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Chapter

Cover English Legal System Concentrate

8. The Civil Justice System  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. This chapter discusses the civil justice system. Civil justice is concerned with the private dispute between individuals in the absence of the state. It seeks to solve disputes before they have had a chance to enter the legal structure, through the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Civil justice follows a similar pattern to its criminal counterpart; however, some of the procedural rules—specifically those relating to evidence—appear to be much more relaxed than in the criminal justice system. During the process of civil justice, a number of issues may arise which would bring the procedure to an end. These issues include ADR, through which parties may decide to settle the case at any point; default judgment, wherein judgment may be entered against a defendant at any point in the proceedings; and offers to settle, known as ‘Part 36 Offers’, in which an individual makes an offer to another without prejudice.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System Concentrate

2. Introduction to Sources of Law and Court Structure  

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.