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Chapter

Cover Public Law Concentrate

7. The monarchy and the Royal Prerogative  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. The UK is a constitutional monarchy: the monarch exercises their legal powers as part of a system of government which is parliamentary and democratic. The chapter discusses the legal source of the monarch’s powers as head of state which is the Royal Prerogative exercised in accordance with binding political rules and practices. The chapter also covers the monarch’s role within the executive. This chapter discusses the special privileges and immunities of the monarch; the powers and duties of the monarch; and the monarch and the organs and functions of government.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

3. Rule of law  

This chapter begins with a discussion of the meaning of the rule of law, one of the fundamental doctrines or principles of the UK constitution. The concept is by no means straightforward, and opinions vary as to the principles or values which underpin the doctrine. The chapter distinguishes between formal and substantive meanings of the rule of law. It discusses principles encompassed by the rule of law. These include that laws should be prospective, laws should be open and clear, and that there should be natural justice, access to the courts, and equality before the law. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the contemporary significance of the rule of law.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

1. The UK Constitution  

This chapter provides an introduction to the UK Constitution and sets out a foundation upon which discussions in later chapters further develop. It starts by exploring definitions of constitutions, placing the unique UK system within commonly accepted themes and characteristics. It then moves to explain the nature and form of the UK Constitution and some of the sources of which it is constructed, as well as exploring some of the more theoretical considerations as regards its character, including the way in which it is legitimised. The final section considers academic questions concerning whether or not the UK can be said to have a constitution, including discussion of the case for and against a codified system.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

9. Devolution  

Devolution refers to the decentralization of power from central institutions in London to regional institutions exercising executive and legislative authority in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This chapter explores the principle of devolution, both in terms of its historical development and its constitutional importance. It discusses recent issues and debates relevant to the role that it continues to play in the UK Constitution through the established institutions in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. All this is tied together in consideration of a problem scenario which encourages discussion of the powers of the devolved institutions and their relationship with centralized authority at Westminster.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Justice

Introduction  

Anthea Hucklesby and Azrini Wahidin

This introductory chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to explore the key issues relating to the criminal justice system in the early part of the twenty-first century. It aims to provide undergraduate students with an overview of the institutions and agencies of the criminal justice system and the issues that arise with the process by which individuals are convicted and punished for transgressing the criminal law. The chapter then discusses the UK criminal justice system; criminal justice in context; and the effectiveness the criminal justice system. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

10. Good Governance—An Introduction  

This chapter explains the meaning of good governance and why it is important to uphold the standards of good governance, first discussing the standards of good governance, which include governing in the public interest; governing transparently; respecting the dignity, rights, and interests of individuals; and governing competently. It then turns to the concept and types of accountability, covering political accountability, legal accountability, and administrative accountability and audit.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

13. Corporate governance  

This chapter surveys corporate governance. It identifies the key problem of the separation of ownership and control in companies that are not owner-managed. Shareholders are seen as the owners of the company but directors manage the company and can do so for their own benefit rather than the shareholders’. There is a list of the numerous legal controls on directors, which are studied in other chapters. There is discussion of two ways of looking at directors, either as stewards who must account for their actions to the owners or as entrepreneurs whose wealth-creating work deserves reward. The UK Corporate Governance Code, which applies to premium listed companies, is discussed, as are shareholder activism and investor stewardship.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System Concentrate

1. Introduction to the English Legal System  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This introductory chapter provides an overview of the English legal system (ELS). The study of ELS involves the study of the legal system of both England and Wales; Scotland and Northern Ireland are subject to a separate, yet connected legal system. These four countries are subjected to the laws of the UK; however, each individual constituent has devolved powers allowing them to legislate in particular areas. Where a conflict between laws of the UK and laws of the constituent country arises, the UK law takes precedence. The effect of devolution from the UK to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland does not affect this parliamentary supremacy. Indeed, it has been argued for some time that devolution of power has not gone far enough in allowing Scotland or Northern Ireland to govern themselves.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

18. The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998  

One of the most fundamental aspects of any constitution are the provisions and measures that protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. In the UK, rights protection is markedly different to that in America, in chief because there is no entrenched Bill of Rights. Rights protection is dominated by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), incorporated by the Human Rights Act 1998, which sets out a number of positive rights that are actionable in the UK courts. This chapter discusses the ways in which these rights are protected in the UK Constitution. It discusses the courts’ historic civil liberties approach and common law protection of rights, before then examining the development, incorporation, and application of the ECHR. The chapter also explores the way in which the various sections of the Human Rights Act 1998 work to ensure appropriate enforcement and protection of rights in UK law.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

3. Finding legislation  

This chapter explains how to find domestic legislation, that is, statutes, statutory instruments, and European legislation both online and in a law library. The chapter also explains how to determine whether there is any statute law on a particular topic and how to work out whether a piece of legislation is in force. The chapter closes by explaining how to find the official current text of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

13. Corporate governance  

This chapter surveys corporate governance. It identifies the key problem of the separation of ownership and control in companies that are not owner-managed. Shareholders are seen as the owners of the company but directors manage the company and can do so for their own benefit rather than the shareholders’. There is a list of the numerous legal controls on directors, which are studied in other chapters. There is discussion of two ways of looking at directors, either as stewards who must account for their actions to the owners or as entrepreneurs whose wealth-creating work deserves reward. The UK Corporate Governance Code, which applies to premium listed companies, is discussed, as are shareholder activism and investor stewardship.

