What makes the US system of law different from other countries?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this depends on the country with which we are comparing the US system of laws.  We differ with some countries in some ways and with other countries in other ways.

On the one end of the spectrum, we differ dramatically from countries like North Korea and China and even with countries like Russia.  In these countries, the rule of law is not very much respected.  People’s rights are routinely denied to them.  Government officials can, in some cases, do whatever they want without reference to what their laws officially say.  These countries lack the respect for written law and human rights that our system has.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are countries like the United Kingdom and Germany.  These are countries whose systems of law are very much like our own.  Our laws differ from theirs only in a few details.  For example, in Germany it is a crime to belong to a neo-Nazi political organization or to deny the Holocaust.  In our country, those things are legal.  In England, it is much easier to sue someone for libel than it is in the United States.

In other words, there are some countries whose systems are vastly different from our own and some that are not so different at all.

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