English Legal System

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  • Created on: 02-07-13 21:52
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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
Early jurors in England acted as witnesses providing sources of information on local
affairs. But they gradually came to be used as adjudicators in both civil and criminal
Gradually it became accepted that a juror should know as little as possible about the
facts of a case before its trial. This is still the position today.
The juror is a very important body of highly capable and welltrusted individuals that
decide the facts a particular case and assists the judge in deliberating on the same.
Lord Devlin stated:
"Trial by jury is more than instrument of justice and more than a wheel".
Jury plays a vital role in the criminal justice system, but the constitution position in
England is vulnerable because of the unwritten constitution, the right to trial by jury is not
written in the constitution.
Juries Act 1974 is the main statute governing the present day jury.
Currently, the role of the English jury is almost entirely limited to the more serious
criminal cases, but juries occasionally sit in civil trials as well.
The function of the jury:
The function of the jury is to look at the evidence and to decide what the true facts of the
case are or what actually happened.
The judge gives the direction to the jury on the relevant law, and the jury has to apply
them to the facts of the case in order to reach a verdict.
If it is a criminal case and the jury has given a verdict of guilty, then the judge will decide
an appropriate sentence.
In civil cases, juries' role is to decide on how much money should a person be awarded
in damages.
The jury in criminal cases:
Although juries are very important, in the criminal justice system, they actually deal only
in a minority of the cases.
Jury can try a case in the Crown Court, and if the defendant pleads not guilty and the
trial proceeds further, they will be tried before jury.
Jury trial has been under attack in the recent years. Governments have attempted to
reduce the use of juries' in criminal cases in order to save money.
Juries in civil cases:
Juries in civil cases are now only used in very limited circumstances but where they are
used they have a dual role.
They decide whether the claimant has proved their case or not, then if they decide that
the claimant has won the case, the jury also go on to decide the amount of damages
that defendant should pay to the claimant.

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
A jury can be refused if the judge feels the case involves complicated documents or
accounts or scientific evidence and is therefore thought to be unsuitable e for jury trial.
Juries in coroners courts:
In these courts a jury of about 7 to 11 members may be used to enquire into deaths.
Since 1977 a coroner is no longer obliged to summon a jury to decide cases involving
road accidents or suspected homicides.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
There are 30.000 lay magistrates who are also known as Justice of the Peace.
They usually set as a part of bench of three, for at least 26 and half days each year.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
Magistrates normally sit in the local justice are where they reside, this means
more knowledge of locals events, local patterns of crime and local opinions than
professional from outside the area.
The magistracy is cheap it would cost millions to replace them with professional
judges.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
Conducting the sale of a business
Preparing wills for husband and wife
Drawing up a character for local Working Men's club
Helping an employee prepare a unfair dismissal claim
Buying a house
Drawing up a contract between companies
Personal injury claims
Advising a person at the police station
Assisting takeovers of multimillion pound businesses
Solicitors research points of law, negotiate contracts deals, prepare/draft
contracts and other legal documents
Most solicitors work in private practices and are employed by…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
It would be granted if the solicitor already has experience of advocacy in the
Magistrates' Courts and the County Court, took a short training course and passed
examinations of the rules of evidence
Solicitors with an advocacy qualification are eligible to be appointed as Queen's
Counsel and also to be appointed to higher judicial posts.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
All students have the Bar Vocational Course which emphasises the practical skills of
drafting pleadings for use in court, negotiation and advocacy.
The Role:
Barristers have rights to audience in all courts in England and Wales.
Even those who specialise in advocacy will do a certain amount of paper work, writing
opinions on cases, giving advices and drafting documents for the use in court.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
Written opinions:
In these opinions they give their views on matters such as the strengths of a case and
the weaknesses of a case, how a complex area of the law relates to a particular case,
and whether evidence is likely to be admissible or not.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
In the last 20 years, that has been whereas in judicial review usage, especially with
housing and immigration.
Citizens see it more effective than tribunals.
Most obvious example is Gary McKinnon and the extradition case
Public Enquiries:
Normally held either to exam the merits/demerits of a particular policy to scrutinise the
past actions of public officials.
External jurisdiction:
The courts have to settle any dispute concerning the jurisdiction of the Scottish
Parliament and Welsh/Northern Ireland assemblies.…read more

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Personnel in the English Legal System 2013
Where ministers decisions be reviewed by the judiciary, the government can
pass primary legislation which allows such policies and decisions
Judges cannot be proactive and must wait for the case to come before them
Judges are expected to maintain a low public profile and neutrality
Appointment of judges:
They are not appointed by judges but JAC, all positions advertised like any other job
and all positions are appointed on basis of merit and not background and friendships.…read more


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