Common Law

June 8, 2024

Common law in India refers to the body of law developed through judicial decisions and precedents rather than through legislative enactments. It is based on the doctrine of stare decisis, which means that courts should follow previous judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation. India’s legal system, inherited from British colonial rule, incorporates many principles of English common law, especially in areas such as contract law, tort law, and property law. Common law is characterised by its adaptability and ability to evolve through judicial interpretation, providing flexibility and responsiveness to changing societal needs. While statutes and codified laws form a significant part of the Indian legal system, common law principles continue to play a crucial role in interpreting these laws and filling gaps where no statute exists. Higher court decisions, particularly those of the Supreme Court of India and various High Courts, contribute to the development of common law, ensuring consistency and coherence in legal principles. Common law thus complements statutory law, enhancing the robustness and comprehensiveness of the Indian legal framework.


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