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Chapter

This chapter explores some of the wider issues raised by the rules applying to private rights to use land, along with the nature of the challenges faced by judges and Parliament when deciding how best to develop those rules. It begins by discussing the importance of concepts and contexts in land law, as well as the tension between concepts and contexts and the effect of different judicial approaches to land law. It then considers the relative merits of judicial and legislative reform of land law and goes on to examine the impact of statutory reform, particularly of registration statutes, in land law. It also assesses the impact of human rights and regulation on land law, citing the Supreme Court ruling in Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages Ltd (2015), before concluding with an analysis of the role of non-doctrinal approaches in evaluating land law.

Chapter

This chapter explores some of the wider issues raised by the rules applying to private rights to use land, along with the nature of the challenges faced by judges and Parliament when deciding how best to develop those rules. It begins by discussing the importance of concepts and contexts in land law, as well as the tension between concepts and contexts and the effect of different judicial approaches to land law. It then considers the relative merits of judicial and legislative reform of land law and goes on to examine the impact of statutory reform, particularly of registration statutes, in land law. It also assesses the impact of human rights and regulation on land law, citing the Supreme Court ruling in Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages Ltd (2015), before concluding with an analysis of the role of non-doctrinal approaches in evaluating land law.

Chapter

Andrew Ashworth and Julian V. Roberts

Sentencing represents the apex of the criminal process and is the most public stage of the criminal justice system. Controversial sentences attract widespread media coverage, intense public interest, and much public and political criticism. This chapter explores sentencing in the United Kingdom, and draws some conclusions with relevance to other common law jurisdictions. Sentencing has changed greatly in recent years, notably through the introduction of sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, and more recently, Scotland. However, there are still doubts about the fairness and consistency of sentencing practice, not least in the use of imprisonment. Among the key issues to be examined in this chapter are the tendency towards net-widening, the effects of race and gender, the impact of pleading guilty, the use of indeterminate sentences, the rise of mandatory sentences, and the role of the victim in the sentencing process. The chapter begins by outlining the methods by which cases come before the courts for sentencing. It then summarizes the specific sentences available to courts and examines current sentencing patterns, before turning to a more detailed exploration of sentencing guidelines, and of the key issues identified above. The chapter addresses two critical questions: What is sentencing (namely who exerts the power to punish)? Does sentencing in the UK measure up to appropriate standards of fairness and consistency?

Chapter

Written constitutions have often been viewed as the bridle for unchecked political majoritarianism, as a restraint on government, and hence as a limiting device rather than a form of democratic political expression. Breaking with that tradition, this article sets out a democratic case for a written constitution and contrasts it with the rights-based and clarity-based cases. It then proceeds to show why the case against written constitutions—which are broadly located in a conservative critique, an anti-rationalist critique and an anti-judicialization critique—are misguided. Nevertheless, a democratic case for a written constitution necessarily raises challenging questions about how the constitution will be enacted, and how rigidly entrenched it should be. Answers to these questions are presented in Parts III and IV of the article. In the former, it is argued for a constituent assembly consisting of party and direct citizen representation. In the latter, defence of a model of entrenchment is discussed that permits amendment through a simple majoritarian parliamentary procedure in conjunction with a referendum, and, most controversially, a provision requiring a new constitutional convention about once in a generation. This is the type of democratic constitution, in the author’s view, that accommodates the need for a liberal egalitarian constitutional order that takes both rights and democracy seriously.

Chapter

This chapter begins with an overview of company law and the role of directors and members. It then discusses: the sources of company law (UK Companies Acts, case law, European law, human rights legislation, and self-regulation); the process of company law reform; the purpose of company law; classification of companies; companies and partnerships; and incorporation, registration, and the role of the registrar.

Chapter

This chapter takes a look at the hearsay rule. Though it is one of the most complex and confusing of the exclusionary rules of evidence, the hearsay rule can be used as the background and foundation to understand the new statutory provisions for civil and criminal proceedings. The chapter first discusses the hearsay rule at the common law level, explaining why such an exclusionary rule was thought necessary. It also indicates the tenor of this rule's development and reform. Next, the chapter more closely examines the scope of the rule, implied assertions, res gestae, the rule against narrative, and the extent to which admissions constitute an exception to the rule.

