AS Law unit 1 summary


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  • Created on: 16-05-12 12:22
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Table of Contents
1. Parliamentary Law Making
2. Delegated Legislation
3. Statutory Interpretation
4. Judicial Precedent
The Hierarchy of The Courts:
5. Civil Courts and Dispute Resoultion
Civil Courts
Dispute Resolution
6. Criminal Courts and Lay People
Criminal Courts
| Legal Profession and advice/funding 1

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1.…read more

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How much power does the House of Lords have to stop a Bill becoming law?
The House of Lords is restricted by the Parliament Acts 1911 & 1949
The Government can reintroduce a Bill which has been voted against by the House of Lords and if
passed again by the House of Commons it will become law.…read more

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Delegated Legislation
Delegated Legislation is law made by a body other than Parliament. Parliament gives others the
power to pass delegated legislation in a parent or enabling act.
Act of Parliament (Statutes) - Primary Legislation
Delegated Legislation (i.e. statutory Instruments) - Secondary Legislation
Why is Delegated Legislation Needed?
Lack of Parliamentary time
Allow detail to be added at a later date
Makes use of local knowledge, i.e.…read more

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If the court decides that a piece of delegated legislation is ultra vires the legislation can be
declared void.
Criticisms of Delegated Legislation
Lack of democracy - Too much delegated legislation is made by unelected people i.e. civil
Lack of publicity - The public are often unaware of new law which is introduced by statutory
Over use - Too much law is made through the use of delegated powers.
There is inadequate parliamentary control over delegated legislation.…read more

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3. Statutory Interpretation
Parliament passes statutes and judges must interpret and apply them in court. Where the meanings
of words are unclear, judges will apply one of the various rules of interpretation. These rules were
developed in the following way:
Why Do We Need Rules For The Interpretation of Statutes?
Words are an imperfect means of communication
Words very often have more than one meaning i.e.…read more

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The Literal versus the Purposive approaches to Statutory Interpretation
Arguments in favour of the literal approach
Judges should give words their literal meaning, their job to not to make the law but to apply
The litreral appraoch is preferred by conservative judges
Arguments in favour of the purposive approach
Judges try to decide what the purpose of the statute was, what was Parliament attempting
to achieve?
The purposive approach is preferred by creative judges such as Lord Denning
The Europeans prefer the…read more

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4. Judicial Precedent
Judicial Precedent refers to the way in which the law is made and amended through the decisions of
Stare Decisis - Stand by the Decision
The doctrine of judicial precedent is based on the principle of stare decisis, this means that like cases
should be treated alike. The general rule is that all courts are bound to follow decisions made by
courts higher than themselves in the hierarchy and appellate courts are usually bound by their own
previous decisions.…read more

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Distinguishing is a 'tool' used by judges to avoid following a previous decision which they would
otherwise be bound to follow. An advantage of distinguishing is that it helps to keep judicial
precedent and the law flexible.
Where a judge considers the material facts of the present case to be sufficiently different from the
earlier case they may distinguish the two cases and refuse to follow the earlier decision.…read more

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The Hierarchy of The Courts:
Magistrates Court
· Civil Jurisdiction
· Enforcing council tax demands
· Family cases (orders for protection and maintenance)
· Licensing (e.g.…read more


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