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date: 18 October 2019

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ). There are over eighty courts in the RCJ, which include criminal courts, civil courts, and family courts. These courts direct how the country is governed, that justice should be done in the name of the Queen, owing allegiance to royalty in the form of the ‘the Crown’. The major function of the courts is to provide justice through the legal system. Since ideas of justice can be subjective, people have developed an idea of the basic requirements of a fair hearing — sometimes called the rules of natural justice. These include an open hearing; an impartial court; giving each side an equal chance to state its case and to provide evidence; and listening to the arguments of each side before coming to a reasoned decision.

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