As developed in England from the twelfth-century, common law had two critical features. The first was that it was the king's law, available to all free people throughout the realm. The second feature was that it was based on custom and precedent, not statute.
Related term(s): None
Category: Government and Law
Contributor(s): Natalie Kohout
Source information: Hollister, C. Warren and Judith M. Bennett. Medieval History: A Short History. 9th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002.