The American legal system has roots in Old England, all the way back to 1215, the year of the Magna Carta. Indeed, after winning our independence, we adopted (or, more accurately, retained) the English common law.
For these reasons, we share many similarities with the English legal system. However, in many other ways, our systems have developed unique characteristics. For example, in America, once licensed to practice law, an attorney may conduct legal transactions and appear in court. In England, however, an attorney must choose to either conduct legal transactions as a solicitor or appear in court as a barrister (adorned with a robe and wig). It’s either one or the other, not both.
I have always found this difference fascinating; so as the time for my sabbatical approached, I decided to use that opportunity to explore the English legal system first hand. And, this summer, I packed my bags and have come to England to view the law and courts of England.
Watch this space for some of my observations.