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Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This chapter introduces the various sources of law before proceeding onto a discussion of the courts of England and Wales. The courts of England and Wales can be divided into numerous different classifications. There are three different ways that courts may be classified: criminal and civil courts, trial and appellate courts, and superior and inferior courts. In England and Wales, there is often thought to be a stark divide between criminal and civil courts. Criminal courts deal with individuals who have ‘allegedly’ committed a criminal offence and it is the role of the arbiters of fact to determine the guilt or innocence of a defendant based on the evidence presented before them. On the other hand, civil courts deal primarily with the resolution of private disputes between individuals. Such disputes can include matters of contract law, personal injury, and family law. However, the jurisdiction of some courts is not limited to one area of law, but rather is approachable for both substantive areas of law.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter discusses the organization of the modern court structure and what each court does. The courts in England and Wales (ie excluding the Supreme Court which is a UK court) are administered by a single agency, HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The courts of original jurisdiction (ie which hear trials of first instance) are ordinarily the magistrates’ court, county court, Crown Court, and High Court although they have now been joined by the Family Court. The Crown Court and High Court have both an original and appellate jurisdiction. The High Court is divided into three divisions (Queen’s Bench Division, Chancery Division, and Family Division) and when two or more judges sit together in the High Court it is known as a Divisional Court. The chapter also briefly describes the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Court of Protection, and Coroner’s Courts.

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This chapter presents the skills needed to find cases. It first explains the meanings of case citations before moving on to discuss how to locate domestic cases. It then describes how to find decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the General Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.

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This chapter presents the skills needed to find cases. It first explains the meanings of case citations before moving on to discuss how to locate domestic cases. It then describes how to find decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the General Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.

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This chapter discusses the civil and commercial justice systems. It considers the purpose of the civil justice system and also covers the use of alternative dispute resolution and the incentives to keep disputes out of the court. It looks at the court structure, the county court, the High Court, the newly created Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, and other courts and offices. It considers possible changes that may follow the courts and tribunals transformation project. It also considers routes of appeal and the work of the appeal courts.

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This chapter examines the use of case law to solve legal problems. In the study and practice of law we seek to analyse legal principles; and the ‘principles’ in English law are derived from pure case law or from case law dealing with statutes. The discussions cover the idea of binding precedent (stare decisis); establishing the principle in a case; the mechanics of stare decisis; whether there are any other exceptions to the application of stare decisis to the Court of Appeal that have emerged since 1944; whether every case has to be heard by the Court of Appeal before it can proceed to the Supreme Court; precedent in the higher courts; other courts; and the impact of human rights legislation.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter focuses on the people who are present during criminal trials. It considers those in summary trials in magistrates’ court (magistrates, justices’ clerks/legal advisers, lawyers, and the defendant). It also considers those who are present in the Crown Court during a trial on indictment (the judge, the jury, lawyers, court clerks, the stenographer, the usher, and the defendant). The chapter also explores how lawyers for the defence are funded under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter examines the trial process and identifies the differences between summary trials and trials on indictment. It details who is in court, what their role should be, and how they reach their various decisions. The discussions cover the prosecution case, the defence case, closing speeches, judicial summing up, reaching the verdict, and youth trials.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter discusses the organization of the modern court structure and what each court does. The courts in England and Wales (i.e. excluding the Supreme Court which is a UK court) are administered by a single agency, HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The courts of original jurisdiction (i.e. which hear trials of first instance) are ordinarily the magistrates’ court, county court, Crown Court, and High Court although they have now been joined by the Family Court. The Crown Court and High Court have both an original and appellate jurisdiction. The High Court is divided into three divisions (Queen’s Bench Division, Chancery Division, and Family Division) and when two or more judges sit together in the High Court it is known as a Divisional Court. The chapter also briefly describes the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Court of Protection, and Coroner’s Courts.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter discusses the remedies that can be sought from the civil courts and how an appeal is made against a decision. It covers interim and final remedies; route of appeals; leave; the hearing; appeals to the Supreme Court; and examples of appeals. There are many different types of remedies that a court can award to a successful litigant. The most common form of remedy is that which is known as ‘damages’. Appeals in the civil courts follow a slightly more complicated structure than in criminal cases. In order to appeal in the civil cases it is usually necessary to seek permission before proceeding with a civil appeal. Save where it is a final decision in a multi-track case, the usual rule is that the appeal will be heard by the next most senior judge.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter on the criminal justice system focuses on preliminary issues, ie some of the issues that take place before trial begins. A prosecution begins at the earliest stage through a defendant being charged by the police but under the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS must then review the decision to prosecute, which requires the CPS to have reference to two prosecution tests (evidential and public interest tests). The CPS has the ability to issue out of court disposals in appropriate cases as alternatives to prosecution. If a prosecution does take place it is necessary to identify in which court the proceedings will be heard. Crimes are divided into three categories: summary, indictable-only, and either-way. Criminal matters are heard in the magistrates’ court and the Crown Court and the categorization of offences has an impact on where the matter should be heard.

