From Belarus to Suriname, virtually every country has some sort of ‘legal’ system used for settling disputes.

Many Americans think, firstly, of the ‘Common Law’ system that is used in the United States which rose from the English Common Law system.

Common Law is ‘precedential’ in nature meaning the courts look to past decisions of relevant courts and apply those holdings to the issue(s) in front of them. Roughly one-third of the world lives in common law jurisdictions.

Conflicts between countries may be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The ICJ settles disputes in accordance with international law and gives advisory opinions on international legal matters.

The world map displayed here provides an overview of the different legal system(s) used around the world.