What is the difference between the US and the UK?

*LAW wise*...

*not* politics or who is better... I'd just like to know the difference in the laws, please.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The basics of the legal system aren't all that different. The UK is built on English "common law," which is basically the collective term for the rights, procedures, and case law precedents developed since the Magna Carta. Most former English colonies including the US follow the common law tradition, meaning that the basis of US law is English common law as it existed at the time of the American Revolution.

    Common law principles included such things as jury trials, impartial judges, protection of property rights, and more technical concepts like "res ipsa loquitur," the Rule Against Perpetuities, and the Statute of Frauds.

    Of course in the 200+ years since, significant differences have developed between US and UK law. For example, the UK has abolished the right to jury trials in civil cases, but in the US that is still constitutionally protected. Another often cited example is in the treatment of riparian rights to a common source of freshwater. The English rule is first in time, first in right, while the American rule is reasonable use. Still another example is in the award of attorney's fees after litigation in court. In the US, each party pays its own fees unless otherwise directed by the court. In the UK, the losing party pays both its own and the winner's fees.

    Because there is still a lot of overlap between US and UK common law, particularly on very old legal concepts such as contracts and wills, US law schools still teach many old English cases from the 17th, 18th, and even 19th centuries in addition to US cases.

  • 1 decade ago

    One law I found out about when visiting

    My wife and I went to see relatives I have that Live outside of Liverpool. I went to the pub and noticed that every time I got a beer, they call a pint, it had no head on it. I found out later that it is against the law to serve A beer with a head on it because you are not getting what you pay for, so they must serve a full pint or risk losing there license. The other thing I found unusual not really a law, is that in the US a traffic light go from green to yellow to red and then back to green. The same in the UK except when it is on red it goes back to yellow and then green, so when vehicles begin to slow down there because of a red light, it switch to yellow and they step on the gas and are back to the speed limit. So watch your step there you can get ran over. Terrific people and have a very straight forward common sense approach to things

    WOW Just read noble savage answer, thats some interesting stuff ,I learned something here today


  • 1 decade ago

    One is a "kingdom" ("UK") and the other is a collection of united states ("US"), originally with state governments which were in many ways more powerful than the central or "federal" government ("Articles of Confederation") and which evolved into the present Constitutionally-created federal system. There are differences among the states (as well as similarities) in those matters not pre-empted by the federal (i.e, central or national) government. Another difference is we don't wear those funny wigs in court. Well, I take that back. Some people do wear funny wigs in court, but not out of tradition.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    uk humour features a much bigger diploma of sarcasm and "slap stick" or actual comedy. uk comedy frequently pokes exciting at individuals's behaviour or at sexual circumstances. there's a great diploma of "them against us," the place the products adult adult males are undesirable, uneducated, or fairly dodgy and the undesirable adult adult males are "corporation," wealthy, or knowledgeable. US, that's seen somewhat prudish by skill of ecu standards, usually makes a speciality of self effacing humour or humour this is inward. maximum US comedy makes a speciality of the unifying a collection and then having the characters go through a humorous difficulty. think of acquaintances, or anybody Loves Raymond, or King of Queens, even The Simpson's. The shows are some group of individuals with whom maximum can become conscious of with and the humour comes from an embarrassing difficulty.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Great post Noble Savage. Saved me the trouble of trying to figure out how to cover such a broad question in so few words!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Almost everything in law is diffarent. For example, traffic law. They are same in certain terms... Mmm... ok... they are almost opposite to each other.

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