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English translation: for me it is ok

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13:13 Dec 4, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents
English term or phrase: grammar
Common law is the basis of the English legal system and those in 26 other countries. It is developed from *judicial decisions based on precedent, unwritten or codified in statutes*


I am not quite convinced that grammar is all right in the phrase between * *

many thanks in advance
verbis
Local time: 10:48
English translation:for me it is ok
Explanation:
:)
Selected response from:

Clauwolf
Local time: 06:48
Grading comment
thanks a lot to ALL of you

I did not write the sentence, was just not sure that the grammar of this text was all right.....


thanks again

laura
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +8"... precedent and law, whether unwritten or ..."
Monica Colangelo
5 +6for me it is ok
Clauwolf
4 +6ok
NancyLynn
5 +3A few issuesFuad Yahya
3 +3cont.from comment to Fuad ~
DGK T-I
4 +1in should be changed to
William Stein
4 +1based on precedent which is unwritten and uncodifiedRHELLER
4 +1Why it makes good sense to talk about codified & unwritten (if that is what the asker intends)
DGK T-I
4My comment to Rita (and William) assumes that there is nothing following
DGK T-I


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
for me it is ok


Explanation:
:)

Clauwolf
Local time: 06:48
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in pair: 352
Grading comment
thanks a lot to ALL of you

I did not write the sentence, was just not sure that the grammar of this text was all right.....


thanks again

laura

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cologne
5 mins
  -> thanks

agree  DGK T-I: for me too -I can't see the objection to'those'referring to the(collective)legal systems in 26countries(as opposed to'that'in one).If it was me I might put a'-'instead of a','in front of unwritten,but the','meaning clear to readers with legal background
1 hr

agree  Nado2002
4 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet: I also agree with Giuli
1 day 9 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
1 day 21 hrs

agree  Rusinterp
4 days
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
"... precedent and law, whether unwritten or ..."


Explanation:
That's how I'd word it. Otherwise "unwritten" sounds a bit awkward to me. Also, IMHO, you should reword the first sentence because if you say "legal system" it can't be followed by "and those". My suggestion: Common law is the basis of the legal system in England (or rather, the United Kingdom) as well as in another 26 countries.

Monica Colangelo
Argentina
Local time: 06:48
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 59

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Gordon Darroch: but leave the United Kingdom out of it - the passage is specifically about the English legal system, Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate structures (which are also based on common law, by the way)
6 mins
  -> Oh... these Scots:):)

agree  NancyLynn
23 mins
  -> Thank you, Nancy

agree  xxxcmwilliams
1 hr
  -> Thanks, CM

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Georgiev

agree  DGK T-I: these are other good ways of doing it,although I don't have any problem with the original(particularly with a'-'in front of unwritten).Gordon's point very true ~
1 hr
  -> Thanks a lot

agree  xxxYusha
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Yusha

neutral  William Stein: I wouldn't say, "precedent and law", since p. is a type of law (common law); the distinction is between precedents (common law) and statutes (like civil codes). It's like saying "cats and animals"
1 day 1 hr
  -> Of course, but I don't see what you can't quite agree with

agree  Jörgen Slet: I also agree with Giuli
1 day 8 hrs
  -> Thank you, Jörgen

agree  chopra_2002
1 day 21 hrs
  -> Thanks
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
ok


Explanation:
you're doing fine

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Note added at 40 mins (2003-12-04 13:54:24 GMT)
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Having read Trixie\'s comment (if I may call you that ;-))) I looked more closely and must agree : concordance is needed in that first sentence. Trixie\'s is alternative phrase is perfect.

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 04:48
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 473

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cologne
5 mins
  -> thanks!

agree  DGK T-I: there's nothing wrong with Trixie's suggested wording for either of the parts(for England,and Scotland included separately amongst the 26). On the other hand, I don't regard either part of the original text as wrong :-)
1 hr
  -> thanks!

agree  Nado2002
4 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Jörgen Slet: I agree with both NancyLynn and Giuli
1 day 9 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
1 day 21 hrs

agree  Rusinterp
4 days
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
based on precedent which is unwritten and uncodified


Explanation:
or

which is neither written or codified

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Note added at 3 hrs 14 mins (2003-12-04 16:28:46 GMT)
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judicial decisions based on precedent, unwritten or codified in statutes

basically, this is the definition of precedent - the case law which has resulted from past cases. It is understandable but not grammatically correct.

