The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems civil law common law statutory law religious law or combinations of these however the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history and so incorporates individual variations the science that studies law at the level of legal systems is called comparative law. 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of one of the most important supreme court decisions in american history mcculloch v maryland the state of maryland tried to impede the establishment of the bank of the united states but chief justice john marshall decided that the necessary and proper clause of the constitution gave the federal government implied powers that allowed it to charter the bank . Jurisprudence in the criminal law contributed by professor g l radbruch in perhaps no branch of the law has so little work of scientific value been done as in that dealing with crime and criminals 1 such is the judgment of an english jurist upon the criminal law of his own country as compared with other branches of the law nor possibly will the judgment of any continental jurist be . Jurisprudence a summary of basic american legal principles what follows are some of the fundamental principles that comprise the american legal system each of these is discussed in greater detail in this and other chapters of this book they are summarized below in order to give the reader an overview of some of the basics of american common law . The spirit of laws french de lesprit des lois originally spelled de lesprit des loix is a treatise on political theory as well as a pioneering work in comparative law published in 1748 by charles de secondat baron de montesquieu originally published anonymously partly because montesquieus works were subject to censorship its influence outside france was aided by its rapid
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