Chapter

Cover Holyoak and Torremans Intellectual Property Law

4. Patentability  

This chapter discusses the conditions for the patentability of an invention. According to s. 1(1) of the UK Patents Act 1977, a patent may be granted only for an invention in respect of which the following conditions are satisfied: (a) the invention is new; (b) it involves an inventive step; (c) it is capable of industrial application; and (d) the grant of a patent for it is not excluded by subsections (2) and (3). Section 1(2) states that discoveries, scientific theories, and mathematical methods cannot be regarded as inventions and are thus not patentable; likewise barred from this status are works properly found within copyright, schemes for performing a mental act, playing a game, or doing business and computer programs, and also the presentation of information. Section 1(3) limits the role of patents by denying their protection to offensive, immoral, or antisocial inventions.

Chapter

Cover Holyoak and Torremans Intellectual Property Law

5. Use and grant in the UK and Europe  

This chapter addresses the question of who is entitled to the patent and who will own it. Patent law operates a ‘first to file’ system and the presumption is that the person filing the application is entitled to the patent. Section 7 of the UK Patents Act 1977 nevertheless brings the inventor into the picture as the person who is logically entitled to the patent. There is also room for contractual transactions in this area.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

3. The European Convention and the law of the United Kingdom  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter focuses on the European Convention on Human Rights, which the UK signed in 1950, and on its impact in the UK prior to the Human Rights Act coming into force in October 2000. The UK’s signing of the Convention entailed the country’s acceptance of the obligation to ‘secure for everyone within [its] jurisdiction the rights and freedoms in Section 1 of this Convention’. The Convention is not applied directly by the UK courts. The Convention remains part of international law, which is not directly enforceable in UK courts. The chapter also considers the development of fundamental common law rights which have developed in parallel to the Convention. There is a section on ‘Brexit’ and its impact on the protection of human rights in the UK.

Chapter

Cover Company Law Concentrate

6. Corporate governance  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter discusses the UK corporate governance system and some of the key corporate governance topics. It begins by looking at what corporate governance is and how the UK’s corporate governance system has evolved. The chapter then discusses the effectiveness of the ‘comply or explain’ approach. It also discusses a number of key corporate governance mechanisms, namely institutional investors, non-executive directors, and directors’ remuneration.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Intellectual Property

9. Unregistered designs  

This chapter discusses unregistered design protection. The chapter examines the UK unregistered design right established by Part III of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and analyses the Community unregistered design which provides unregistered design protection across the EU. The chapter also considers in more detail the evolving and complex interaction between design protection and copyright in UK law, and the implications of Brexit for unregistered design protection, including the UK’s creation of two further UK domestic unregistered design rights, the continuing unregistered design and the supplementary unregistered design.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

2. The UK’s corporate law and governance system  

This chapter discusses the various sources of company law and corporate governance. The main sources of company law are legislation, case law, the constitution of the company, contract, European Union law, and human rights law. Legislation is the principal form of UK company law, with the Companies Act 2006 being the most important piece of company law legislation. However, companies are, to a degree, permitted to create their own internal rules through their constitution. Companies can also create their own law by drafting their own standard terms for use in contracts. Meanwhile, corporate governance best practice principles are found in a series of reports and codes, with the three principal codes being the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Wates Corporate Governance Principles, and the UK Stewardship Code 2020. Both of the codes operate on a comply-or-explain basis, under which certain persons must comply with the code or explain their reasons for non-compliance.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

2. The institutions of government and the separation of powers  

This chapter explores the key institutions—the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary—and considers the relevance of the principle of the separation of powers in respect of the UK Constitution. It begins with a discussion of the functions fulfilled by these institutions, including an examination of their structure and key roles, allowing fuller exploration of the separation of powers doctrine in the UK Constitution. The chapter identifies a common distinction drawn between what is known as the pure and partial separation of powers: The former favours total separation, while the latter allows a degree of overlap to the point of ensuring a system of checks and balances. Application of this distinction enables broader exploration of the UK’s application of the separation of powers doctrine.

Chapter

Cover Public Law

3. The rule of law  

This chapter starts by defining the rule of law, explaining its importance, and placing its origins in Ancient Greece and the writings of Aristotle. Following a brief consideration of how the principle has developed since that time, it discusses the writing of Dicey, whose seminal text, An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885), explored the meaning of the rule of law and its place in the UK Constitution. The chapter then considers broader theories of the rule of law, dividing these into those that support what are known as ‘formal conceptions’ of the rule of law, and ‘substantive conceptions’ of the rule of law. Finally, it explores the way in which the rule of law can be said to apply in the UK Constitution, both historically and in terms of modern-day authorities.

Chapter

Cover The Changing Constitution

4. Brexit and the UK Constitution  

Paul Craig

This chapter is, for obvious reasons, not a modification of the chapter from the previous edition. It is a completely new chapter, which considers the effect of Brexit on the UK constitution. There is discussion of the constitutional implications of triggering exit from the EU, and whether this could be done by the executive via the prerogative, or whether this was conditional on prior legislative approval through a statute. The discussion thereafter considers the constitutional implications of Brexit in terms of supremacy, rights, executive accountability to the legislature and devolution. The chapter concludes with discussion as to the paradox of sovereignty in the context of Brexit.