Chapter

This chapter begins by discussing the origins and meaning of the term ‘royal prerogative’. It identifies some examples of prerogative powers and considers how certain personal or reserve powers of the monarch might be exercised in practice. The chapter also explores the relationship between prerogative power and statutes, and focuses on how the courts have dealt with the prerogative. The chapter also discusses the adaptation of prerogative powers, the relationship between the prerogative and the courts, and the courts’ recent willingness to review the exercise of certain prerogative powers. The chapter concludes by looking at several ways in which the prerogative could be reformed.

Book

The purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to the fundamental principles and concepts of constitutional and administrative law. It is highly popular with undergraduates for its clear writing style and the ease with which it guides the reader through key principles of public law. This eleventh edition incorporates the significant developments in this ever-changing area of the law. The book also includes a range of useful features to help students get to grips with the subject matter. These include further reading suggestions to support deeper research, a large number of self-test questions to help reinforce knowledge, and chapter summaries and numbered paragraphs to aid navigation and revision. This new edition has been fully updated to cover all the latest developments in constitutional and administrative law, including those relating to devolution and Brexit.

Chapter

Sir William Wade and Christopher Forsyth

This chapter begins with a discussion of statutory inquiry, which is the standard technique for giving a fair hearing to objectors before the final decision is made on some question of government policy affecting citizens' rights or interests. It then turns to complaints and reforms; law and practice today in statutory inquiries; and other inquiry procedures.

Chapter

Annika Newnham

This chapter looks at the law used to resolve disputes about where children should live, who they should have contact with, and other aspects of parental responsibility. The majority of such disputes are between two parents, but they can also involve grandparents, other relatives, or even people like friends and neighbours. The Children Act 1989 is the main piece of legislation for the regulation of disputes between parents. This Act was an ambitious and largely successful attempt to modernise, simplify, and improve the law. As part of this reform, the old orders of custody and access were scrapped, and the Act introduced parental responsibility to regulate parents' legal status, and a set of orders which were designed to only affect practical arrangement. The chapter concludes with a brief outline of the High Court's inherent jurisdiction.

Chapter

The family home is the key property asset that most family members will own in their lifetimes. However, many people living together in a home do not give any real thought to whether the property is owned between them, or what would happen if they separated. This chapter explores the reasons why cohabitants do not often think through their entitlements to the property, and why the law has been slow to provide redress to them. It considers the rules applicable to the application of trusts and proprietary estoppel to aid cohabitants, as well as critiques them. It also examines the practical impact of the remedies provided by outlining what happens when property is to be sold. Finally, it considers the many attempts at law reform and why they have, to date, failed to reach the statute books.

Chapter

Edwina Higgins and Kathryn Newton

This chapter considers the law and process for seeking a divorce in England and Wales. It examines the current legal framework and the gap between the ‘law in books’ and the practical reality. It looks at the current legal provisions, the criticisms that have been made of them, and whether there are any strengths to the current law. The discussion is placed in the context of divorce statistics in order to determine the link between the divorce law and the divorce rate, and whether this matters. In so doing, the chapter considers how much of a role the state should play in regulating divorce and the place of ‘fault’ in a modern divorce law. It also considers matters of process and procedure, and whether reform of process rather than substantive law is the right focus.

Chapter

This chapter begins by discussing the origins and meaning of the term ‘royal prerogative’. It then presents some examples of prerogative power. It distinguishes between prerogative power and statutes, and considers instances when these overlap. The chapter also discusses the adaptation of prerogative powers, and the relationship between the prerogative and the courts. The chapter concludes by looking at possible reform of prerogative power.

Book

The purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to the fundamental principles and concepts of constitutional and administrative law. It is highly popular with undergraduates for its clear writing style and the ease with which it guides the reader through key principles of public law. This tenth edition incorporates all significant developments in this ever-changing area of the law. The book also includes a range of useful features to help students get to grips with the subject matter. These include further reading suggestions to support deeper research, a large number of self-test questions to help reinforce knowledge, and chapter summaries and numbered paragraphs to aid navigation and revision. This new edition has been fully updated to cover all the latest developments in constitutional and administrative law, including those relating to devolution and Brexit.

Chapter

This chapter starts by presenting a brief sketch of the key stages and decisions of the criminal process which forms part of the English criminal justice system. The significance of those stages and decisions is discussed before they are then classified according to their nature and consequence. This is followed in the next section by differentiating between the criminal process and the system before moving on to orient the reader by outlining significant reforms that have shaped the criminal process in the past decades. There is a final concluding section.

