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Chapter 9 (a)
Judges
The judiciary in the UK
· The term judiciary refers collectively to all UK judges, from
lay magistrates up to the 12 senior justices sitting in the UK
Supreme Court
· Scotland and Northern Ireland operate under different legal
arrangements than those in England and Wales, but the
Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal for all three
systems…read more

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Chapter 9 (a)
Judges
What do judges actually do?
· Judges ensure that justice is done and the law is properly
applied
· At the lower levels the main role of judges is to preside over
trials, give guidance to the jury and impose sentences, with
the most serious cases being held in the High Court
· In the higher courts judges are generally concerned with
clarifying the meaning of the law, rather than simply
applying it and can establish legal precedent, i.e. common
law…read more

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Chapter 9 (a)
Judges
Key terms
Criminal law deals with crimes by an individual or group
against the state, e.g. violent behaviour, serious fraud or
burglary; such cases are normally brought by the state
Civil law is concerned with interrelationships between different
individuals and groups, for example, matters such as wills or
contracts; cases are generally brought by individuals rather
than the state…read more

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Chapter 9 (a)
Judges
Common law (sometimes called case law or judge-made law)
is the term for the body of legal precedent resulting from the
rulings of senior judges
Judicial review is the process by which judges review the
actions of public officials or public bodies in order to determine
whether or not they have acted in a manner that is lawful.
Because of parliamentary sovereignty and supremacy of statute
law, judicial review in the UK is generally seen as being less
significant than in the USA, where the US Supreme Court can
strike down regular statutes that are judged to have violated
the US Constitution…read more

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Chapter 9 (a)
Judges
Judicial independence and judicial
neutrality
· Judicial independence is the principle that those in the
judiciary should be free from political control
· Judicial neutrality is where judges operate impartially, i.e.
without personal bias in their administration of justice and is
an essential requirement of the Rule of Law
· A lack of judicial independence will threaten judicial
neutrality, because if judges are subject to external control
their impartiality will be compromised, but it does not
guarantee it…read more

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