1) adding \"which\" (relative pronoun) makes it grammatically correct

2) the author meant to write unwritten and uncodified - otherwise, it does not make sense because to codify is to write down in an organized fashion

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 02:48
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1252

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  William Stein: Exactly. Case law is based on prior court rulings, as opposed to statutes (written and codified law)
11 mins
  -> thank you William - you are the specialist :-)

neutral  DGK T-I: It's defin.of a'common law system'-unwritten(derrived from the unwritten laws of custom) or(increasingly these days)codified(organizing unwrit.laws of custom)in a(tidy:)statute ~character derrived from individual decisions not a monolithic "roman law"code
47 mins
  -> I can't be 100% sure - my only exposure is to U.S. law
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
My comment to Rita (and William) assumes that there is nothing following


Explanation:
anything - if there was...that would be different....

Despite the fact that the unwritten laws of custom and judicial precedents are increasingly (nowadays) codified in the form of acts of parliament which try to collect together their legal meaning "in a tidy form", this doesn't alter the law of England & Wales (and the other 26 countries) being based on Common Law. This is contrasted with Roman Law Systems where law (generalizing hugely:-) is said to be based on legal codes (eg: Napoleonic code, Justinian, etc) rather than precedent. That isn't the same as saying that there isn't a lot of statute law in Common Law countries (of course there is, and not just codifying common law, but "originating" law) or that precedents aren't necessarily important in Roman law countries (they can be, and anyway the systems in different so called Roman Law countries vary a lot).

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Note added at 4 hrs 13 mins (2003-12-04 17:27:29 GMT)
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typpo.error
\"My comment to Rita (and William) assumes that there is nothing following \"statute\" which changes anything - if there was...that would be different....\"



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Note added at 4 hrs 28 mins (2003-12-04 17:42:28 GMT)
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typo.error \"typo.\" :-)!

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:48
PRO pts in pair: 401
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
A few issues


Explanation:
1. The indicative "those" has nothing to refer back to, and the preposition "in" has nothing in parallel in the first part to merit the conjunction "and." If the first sentence must retain its present structure, the words "those in" should be replaced with "that of":

"Common law is the basis of the English legal system and that of 26 other countries."

Alternatievely, you can replace "the English legal system and those in" with "the legal system of Great Britain and":

"Common law is the basis of the legal system of Great Britain and 26 other countries" or "and of 26 other countries."

I am sure there are other possible ways to correct this part, but the basic probelm is the words "those in"

2. "Unwritten or codified" has two problems:

A. It is not clear what is "unwritten or codified": Is it common law? Is it the judicial decisions? Is it precedent?

B. You need a negative that applies to both "written" and "codified" together. The "un-" prefix in "unwritten" is not sufficient.

To fix both problems, we first need to define what is "not codified into law" (I will temporarily exclude "unwritten"):

- If it is Common Law that is not codified, then try:

"It is developed from judicial decisions that are based on precedent, and is not codified into law..."

- If it is the judicial decisions that are not codified into law(they would have to be written, but perhaps not codified into law), try:

"It is developed from judicial decisions that are based on precedent and are not codified into law..."

- If it is the precedent that is not codified into law, then try:

"It is developed from judicial decisions that are based on precedent that is not codified into law..."

If you want both "unwritten" and "not codified into law," then you would have clarify your negatives in the way that I have suggested.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn: that indicative is problematic
13 mins

agree  DGK T-I: Despite the fact that codified commonLaw becomes statute:commonLaw,precedent&judicial decisions ARE codified in common law countries(legally:-).Therefore there are two possible meanings-not contradictory but a bit different from one another -based on law~
3 hrs
  -> I presented all of the three possibilites in order to address the wrting aspect of the question (clarity, consistency, parallelism, etc.). On legal grounds, some of these "possibilites" may not be tenable.

neutral  William Stein: precedent is never codified: so it should be "which" instead of "that": are based on precedent, which is not codified or written into laws as statues are..
4 hrs
  -> Thank you for the legal insight. It is not clear yet which of the three items (Common Law, judicial decisions, or precedent) is intended. Verbis is in a better position to decide than I am. If it is "precedent," then verbis should incorporate your insight

agree  Jörgen Slet
1 day 4 hrs
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
cont.from comment to Fuad ~


Explanation:
...so if it is directed at a legally knowledgeable audience it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise it might be good to clarify that. I feel the other points would only worry grammatical purists (meant as a compliment:-) rather than "ordinary educated British readers", but that may be a matter of taste and lead to some tomatoes being thrown at me.
Don't use 'Great Britain' though - that would be England, Scotland and Wales, and we are only talking about the law of England(&Wales) here (despite the fact that Scotland is likely one of the other 26 common law countries - the text only mentions the English system by name).

