The Common Law of England and Wales is one of the major global legal traditions. In order to understand the common law, we need to deal with its history, and the development of its characteristic institutions like the jury, judge made law, parliamentary sovereignty and due process. We also need to ask some critical questions. What role does democracy play in the development of the common law? To what extent are human rights central to the modern common law? How does the common law of England and Wales relate to the law of the European Union? Answering these questions will give us insights into the current challenges the law faces and its possible futures.