Difference of Jurisprudence in Continental Law and Anglo-Saxon Law


The main difference is that case law is a direct source of law for countries based on common law. In these countries, when a court makes a decision it is said to set a precedent. Therefore, it must be respected for similar cases by the courts, not being able to deviate from that interpretation.


On the other hand, in countries based on continental law, jurisprudence is not a direct source of law, but rather an element that complements the sources of law, or an indirect source of law. Jurisprudence unifies doctrine and fills legal gaps but does not generate rules. In these systems the sources of law are the law, customs and general principles of law.


In Spain, the only court that issues rulings that unify doctrine, that is, that clarify discrepancies in the application of the law and interpret legal norms, is the Supreme Court. Therefore, strictly speaking, the jurisprudence in Spain consists of the judgments issued by the Supreme Court.

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