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Case law can be broken down into common law, equity, and custom. This chapter begins with a discussion of common law and equity, including a brief history on how these sources came into being. It then turns to custom as a further source of law. It also provides an overview of the court system to illustrate how the various courts in the system link together in a hierarchy. It concludes with a discussion of the European Court of Human Rights and the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on case law.

Chapter

Case law can be broken down into common law, equity, and custom. This chapter begins with a discussion of common law and equity, including a brief history on how these sources came into being. It then turns to custom as a further source of law. It also provides an overview of the court system to illustrate how the various courts in the system link together in a hierarchy. It concludes with a discussion of the European Court of Human Rights and the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on case law.

Chapter

This chapter identifies the various players and their roles and the appropriate setting for the moot. It provides answers to the following questions: Does an Appellant get a right of reply? How are the roles of Appellants and Respondents chosen? How does the Respondent balance the need to make a case and to challenge the points made by the Appellants? What is the standard running order of a moot? How should a moot court be set out?

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This chapter considers how law is made in the UK, who makes it, and the constitutional principles which give them the authority for making it and imposing it on society. There is a detailed account of the legislative procedure of the UK Parliament, and the different types of legislation enacted by Parliament. The role of the senior courts in the development of legal principle is also considered. Finally, the law-making functions of key institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe are considered. The impact of Brexit is also considered.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter considers the conduct of civil litigation. It discusses how civil litigation is more managed than criminal litigation and the courts seek to assist litigants in finding a compromise. The civil courts have extensive powers over costs and they use this to ensure compliance with their rulings and also to encourage early settlement, reducing the need for litigation. The chapter examines three types of civil litigation; cases relating to the small claims track (‘small claims court’), judicial review, and private family-law disputes.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter provides an introduction to the courts and tribunals judiciary. It discusses the judicial office, judicial appointments, judicial diversity, and judicial training. There are different levels of judges within the courts and tribunals, with the senior judiciary comprising the Lord Chief Justice and Heads of Division. The Lord Chief Justice is the Head of the Judiciary. The Head of the Tribunals is the Senior President of the Tribunals. There are also part-time members of the judiciary known either as district judges, recorders, or Deputy High Court Judges depending on which court they sit in. This chapter assesses the similarities and differences between the court judiciary and tribunal judiciary. The quasi-judicial role of magistrates is also considered in this chapter. Discussing them in this chapter allows for their role to be considered and contrasted with that of district judges (magistrates’ courts) who also sit within the magistrates’ court.

Chapter

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter continues the discussion of sources of domestic law, focusing on material produced by the courts through cases. It covers the reporting of cases, the hierarchy of courts, legal principles, and the operation of precedent. The courts operate a system of precedent known as stare decisis (‘let the decision stand’). The type of precedent set depends on the court sitting, with the most complicated rules occurring in the Court of Appeal. As a general rule of thumb, the court setting the precedent will bind every court below it but the real question is under what circumstances that court is bound by itself.

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This chapter focuses on administrative justice. It reflects on the nature of administrative law and the role it plays in modern society, overseeing the relationship between the citizen and the state. Again adopting the holisitic approach, the chapter discusses not only the role of the courts, but also the tribunals, ombudsmen, and other bodies and processes that together make up the institutional framework of administrative justice. It notes some of the key changes being introduced as a result of the current transformation programme. It also considers the particular responsibilities of Members of Parliament in holding government to account. In addition, it asks who has general oversight of the system and whether current oversight arrangements are adequate.

Chapter

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This chapter looks at the multitude of different professionals, both legal and lay, in the English legal system (ELS). Legal professionals, often referred to as ‘lawyers’, includes such individuals as solicitors, barristers, legal executives, and paralegals. Barristers and solicitors were traditionally two very distinct roles in the ELS. Nowadays, a fusion of roles has occurred, meaning that the two professions are not as different as they formerly were. Meanwhile, judiciary refers to the various judicial ‘offices’ and ‘office-holders’. Law officers are the individuals responsible for the operation of the ELS and include such persons as the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. Court staff are the individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the ELS and include such persons as clerks, ushers, legal advisers, and many other persons. Finally, laypersons refer to a special class of individuals—namely magistrates and juries responsible for trying cases in the Crown Court and magistrates’ court respectively.