Chapter

John McEldowney

Federalism, to date, has proved unattractive to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is commonly described as a unitary state, whereby governmental power is primarily exercised through a sovereign Parliament at Westminster. The UK may be distinguished from Federal countries, notably the United States or Germany. In federal systems, sovereign power is shared between the federal government and the states. However, the description of the United Kingdom as a unitary state is an oversimplification as there are many instances of devolved, shared and autonomous powers that do not easily fit under a centralized view of the state. These ‘quasi-federal’ elements of the constitution arise through the UK Parliament delegating to regional and local communities a variety of powers and responsibilities through elected local and municipal authorities as well as devolved ‘deals’. Since 1989, powers have been distributed to the four nations of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through extensive, and increasing, devolved powers (devolution) including a variety of tax-raising powers. There is also a London Assembly with devolved powers. The future of the UK after Brexit is uncertain and there are deep divisions of opinion. England and Wales voted for Brexit while London, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain within the EU. Different constitutional configurations were suggested for the four nations, during the nineteenth century, including federalism, Irish home rule and independence as well as strengthening local government. No exact definition of federalism emerged from the different variations supported at one time or another during this period. Consequently supporters of federalism have struggled to have a single configuration to make their case. Overall federalism was rejected as inconsistent with the orthodoxy of a unitary state formed from an incorporating union centred around a sovereign Parliament. Has the extent of substantial devolved and delegated powers reached a tipping point that places a form of divisible federalism as a way of addressing current concerns and controversies including Brexit? Any formal adoption of federalism would alter the role of the UK Supreme Court as well as future relations with the EU after Brexit. Federalism might provide a mechanism for a changing unitary state to address 21st-century challenges amidst a perceptible shift to a ‘quasi-federal’ state with devolved governments and many shared or delegated powers.

Chapter

This chapter starts with a brief history of divorce. The chapter then considers the current law on divorce, its historical origins and strengths, and its weaknesses. It then turns to the new law on divorce which is due to come into effect in the autumn of 2021. The chapter asks: Why was reform needed? What role does divorce play in our society? What does divorce say about marriage as an institution? The chapter uses a real-life scenario to answer these questions.

Chapter

The final chapter of this book reflects further on how the legal system has changed and will continue to develop going forwards. The dramatic changes that have been made over the past 20+ years are grouped under two broad headings: modernization and austerity. Looking to the future, the immediate challenge is to finish the Transformation Programme and to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other issues include: dealing with the criminal justice system; increasing support for legal advice services; and improving public legal education. The chapter argues that lawyers should not fear change, but exploit the opportunities that arise.

Chapter

Andrew Le Sueur

Everybody agrees there is broad consensus that the constitutional principle of judicial independence is important. In relation to the core judicial functions of hearing cases and writing judgments, the central meaning and application of the principle is fairly straightforward: people holding public office (politicians, parliamentarians, and officials) must refrain from interfering with judicial decision-making in individual cases; and judges should be protected from illegitimate pressure from the news media and other organizations. But hearings and judgments do not ‘just happen’; they have to be facilitated by a wide array of institutions and processes (the justice infrastructure), covering matters as diverse as court buildings, litigation procedures, judicial careers, and legal aid. In the absence of a codified constitution, in the United Kingdom the justice infrastructure is set out in Acts of Parliament, delegated legislation and ‘soft law’ (including the 2003 ‘Concordat’). The day-to-day running of the justice infrastructure can be understood in terms of who carries out functions related to the administration of justice—the judges, government (in particular, the Lord Chancellor), functions shared between judges and government, and functions given to arm’s length bodies. Periodically, the justice infrastructure is reshaped. This is a constitutionally significant activity that may take place in different settings—the political environment, expert environments, and blended environments. The day-to-day running of this infrastructure, along with its periodic reshaping, presents numerous and complex challenges for a legal system intent on respecting judicial independence and facilitating access to justice.

Chapter

This chapter takes up the discussion from the previous chapter by exploring the bad character of the accused. This subject matter is almost wholly governed by certain provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Thus, the chapter first considers the nature of the problem of the admission of evidence of the bad character of the accused; then attempts at reform, at common law, by recommendations of law reform bodies, and by legislation; an indication of the principal forms of continuing dissatisfaction; and finally the intentions and techniques designed to remedy them. Next, the chapter considers the structure of the bad character provisions from the 2003 legislation and the gateways it provides for admissibility. Finally, this chapter concludes with a brief appraisal of the 2003 act.