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Cover Business Law

4. Dispute Resolution for Businesses  

This chapter identifies courts and tribunals as the place where the laws discussed in the previous chapters are interpreted and utilized in the legal system. The jurisdiction of the courts and the personnel within them are described and a comparison is drawn between these forums for the administration of justice. It is important for those in business to be aware of the work of at least one tribunal—the Employment Tribunal, as many employment-related disputes ultimately end up here. Also, the courts in the English legal system, and the increasing use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, are relevant to businesses as they are used either to settle disputes or to avoid them altogether. Because the term ‘court’ is difficult to define in any practical sense, the chapter uses a description of what a court does.

Chapter

Cover Business Law

2. The English Legal system, Constitution, and Human Rights  

This chapter, in discussing the English legal system and its features, begins by outlining what the law is and some important constitutional principles. The discussion is primarily based on the institutions and personnel involved in the practice and administration of justice. It therefore involves a description and evaluation of the courts, tribunals, and the judiciary, including their powers and the rationale for such authority, as well as the mechanisms of control and accountability. The aim of this chapter is to demonstrate how the mechanisms of the justice system work. The English legal system exists to determine the institutions and bodies that create and administer a just system of law. It should be noted here that the UK does, in fact, possess a written constitution, it is merely uncodified.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

2. The Court System and Alternative Dispute Resolution  

This chapter discusses the English court system, civil disputes, and alternative dispute resolution. The courts in England and Wales form a hierarchy. At the lowest level are the Magistrates’ Courts and the County Courts, then the Crown Court and High Court, then the Court of Appeal, and finally the Supreme Court. The chapter considers the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union in interpreting EU law within Member States. It explains the position of the European Court of Human Rights, which deals with allegations of state breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights. Civil disputes arise in every area of business. An explanation of the civil procedure rules from commencing a claim to enforcement of a court judgment is provided. The chapter concludes with a discussion of alternative methods of dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation, and conciliation.