Good luck making a fork.
The US and most of the British commonwealth DID - it's called english common law.
It's a form of law that dates back to when a country separated from English rule, and allows the government to have a base set of laws to build upon, rather than having to make laws up after a potential crime has been committed.
Some countries have not changed a lot of their laws and still fall back on english common law on occasion.
By the way, IANAL, I just like the odd bit of history and law.