges would often travel between the towns within a judicial district (previously known as a circuit) to hear cases in each town. The practice has largely discontinued.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), and religion in employment, education, and access to public facilities and public...

Common Law

Common law is law that is derived from judicial decisions instead of from statutes. American courts originally fashioned common law rules based on English common law until the American legal system was sufficiently mature to create common law rules...

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