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:48
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Fuad Yahya: Thank you for the additional notes.
4 hrs
  -> You are very kind.I think the fact that we have arrived at slightly different meanings for the text(which I maintain are justified)does show that some editing is needed to make the point intended (contrary to my statement that nothing needed changing)

agree  Jörgen Slet
1 day 1 hr
  -> Because codified common law is statute rather than common law,but contains the common law developments codified in it,it makes sense to include it in a description of a 'common law system'like the English law-which was how I read it(hence I saidI'm happy)

agree  chopra_2002
1 day 13 hrs
  -> if the intention wasn't to do that,but to give a strict definition of what common law is,rather than the way English law takes its character from common law,then codified common law should be excluded(because it's statutary).AsI've tried to say,it depends
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
in should be changed to


Explanation:
I think I figured it out:

The judicial decisions ARE written, they're just not written up in the form of statutes (into a code of unchanging law passed by legislators or government agencies). It should therefore read:

judicial decisions based on precedent, which is not written (into statutes) or codified into statutes.


William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 03:48
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 36

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl: just one question: why not precedentS?
14 hrs
  -> That would be fine too, it's just a collective plural.
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15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Why it makes good sense to talk about codified & unwritten (if that is what the asker intends)


Explanation:
codification of common law / "unwritten" law / case law / judicial precedent

doesn't change the common law / "unwritten" law / case law / judicial precedent (as it is at the time), but makes its provisions (meaning) easier to understand by laying it out in a statute. Yes a statute isn't common law, BUT where the meaning of common law / case law / etc are codified in a statute, it's character derrives from the accumulated experience of judges making and arguing about individual cases, during the history of the society, not a single monolithic code eg; Roman law or codes issued by the legislature to cover large areas of law in one go". This is the reason why it makes sense to talk about the law of common law countries being based on precedents which are codified ("distilled in statute"at some point) as well as precedents which haven't been codified (they remain case law) - they both derrive from the experience of many cases argued over the history of the society, not from the principles of a single code createde by a legislature at some time, or an imported Roman law code.

http://www.manifest.co.uk/meetings/Governance Watch History/...

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Note added at 15 hrs 40 mins (2003-12-05 04:54:06 GMT)
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the complication in this can be that the courts(judges) in a common law system may still continue to develop the common law, when they think it is necessary, so that it becomes different from the common law which was codified in the statute (without intending to change it). The advantage of this may be that it enables the law to react to new problems without waiting for legislation, which is often delayed a long time. The disadvantage may be uncertainty about the law - statute is supreme, but the judges decide whether statute or development of common law is appropriate to new problems - which can also cause the advantage already mentioned.

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Note added at 16 hrs 6 mins (2003-12-05 05:20:41 GMT)
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Codification of common law can be mixed with \'original\' statute law, and the opportunity can be taken for parliament to reform the law because it seems like a good idea at the time - but those are other issues.
The argument (as written) is that the character of a common law legal system comes (predominantly) from all these little judgements, accumulated over time. Love it or loathe it, it is an argument that is sometimes made - there are merits on both sides (some of them raised in my other refs).

http://www.uel.ac.uk/law/research/gg_rps.htm
The law commission planning codification of common and statute law (as well as suggested improvements)

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/law/German/Comparative_Law/Vorlesung...
legal history

http://www.tssa.org.uk/advice/emp/emp11.htm
custom law - yes, opposite to statute law/common law - but codification of common law has its place in a common law system - different from importing a code or the legislature originating it \"in one go\".

codification of the common law of England in the USA
http://dictionary.law.com/definition2.asp?selected=248&bold=...

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Note added at 16 hrs 19 mins (2003-12-05 05:33:14 GMT)
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So it makes sense as it stands. Of course, if the asker meant to say \'unwritten and uncodified\' that makes sense too - it\'s just a different point that would be being made (and the asker would be reforming as well as codifying the question :-). I await developments with interest...

