Monday, April 19, 2010

Independent, Not Revolutionary

The UK and the US share a common legal heritage. The value of a detailed, predictable and established body of law is one reason why New York, for example, made the retention of English Common Law one of the foundation clauses of the newly independent state’s constitution on this day in 1777.

Clause 35 of the New York constitution

XXXV. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same.

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