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The English Legal System

The English Legal System (8th edn)

Alisdair Gillespie and Siobhan Weare
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date: 27 January 2023

p. 11. The English Legal Systemlocked

p. 11. The English Legal Systemlocked

  • Alisdair A. GillespieAlisdair A. GillespieProfessor of Criminal Law and Justice at Lancaster University
  •  and Siobhan WeareSiobhan WeareSenior Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University


This chapter provides an introduction to the English Legal System. Specifically, it explains the meaning of the terms ‘English’, ‘legal’, and ‘system’. It first provides an overview of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, namely England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It describes the types of law that exist and attempts to define what law is. It then discusses the English legal system, which is based on common law and is an adversarial system.

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