Common law is basically common sense. There is a lot of misconception about common law. For example, some people claim that common law is based on case law and the judges opinion. Others report that it is based on the magna carta when in actuality the magna carta is based on common law. The magna carta can be used as common law if the plaintiff so chooses. It just makes it easier to give bureaucrats something to see in writing since they cannot seem to grasp concepts. While others claim that common law is a combination of statutes and case law.
In actuality, common law is common sense. In much of Europe, common law was what people used to protect themselves. Under common law, if there is no injury, there is no claim or crime. Under common law, the sovereign decrees the law. So the law is whatever the sovereign decrees.
In old Europe, the sovereign of course was the king. The nobility were considered free people and could use the common law. In these united states all people are sovereign unless they consent to the jurisdiction of the United States, a corporation. As sovereigns in a republic, any statutes passed by any level of government requires our individual consent, because in a republic, the people are not subject to government and our courts are courts of record, which by definition proceed according to common law.
Under common law, it helps if there has been a prior case that supports your arguments, but there does not have to be for you to prevail. If you are the plaintiff in any case, you are the tribunal and you are who makes the decision. The defendant in your case, has the option of choosing a jury trial. The jury is selected by the plaintiff. This is important in these united states, because so many people have volunteered to be citizens and since they are subjects of government, they cannot be trusted to produce an unbiased decision. Peers are members of the peerage, or nobility. Until the 14th amendment, all people in these united states were members of the peerage or nobility because we were all considered sovereign with nobody having higher authority. Since the 14th amendment, there are now two classes of people; those who are free people and the citizens who are subject to "the jurisdiction thereof".
But even though the plaintiff decrees the law and selects the jury, the plaintiff still has to convince the jury of 12 people 100% that his law is a just law, that the injury was committed, that the penalty for the injury is just. So just because the sovereign decrees the law, he does not get to run roughshod over anyone he chooses.
So let's look at a couple of examples. Let's say that you as a sovereign have someone walk up to you on the street and punch you in the head. You bring suit against the perpetrator and decree that you have a law the does not permit anyone to punch you. You take your case to trial and the perpetrator does not elect to have a jury trial, mostly out of ignorance. You still have to present your case in a professional manner, because you have to convince the rest of the sovereigns that you are right. Even though you will be writing the judgment, you still have to be just. The defendant still gets to present his case to defend himself and present his arguments about why he did what he did. You present your witnesses and he present his. If the defendant did not have a just reason for punching you, you fine him a couple of thousand dollars and 30 days in jail.
If the defendant chooses to have a jury trial, you can probably convince the 12 people on the jury that not allowing people to punch you is a just law, that the defendant did punch you with your evidence showing the injuries and your witnesses who testify, and that 30 days in jail and a fine of $2,000 is a fair fine provided your injuries were not permanent in severity. You would have a difficult time convincing the jury that your injury was worth a death sentence or multi millions of dollars. On the other hand, you should note that under common law, burglary is a capital offense that can carry a death sentence.
Now if you had a law, that decreed that nobody is allow to have big ear holes in your presence or tattoos, you could bring a case against someone who wore any of these decorations in your presence, but you might have a difficult time convincing a jury that your law is just. So you would have little chance of doing so.
If you did bring a case against someone who had a tattoo in your presence and you convicted the perpetrator because he did not think he needed a jury trial, he could file a claim in a court of record this time selecting a jury. A decision delivered in a court of record is only reviewable by another court of record. It cannot be appealed to any of the appellant courts in these united states. Even the Supreme Court ruled that it does not have the authority to review a judgment delivered in a court of record.
So even though you as a sovereign decree the law that affects you, there are still checks and balances that prevent people from being unfair to those around them. But it also means that there is always a remedy. Under statutory law, there is not always a remedy since there might not always be a statute that makes an injury to you illegal.
Governments prefer statutes because it makes it easier to control people. In a republic, government depend on ignorance of people to get them to consent. Until you consent to the government's jurisdiction, it does not have it. One way that they get you to consent is arraignment. Let's say you had a few drinks with dinner. Well, let's carry it further. Let's say you drank so much that you would blow a .23 on a breathalizer test. Let's also presume that while driving home you were pulled over. You are arrested and taken to arraignment the next day after you sobered up. The judge will say something to the affect of, "You are hereby charged with violating code such and such how do you plead?" You are then given three choices; guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you submit one of these pleas, you just consented to the jurisdiction. You do have a 4th choice and that is to object to the code and the jurisdiction of the court. Once jurisdiction is challenged, it must be proven.
So understanding the difference in common law and statutes, should help to make it clear that as people, you cannot be required to get a driver's license, building permit, hunting or fishing license, regiser your automobile and any other thing that is specified in a statute. Common law has no statutes or codes and therefore, you cannot be obligated to abide by them.