The topic shouldn't be contained to just the US. I'm including corporate Governments because I think it is revelent to how they manipulate laws.
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA registered in the
UNITED STATES SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSION as CIK (0000805157).
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
SIC: 8880 - American Depositary Receipts
State location: DC | Fiscal Year End: 0630
1601 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW
C/O AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY
WASHINGTON DC 20036
Constitutional Commonwealth of Australia
Public Venue and Jurisdiction: The IMF established and incorporated a corporation known as COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA [with a SEC Filing in Washington
DC in 1934] at the bankruptcy/receivership of the original Constitutional Commonwealth of Australia. AUSTRALIA was established and incorporated in
1973 as a secondary level consequence and reorganization of the 1929 bankruptcy whereby, AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS being PERSONS who are members of the
CORPORATION OF AUSTRALIA with their CORPORATE CHARTER being the AUSTRALIA ACT 1986 who have only benefits and privileges granted to them by the
PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA of which the living flesh and blood Queen Elizabeth the Second is now a foreign entity offering no Constitutional protections
to such PERSONS
Basically, it dates back to medieval England. At that time, Parliament rarely met. As such, most of the law was customary rather than written. When
disputes were brought to court, judges began over time to apply the rules as explained by earlier decisions.
For example, take the case of someone being injured by a thrown stone. A judge hearing a claim for compensation would look at his notebooks and see
that previous judges had allowed claims for being struck by someone holding a stone and would decide whether that rule also applied to thrown
For most of the history of England and this country, most crimes were "common law" crimes. In other words, the elements were based not on statutes
but on previous court rulings as to what behavior was criminal. Likewise most civil claims were also "common law claims" with the elements of a
claim for damages being based on court precedent. After the American Revolution, practically all states enacted a statute "adopting" the common law
of England to the extent applicable (a form of language that invites judges to decide that the common law is no longer applicable).
(In non-Anglo Saxon countries, there was a different legal history that culminated with Napoleon. During Napoleon's reign, he codified many of the
laws of France and imposed this code on most of the rest of Europe. As such, generally speaking, half of the world follows a variation on the English
common law and the other half follow a variation of the Napoleonic code.)
Over the past 150 years, a large amount of legislation has been passed putting most but not all of the "common law" into statute form -- though some
things like negligence in personal injury cases still have not been put into statute.
Today, the term "common law" is typically used to refer to one of four things.
First, those remaining areas of law which have not been reduced to statute and are based solely on judicial interpretation of customary rules. As
noted above, most personal injury claims are still common law claims while most crimes are now statutory.
Second, legal forms or practices based on the common law as opposed to innovative forms that arise from statute. For example, even though many rules
governing contracts are now set by statute, a person might refer to a claim for breach of contract as a common law claim. On the other hand, the
common law did not recognize the right of heirs to continue or bring a case on behalf of someone who died. Most states now have a statute authorizing
the "survivor" to continue or bring an action. A "survivor's claim" is typically referred to as a statutory claim.
Third, the system of having binding judicial precedents (applying both to unwritten and written laws). This use is typically done in opposition to
systems that do not have binding judicial precedents. In countries based on the Napoleonic Code (or similar legal codes), the ruling of a court in one
case is not a precedent of how the law should be interpreted in the next case. In common law systems, an interpretation of a statute is binding until
the legislature changes the statute.
Fourth, the distinction between legal principles and practices derived from the common law of England as opposed to the Napoleonic code. This useage
is most common in terms of marital property. Many states in the southwest that were at one time under the control of France or Spain use property
rules based on the Napoleonic Code. These states are called community property division at divorce or death, but changes in divorce and estate law
have reduced it somewhat