The two major legal systems of the world, other than Muslim law are Common Law and the Civil Law legal systems. The stability of the British crown, except for the Cromwell period (1653-1658), over centuries has permitted England to evolve the Common Law adversarial system. In such system each lawyer represents the interest of the individual citizen against the other before the court which follows the precedents of past decisions. This approach to legal problem solving is in contrast to the Civil Law system where the entire body of law is pronounced and declared law at one time as Napoleon did. Romans who ruled England and much of Europe left legacy of legal concepts in both systems, such as Habeas Corpus.
There are four Inns of Court in London, England, which are Lincoln’s Inn, Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn. They have regular dinner meetings but the examinations are conducted by external bodies. Barristers argue in court and provide opinions to Solicitors who deal with clients. Common law Tort, Contract, equity etc. developed with the presenting the arguments and Judges made decisions which became binding for future court decisions. Judges are appointed from the Barristers with 10 years experience and once appointed became neutral in decision making. This legal system along with the democratic system of parliament elected by the public and making laws formed the foundations of modern democratic societies. This system evolved in England and was later adopted by most Commonwealth Countries which were past colonies of England. The chapter on Lincoln’s Inn in this novel describes the development of Lincoln’s Inn.
The profession of Solicitors developed later in the history of England. It still remains a separate profession in England that deals with clients and legal work that does not entail court hearings. Solicitors can appear in lower level courts. United States, Canada (outside of Quebec), India and most commonwealth countries follow the Common Law model for legal dispute resolution. Barristers enjoy a higher status in the legal system and society and the professions of Barristers and Solicitors remain separate in England, but in most other countries which follow common law system the two profession are combined as the modern society needs the combination of the two skills and the clients need to trust the lawyer who is doing to argue his case and development of trust requires direct contact with the Barrister. The English system lags behind in this unification of the two profession.