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Note added at 16 hrs 43 mins (2003-12-05 05:57:16 GMT)
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\"England is the only European country which has not derived its legal experience from Roman Law. Historically, the fundamental source of law in the English Legal System was \'common law\' or unwritten law . Unwritten law means rules and principles developed during the history of the society by the royal judges as arguments for their decisions in a dispute to interpret the community\'s ancient customs (see Baker, 1990; Cotterrell 1989; Radcliffe and Cross 1979; Zander 1994).\"
http://www.uel.ac.uk/law/research/gg_rps.htm
even codification of such rules and principles into statutes, mixed with reliance on case law - both lead to a different character to a monolithic \"code based system\" not based on these accumulated little decisions - the character of a common law country


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Note added at 21 hrs 30 mins (2003-12-05 10:43:55 GMT)
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since very sensible readers - Fuad, Rita and William have all read the sentence and think it means something different to the meaning it has for me, that in itself proves the sentence is ambiguous - so I suggest:

show whether you really mean \'codified\': \"law, etc (originating from precedent) which has been codified since (isn\'t \'unwritten\' anymore)
OR
that the law, etc is uncodified / not codified (as another characteristic of \'unwritten law\'
\'unwritten or later codified\' or \'unwritten or uncodified\'
two different points (as said)

show whether it is the judicial decisions, precedents or the common law that are \'unwritten or later codified\' or \'unwritten or uncodified\'

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Note added at 21 hrs 39 mins (2003-12-05 10:53:29 GMT)
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or the English legal system (developed from the hudicial decisions based on precedent).

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Note added at 21 hrs 40 mins (2003-12-05 10:54:42 GMT)
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typo. \'judicial\'(hudicial is probably part of Spanish law?:-)

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Note added at 22 hrs 1 min (2003-12-05 11:15:48 GMT)
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it is possible to talk about all of these being codified:
\"codifying precedent\"
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:JwS6mL03-VYJ:www.law....


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Note added at 22 hrs 1 min (2003-12-05 11:15:50 GMT)
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it is possible to talk about all of these being codified:
\"codifying precedent\"
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:JwS6mL03-VYJ:www.law....


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Note added at 22 hrs 4 mins (2003-12-05 11:18:43 GMT)
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\'not until the end of the 19th century did...attempt to codify precedents set by US Military Courts\'
(Html version of: Colloquium on the Legal and Constitutional History of the United States Organized by: Gordon S. Wood, Board of Trustees Professor...)
www.law.northwestern.edu/mainpages/curriculum/ colloquium/Michael%20Vorenberg.pdf

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Note added at 22 hrs 8 mins (2003-12-05 11:22:43 GMT)
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\"codifying judicial decisions\"

\'This court has stated that, in enacting ORS 131.605 to 131.625, the legislature intended to codify judicial decisions interpreting Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution\'

The Supreme Court of Oregon
http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S42836.htm




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Note added at 22 hrs 13 mins (2003-12-05 11:27:34 GMT)
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\"codifying common law\" (even though a statute doing this isn\'t itself common law - doesn\'t matter see above)

\'The Company Law Review, building on the recommendations of a report by the Law Commissions, recommended codifying common law duties and clarifying that a ... \'
www.dti.gov.uk/companiesbill/codification.pdf
or
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:1XnHHrinqNkJ:www.dti....

etc


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Note added at 22 hrs 16 mins (2003-12-05 11:30:02 GMT)
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Each of these things take place in a Common Law system, without the system ceasing to be a Common Law system.

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Note added at 22 hrs 32 mins (2003-12-05 11:46:29 GMT)
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(I would argue each amounts to the same thing though)

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Note added at 22 hrs 36 mins (2003-12-05 11:50:39 GMT)
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(I apologize for it being so long)

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Note added at 2 days 12 hrs 5 mins (2003-12-07 01:19:52 GMT)
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typo.error
\"custom law - yes, \"opposite to\" statute law - but codification of common law / custom law (in statutes) has its place in describing the character of a common law system\"

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:48
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jörgen Slet
17 hrs
  -> Thank you Jurgen ~ I'm still happy with the original sentence as a description of the way common law has influenced the character of the legal system of a common law country like England-depends whether asker wants that(or the narrow definition-uncodified
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