The Personal Lawyer

I have a huge problem, that makes me weak — I am afraid of breaking a law and afraid of paying fines. This happens, because I don’t know the laws. In fact, no one knows all the laws. Even lawyers usually specialise in one specific theme, like property law or bankruptcy law.

How to know all the laws then?
Some People pay private lawyers hundreds of euros every month. Some people read the laws themselves and try to remember most of them. However, laws are quickly changing and the law that was 3 years ago could stop existence or could be edited. Others don’t care about laws and are either scared of doing stuff that can be unlawful. Some are just doing whatever they want, and sometimes get the fine for thousands and millions of dollars.

I decided to solve the law illiteracy problem and give everyone a wise lawyer in a pocket. I will tell about that later, but now let’s learn some basics about the law, and different types of law.

Law basics:

There are different law systems based on the region. The most popular are Common law and European law.

Common Law

Common law is based on judicial decisions, rather than laws written by a legislative body. It evolved in England and is now used in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia.

In a common law system, judges make decisions in individual cases, and these decisions serve as precedents for future cases with similar circumstances. This process of precedent-based decision-making is known as stare decisis (stay by things decided). Over time, these judicial decisions form a body of law, which is commonly referred to as common law.

In the United States, common law is used in many areas of law, including contract law, tort law, and property law. Federal and state statutes may also play a role in shaping common law.

Lawyers have the following difficulties with common law:

  • Complexity — The common law system can be complex, as it relies on the interpretation of judicial precedents and the application of legal principles to new cases. Lawyers must have a deep understanding of legal precedent and be able to apply these principles to new situations, which can be challenging.
  • Inconsistency — The common law system can be inconsistent, as different judges may interpret the law differently, leading to conflicting precedents. This can create confusion and make it difficult for lawyers to predict the outcome of a case.
  • Unpredictability — Because the common law system is based on judicial decisions, the outcome of a case can be unpredictable, making it difficult for lawyers to advise their clients.
  • Time-consuming — Researching and citing relevant judicial precedents can be time-consuming for lawyers, especially in complex cases. This can lead to increased costs for clients and can be a barrier to access to justice.

Civil Law

Civil law law is based on written laws and codes, such as those found in the Napoleonic Code. Civil law systems are used in many countries, including most of continental Europe, Japan, and Latin America.

In a civil law system, laws are codified into comprehensive legal codes, such as the Napoleonic Code, which was influential in shaping the civil law systems of many countries. These legal codes set out the laws and regulations that govern society and provide a comprehensive framework for resolving disputes.

Judges in civil law systems rely on these written codes and laws to make decisions, rather than relying on previous judicial decisions as in common law systems. This means that civil law systems are less flexible than common law systems, as judges have less discretion to interpret the law and must follow the written codes.

Civil law is classified roughly into 7 groups:

  • Contract law: governs agreements between parties and the rights and obligations arising from those agreements.
  • Tort law: governs compensation for injuries or wrongs committed by one party against another.
  • Property law: governs the rights and responsibilities of individuals with regards to property ownership and use.
  • Family law: governs legal relationships between family members, including marriage, divorce, and child custody.
  • Employment law: governs the relationship between employers and employees, including issues related to wages, working hours, and discrimination.
  • Environmental law: governs protection and management of the natural environment and natural resources.
  • Bankruptcy law: governs the process by which individuals or businesses can eliminate or repay their debts.

Civil law systems also typically have specialized courts, such as commercial courts, to deal with specific areas of law.

In civil law, lawyers have to know the laws in the Code (book with laws). They have to know how to interpret every word and every comma. for example:

In the Canadian case Bell Canada v. Rogers Communications Inc., the Supreme Court of Canada considered the meaning of a comma in the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission Act. The act provided that “a Canadian carrier shall not, without the prior approval of the Commission, control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunication.”

The question was whether the comma between «content» and «influence» made a difference in the interpretation of the law. The Supreme Court of Canada held that the comma made a significant difference and that the law prohibited carriers from controlling the content of telecommunication, but not from influencing its meaning or purpose. The case showed that even a small change in punctuation can have significant implications for the interpretation of the law and the outcome of a case.

Difference between civil and common law

  • Flexibility: Common law is considered more flexible than civil law, as judges have more discretion to interpret the law and can adapt to changing circumstances, while civil law is more rigid and prescriptive.
  • Codification: Common law is not codified, but instead evolves over time through judicial decisions, while civil law is codified into comprehensive legal codes, such as the Napoleonic Code.
  • Dispute resolution: In common law systems, judges have more discretion to interpret the law and determine the outcome of a case, while in civil law systems, judges are required to follow the written codes and laws.

What does it all mean?

I work with AI and for AI it is much easier to understand well-defined rules, such that are written in civil law. I decided to write my own AI Telegram Bot, which answers whether it is legal or not to do the action, that a person wrote to a bot. It gives the links to the source (To the code of laws) and the examples that are similar and happened in the past 3 years.