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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 Legal Skills

2. Legislation  

This chapter first considers the process by which Acts of Parliament come into being. It then turns to delegated legislation—that is, law that is made by other bodies under Parliament’s authority. Next, it discusses the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998. Finally it looks at EU legislation, which became increasingly significant during the time that the UK was a member of the EU. It explains the various institutions of the EU and role they had in the law-making process; the different types of EU legislation; and the circumstances in which individuals could use them in domestic courts.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

2. Legislation  

This chapter first considers the process by which Acts of Parliament come into being. It then turns to delegated legislation—that is, law that is made by other bodies under Parliament’s authority. Next, it looks at EU legislation, which had an increasingly significant effect from the time that the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973. It explains the various institutions of the EU and role they had in the law-making process; the different types of EU legislation; and the circumstances in which individuals could use them in domestic courts, prior to Brexit. Finally, the chapter discusses the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

7. Using cases  

This chapter explains how to use cases. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of a law report, before considering how the key legal principles can be extracted from the case. Once the legal principles are known it considers the extent to which those principles are binding on other courts via the doctrine of judicial precedent. Finally, it examines the impact of both the Human Rights Act 1998 and EU law on the operation of precedent.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

7. Using cases  

This chapter explains how to use cases. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of a law report, before considering the means by which the key legal principles can be extracted from the case. Once the legal principles are known it considers the extent to which those principles are binding on other courts via the doctrine of judicial precedent. Finally, it examines the impact of both the Human Rights Act 1998 and EU law on the operation of precedent.

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

4. Using legislation  

This chapter discusses how to use legislation. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of an Act of Parliament and describes each of its composite parts. It then considers the various means by which the courts can interpret the wording of statutory provisions, including a discussion of the impact of the European Communities Act 1972 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

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 The English Legal System

5. Human Rights Act 1998  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter examines the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and discusses some of the important issues that arise from its use. It also provides an overview of relevant articles in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The HRA 1998 is quite a short Act and its key parts are in a small number of sections. Perhaps the most important is that of s 6 which places an obligation on public authorities to act in a way compatible with the ECHR; s 7 which prescribes how it can be used to obtain a remedy in the courts. This chapter also links to the previous chapters in terms of discussing how the Act is interpreted.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

5. Human Rights Act 1998  

This chapter examines the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and discusses some of the important issues that arise from its use. It also provides an overview of relevant Articles in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The HRA 1998 is quite a short Act and its key parts are in a small number of sections. Perhaps the most important is that of s 6 which places an obligation on public authorities to act in a way compatible with the ECHR as well as s 7 which prescribes how it can be used to obtain a remedy in the courts. This chapter also links to the previous chapters in terms of discussing how the Act is interpreted.

Chapter

Cover English Legal System

7. Human rights in the United Kingdom  

This chapter considers the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and its relationship to the English legal system. The focus in the chapter is on key provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998—the Act that incorporated the Convention into UK law. In the earlier part of the chapter there is coverage of sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Act. These provisions concern the duties placed on the courts to take into account judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, to interpret domestic legislation so as to comply with rights under the Convention, and finally to issue a declaration of incompatibility when domestic legislation does not comply with rights under the Convention. Using examples from the case law, the chapter assesses how the courts balance their constitutional role to respect the supremacy of Parliament, with the duties provided in the Act to respect rights under the Convention. There is also an analysis of s.6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 which makes it unlawful for a public authority to act incompatibly with Convention rights. The analysis includes the contested question of what precisely constitutes a ‘public authority’, particularly when a private body is carrying out a public function.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

4. Using legislation  

This chapter discusses how to use legislation. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of an Act of Parliament and describes each of its composite parts. It then considers the various means by which the courts can interpret the wording of statutory provisions, including a discussion of the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Communities Act 1972.

Chapter

Cover Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law

6. Interests in Property  

This chapter deals primarily with the various interests that could be acquired in property, particularly ownership, rights to servitudes, and possession. The Roman law of property is one of the lasting and important legacies of their legal order and has had a profound impact upon modern legal systems across the world. This chapter begins by considering the Roman classification of property. This was the intellectual starting point in the teaching manuals preserved from the classical period of Roman law. The purpose of this exercise in classification was to demonstrate that certain objects fell outside the sphere of private ownership. Apart from issues of classification, this chapter deals primarily with the various interests that could be acquired in property, particularly ownership, limited real rights over the property of others, such as rights to servitudes, and possession. It deals with the legal rules governing these institutions and their interrelationships. In theory, the interests in property may be divided into two broad categories, namely legal interests (ownership and limited real rights) and factual interests (possession). While such a division is useful, it should not be seen as absolute, since possession, though largely a question of fact, could also have certain legal consequences. But first the Roman classification of property must be considered.

Chapter

Cover Learning Legal Rules

1. Understanding the Law  

This chapter introduces some fundamentals that will underpin the understanding of law and ‘legal method’. It explains those core principles and techniques that underpin the process of legal reasoning. Topics discussed include the concept of law; functions of law, and the concept of regulation, which extends our understanding of law to include forms of delegated legislation and ‘soft’ law, and case law as it is developed by the courts. The chapter also discusses Parliament and legislation as a source of law; the structure and role of the courts; the importance of procedural law; the role of facts in legal decision-making; English law and the European Convention on Human Rights; and English law and the European Union.

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 Learning Legal Rules

8. Interpreting Statutes  

This chapter discusses statutory interpretation: the language used in a statute, the application of the language to the facts, or both. It covers the so-called rules of interpretation: the literal rule, the golden rule, the purposive rule, and the mischief rule, and why we still refer to them; examples of the ‘rules’ in action and the reality of their application; secondary aids to construction; the use of Hansard; how judges choose to explain the construction they have placed on the statute; interpretation and the Human Rights Act 1998; interpreting secondary legislation; and an example of how to analyse a case on statutory interpretation.

Chapter

Cover Learning Legal Rules

9. ‘Bringing Rights Home’: Legal Method and the Convention Rights  

In the twenty-first century, two important pan-European forces to which English law has been subject are the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. This chapter discusses the following: the scope, outline, and enforcement of the ECHR to identify and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms and the balancing of these freedoms against the sovereignty of Parliament; its incorporation into the HRA 1998; incorporation under the devolution Acts; the consequences for legal method; and practical and conceptual issues raised by the HRA 1998 around legal research and argumentation. It closes by looking at the prospects of a ‘British Bill of Rights’.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

11. Funding Access to Justice  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter examines how litigation is funded. It considers the growth, and eventual decline, in legal aid, and how alternative sources of funding have begun to be used. The chapter considers both criminal and civil litigation. It notes how there is an increase in defendants-in-person before the criminal courts because of restrictions in legal aid. It questions whether this is appropriate, particularly where the loss of liberty is a real possibility. The chapter also considers how civil litigation is now funded. This includes how ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements were at first encouraged, but then subject to restrictions because it was felt the balance of risk vs. gain was inappropriate. The chapter charts the growth of before and after-the-event insurance, and the increase in third-party funding where the litigation is for large sums of money.

Chapter

Cover The English Legal System

12. The Investigation of Crime  

Alisdair A. Gillespie and Siobhan Weare

This chapter examines the investigation of crime. It begins with a discussion of how law enforcement is organized, exploring the role of agencies such as the police, the National Crime Agency, and HM Revenue and Customs, amongst others. It then critically considers police powers around stop and search and arrest and detention, before moving on to examine the rights of suspects in police custody, particularly in relation to interview.