LAW REVISION NOTES

AQA AS LAW : COMPREHENSIVE REVISION NOTES

Sub-Topics Included in this detailed revision pack: 

PARLIAMENTARY LAW-MAKING:

  • Influences on Parliament: The Law Commission | Pressure Groups | Politics | The Media
  • Structure of Parliament: House of Commons | Lords | Monarch
  • The Pre-Legislative Procedure:Green Papers | White Papers
  • Types of Bills: Public | Private Members | Government | Private | Hybrid
  • The Law Making Procedure:Readings | Committee Stage | Lords | Royal Assent
  • Parliamentary Supremacy: The EU | Convention of Human Rights | Devolution

CRIMINAL COURTS:

  • Types of Courts and Appeals: Magistrates Court |Crown | Supreme Court
  • Magistrates: Role | Qualifications | Appointment | Training | Retirement
  • Classification of Offences: Summary | Either Way | Indictable
  • Juries: Role | Qualifications | Disqualification | Deferral | Selection

CIVIL COURTS AND ADR:

  • Court Structure: County | High | Court of Appeal | Supreme | 
  • Track System: Small Claims Track | Fast Track | Multi Track
  • Changes to Structure: Access Justice Act | Woolf Reforms| Civil Procedure Act
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: Negotiation | Mediation | Conciliation | Arbitration 
  • Tribunals: First Tier | Upper Tribunal | Appeal Route | Advantages & Disadvantages 

Created by Ryan Austin: Revision Tsar and Lord of Law

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 1] INFLUENCES ON PARLIAMENT
» THE LAW COMMISSION
WHAT IS THE LAW COMMISSION
An independent law reform body set up under the Law Commission Act of 1965
68% of its recommendations have been enacted by previous parliaments
Government funded. Has an annual budget of £4 million
WHO OPERATES THE COMMISSION
Headed by 5 Law Commissioners, one of whom is the Chairman
The Commissioners are appointed by the Ministry of Justice
The Chairman is a High Court Judge and the others are experienced lawyers or academics
They are supported by a team of barristers, solicitors, drafts men, researchers and administrators
WHAT DOES IT DO
To keep under review all the law
To codify, repeal, consolidate, simplify and modernise the law
To ensure that the law is as fair, modern, simple and as cost-effective as possible
To conduct research and consultations, eliminate anomalies, repeal obsolete and unnecessary
enactments and reduce the number of separate statutes.
Education Act 1996: Consolidation
Land Registration Act 2002: Simplified the method in which land is bought
Abolition of The Year and a Day Rule: Appeal of old common law concerning injury
THE PROCEDURE OF THE LAW COMMISSION
The Lord Chancellor decides on what the Civil Research Team will research and on what the criteria
is. He will take views from Judges, Lawyers, Government Departments and the Public to decide what
areas of law need to be reformed and researched on
The Commission can select areas its self but needs government approval before drafting a report
Research > Working Paper > Consultation > Amendments made > Final Report
Looks at the area of law that needs to be changed, amended, simplified etc
The commission then researchers the area of law
consultation paper issued to gather view from stakeholders in that area of law, may be government
departments, voluntary organisations or the general public
Report with draft bill attached then stating current problems, options and proposals
ADVANTAGES OF THE LAW COMMISSION
Legal Expertise: Demonstrated by the highly qualified commissioners and teams of researchers
Non-Political: Independent body with no political association
Well Researched: Lots of time, detail and exertion is paid towards for each recommendation
Influenced: The government or other organisations can suggest research areas
Time: Parliament don't have the time to research, repeal and codify law
Consults: Records and basses its research upon public opinion
Scrutinise: The Commission studies old law and determines whether to repeal it
DISADVANTAGES OF THE LAW COMMISSION
Not Obliged: The government does not by law need to implement any recommendations
Political Agenda: Governments fail to implement due to a political party agenda
Lack of Power: The government does not need to consult with the Commission over any Gov law
Takes Time: It can take a considerable amount of time to research and consult on areas of law
Not Thorough: The Commission investigates often 20 or 30 areas a time
Change of Final Act: Parliament can change the wording in the bill during the procedure

