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Good things often started in England

As we have noted, the most successful companies and corporations in the world seem to thrive in nations with laws based on English common law. I believe this is true because common law calls for certain principles to be observed consistently. These include fairness and due process and the binding nature of contracts. In the latest issue of the Yale Law Review, Mary Sarah Bilder points out another contribution made by common law that affects all of us.

Bilder suggests that judicial review arose from a longstanding English corporate practice under which a company's ordinances were reviewed for repugnancy to the laws of England. In other words, if a company planned on doing something that was considered unjust by English laws or contradictory to them, it would be considered repugnant and forbidden.

This English corporation law crossed the Atlantic, and became binding in American colonial law by a similar standard of not being repugnant to the laws of England. After the Revolution, the judiciary continued the practice by voiding legislation repugnant to the supreme law of the U. S. Constitution. A century later, the practice gained the name judicial review.

Via Volokh and Instapundit

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