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Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

6. The Structure of the Courts  

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 Tribunals 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 (King’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 coroners’ courts.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

6. Finding cases  

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 European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the General Court.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

6. Finding cases  

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.

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.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

6. The Structure of the Courts  

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

Cover Legal Skills

5. Case law  

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

Cover Legal Skills

5. Case law  

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

Cover How to Moot

2. Participants and the parts they play  

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?

Chapter

Cover Introduction to the English Legal System

8. The civil and commercial justice systems  

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 result from the Transformation programme and the civil and commercial justice systems’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also considers routes of appeal and the work of the appeal courts.

Chapter

Cover How to Moot

1. The nature and attraction of mooting  

This chapter explains the basics of a moot and mooting. It distinguishes a moot from other law school activities, such as a seminar and a mock trial, and distinguishes a moot court from a real court. It discusses the origins of mooting; why law students should moot; in which courts are moots set; and how a moot is structured.

Chapter

Cover How to Moot

3. Producing a persuasive presentation  

This chapter provides guidance on producing a persuasive presentation. It provides answers to the following questions: Is it always necessary to prepare for a moot presentation? What form should a presentation take? When is a submission outside the ground of appeal? How long should the presentation be? How should submissions be presented logically? How should one prepare for a moot presentation? Should the speech be written out? Should it be read out or should it be learnt by heart?

Chapter

Cover How to Moot

5. Performance – the basics  

This chapter discusses the various performance aspects of mooting. It provides answers to the following questions: Why can't points outside the grounds of appeal be argued? Can there be any discussion with colleague during the moot? How can pronunciation of English words generally be improved upon? How can the pronunciation of English (and Welsh) names be improved upon? Do the facts of the moot problem need to be outlined to the moot judge? Is it ever possible to put an interpretation on the facts in order to favour a hypothetical client? Should the law be expressly applied to the facts of the moot problem? Is not being able to act a problem? How should the submission be introduced and concluded?

Chapter

Cover How to Moot

6. Professional practice  

This chapter demonstrates the relevance of mooting for professional practice. It shows that mooting insists upon exacting standards of behaviour, dress, personal presentation, research, preparation, information management, time management, and communication. Mooting provides students with a set of skills than can make them better lawyers. At the very least it will equip students to work within a team, and to a deadline, and to present the fruits of teamwork in a robust, attractive, and memorable way. The chapter provides answers to the following questions: How should colleagues be liaised with and should their arguments be known? Are there any rules of fair play to be observed in mooting? Should the original law reports be produced in front of the moot court? When should skeleton arguments be used and what form should skeleton arguments, if permitted, take? Should Latin be used in the moot presentation? Is a professional courtroom manner important? What is the dress code for a moot? How should colleagues and opponents be addressed and referred to?

Chapter

Cover Legal Systems & Skills

3. The court system of England & Wales  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter outlines the court system of England & Wales, first explaining key themes and concepts that are essential for understanding the structure and mechanics of the English courts. It then discusses the criminal courts and civil courts of England and Wales; other courts and forums that have significance in the English legal system, such as the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, but are not part of the English court system; and alternatives to litigation (alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, Ombudsmen, and negotiation).

Chapter

Cover Learning Legal Rules

5. The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent  

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

Cover The English Legal System

14. Those in Court  

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 advisors, 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

Cover The English Legal System

15. The Trials  

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

Cover The English Legal System

14. Those in Court  

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 advisors, 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 then explores how lawyers for the defence are funded under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

15. The Trials  

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 a verdict, and youth trials.

Chapter

Cover Legal Systems & Skills

3. The court system of England & Wales  

Scott Slorach, Judith Embley, Peter Goodchild, and Catherine Shephard

This chapter outlines the courts and tribunals system of England & Wales, first explaining key themes and concepts that are essential for understanding the structure and mechanics of English courts and tribunals. It then discusses the criminal courts and civil courts of England and Wales; it then focusses on other courts and forums that have significance in the English legal system, but which are not part of the English court system. The most significant of these are the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, and alternatives to litigation (alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, Ombudsmen, and negotiation).