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» PRESSURE GROUPS
WHAT ARE PRESSURE GROUPS
Are collective groups of individuals who campaign for reform in the law
Employ a range of influencing tactics such as lobbying MP's, marches, petitions and demonstrations
SECTIONAL GROUPS
Interest groups which represent and further the interests of a particular group within society
National Farmers Union: Represents the interests of British Farmers and agriculturists
British Medical Associate: Represents the views of the medical profession
The Law Society: Compromises…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» MEDIA
WHAT DOES THE MEDIA DO
Represent public opinion in order to make a profit through sales
Transmit opinion and serve as a channel of communication leading to information flow
The media is print (Newspapers), New Media, online (Blogs), Radio and television
News of The World Name and Shame: campaign in 2000. Listed convicted paedophiles in issues
of papers in order to pressurise the government to act.…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 2] STRUCTURE OF PARLIAMENT
House of Commons: Democratically elected MP's
House of Lords: Appointed experts chosen by Monarch by recommendation of the Prime Minster
Monarch: Hereditary member of the Royal Family
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS (THE LOWER CHAMBER/HOUSE)
Compromises of approximately 650 MP's who each represent a single constituency
MP's are chosen during a general election that occurs on average every 5 years
The largest (Majority) party in the House of Commons…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 4] TYPES OF BILLS
Public Bills are divided into Government Bills and Private Members Bills
Government Bills: Introduced to the parliamentary procedure by a government minister on behalf of
their department. Usually become enacted as the bill is supported by the governing party
Access to Justice Act 1999 | Terrorism Act 2000 | Constitutional Reform Act 2005
Private Members Bill: Bills introduced by individual private members of the House or backbenchers.…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
ADVANTAGES OF THE PARLIAMENTARY LAW MAKING PROCEDURE
Scrutiny: Thorough procedure. Lots of opportunities to debate, discuss and examine the bill. This
leads to detailed scrutiny, ambiguity being filtered out and thus a perfected bill. Poor drafting corrected
Democratic: Democratically elected officials and thus claim legitimacy and a mandate to be part of
the legislative procedure.…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 6] PARLIAMENTARY SUPREMACY
AV Dicey 19th Century Constitutional Lawyer 1885: The principle of parliamentary supremacy:
Parliament has the right to make or unmake any law whatever
No person or body is recognised as having the right to override or set aside parliaments legislation
Parliaments power is unlimited
Parliaments Law can not be questioned
Impossible to entrench an act of parliament and bind successive parliaments
THE EUROPEAN UNION
European Communities Act 1972
In…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 1] CRIMINAL COURTS: THE MAGISTRATES COURT
400 Courts in England and Wales
97% of the cases dealt with are criminal cases
Cases Heard by Magistrates (Or Lay Justices or Justices of the Peace)
Geographical jurisdiction
Try all summary offences
Try triable either way
Hear preliminary hearings for crown court
Bail applications and warrants for search and arrest
Try cases in youth court for 10 to 17 year old
APPEALS TO THE CROWN…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
» [PART 3] MAJISTRATES
Also known as Justices of the Peace
29,000 lay Magistrates
1 million cases heard by Magistrates
Approximately 97% of criminal cases dealt with by Magistrates
Sit in a bench of three with a Chairman and two wingmen
Serve 26 half days a year or 13 full days
St in the crown court with a judge to hear appeal cases
Assisted by the Justices Clerk in the court
Part-time and unpaid…read more

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AS AQA LAW UNIT 1 REVISION NOTES: CREATED BY RYAN AUSTIN
TRAINING OF MAJISTRATES
Judicial Studies Board Magistrates Area Training committee
Court Service and JSB set out a document each year listing minimum magistrate training
Three days of training: A weekend residential. Induction. Reading. Workshops and presentations
Three court observations
A visit to a prison and young offenders institute
Will then become a wingmen at court hearings
After a year consolidation training for two days
New magistrates are given a mentor.…read more

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