A brocard is a legal maxim in Latin that is, in a strict sense, derived from traditional legal authorities, even from ancient Rome. The word is a variant of the Latinized name of Burchard of Worms (died AD 1025), Bishop of Worms, Germany, who compiled 20 volumes of Ecclesiastical Rules.
Begun in AD 1008, the materials took Burchard four years to compile. He wrote it while living in a small structure on top of a hill in the forest outside Worms, after his defeat of Duke Otto and while raising his adopted child. The collection, which he called the Collectarium Canonum or Decretum, became a primary source for canon law.
Along with numerous documents from a variety of sources, including the Old Testament and Saint Augustine of Hippo, Burchard included the Canon Episcopi in this collection, under the belief that it dated from an episcopal "Council of Anquira" in AD 314, but no other evidence of this council exists. Because of this inclusion, Burchard has been described as something of a rationalist. As the source of canon law, Burchard's Decretum was supplanted around 1150 by the Decretum Gratiani, a much larger collection that further attempted to reconcile contradictory elements of canon law.
Burchard spent the years 1023 to 1025 promulgating Leges et Statuta Familiae S. Petri Wormatiensis, a collection of religious laws he endorsed as just and hoped to have officially approbated.
Although the Romans first came to Britain in 55 BC, Roman Law has had negligible influence on English common law. Latin legal phrases are used in English only because Latin was the lingua franca of the Medieval era. Although some of these phrases are in common use in law, such as res ipsa loquitur, novus actus interveniens, talem qualem, de minimis non curat lex, and consensus ad idem, the common law is not premised on the principles of civil law, and their use is being replaced by that of vernacular substitutes. For example, Black's Law Dictionary previously included numerous brocards among its entries.
Although the Romans did not conquer Scotland, Scots Law is a mixed legal system in which "brocards are regarded as part of the common law".
((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link) citing Jenk. Cent. 290