The Criminal & Civil Justice

Revision notes on the justice system.

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  • Created on: 29-04-12 15:09
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4. The Criminal and Civil Justice System
Judge A person with considerable legal training who is appointed
to hear cases in a court of law. They hear and try both
criminal and civil cases, depending on the court which he or
she is presiding over.
Crown Prosecution Service An organisation responsible for deciding whether the
police have enough evidence to bring a criminal case to
court. They decide who goes to court or not depending on
the information presented to them.
Magistrate They preside over the first court in the criminal court
system. They are ordinary members of the public who have
no formal legal qualifications, and give their time to the
court voluntarily. They are given some training in court
procedures and advised at all times by the Court Clerk.
Crown Court Deals with criminal cases after they have been through the
Magistrates' Court. The criminal cases tried here are
generally very serious in nature and require a judge and a
jury to decide the verdict. It also hears appeals from
disputed cases that have been dealt with in the
Magistrates' Court.
Supreme Court The highest court in the land.
Criminal Law The part of the law concerned with illegal acts committed
against individuals or society as a whole.
Magistrates Court The first step on the legal ladder for those involved in the
criminal justice system. Over 95% of all criminal cases are
dealt with in this court, which either provides the
necessary prosecution, or refers the case to the Crown
County Court The local part of the civil court system in England and
Wales that deals with all minor cases of civil law. Each
court is presided over by a circuit judge and a district
High Court Deals with more serious cases of civil law including family,
property and business dispute where more than £50 000 is
Solicitor A legal professional who gives advice to their clients
before presenting their case in court. They also carry out
other legal work regarding property, family and civil
matters. Until the last few years they provided details of
their client's case to a barrister, who actually presented

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Barrister They represent individuals in court, and provide them with
specialist legal advice at the request of a solicitor.
Jury A group of randomly selected members of the public (12 in
England and Wales, 15 in Scotland) who are a vital part of
the legal process in the UK. They, have to listen to the
facts of a case and give a verdict on its outcome. They
should all agree on the verdict but if there isn't a
unanimous decision, a majority verdict is acceptable.…read more

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There are lots of laws in Britain, many of which exist to help create a safe and
stable society.
There is a difference between criminal and civil law:
Criminal Law: law that relates to Civil Law: all areas of law that are not criminal, for
behaviour that is not allowed and is example divorce or property law.
generally harmful to individuals or
communities, for example murder.…read more

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County Court - The local part of the civil Most cases heard in the Magistrates Court. Over
court system that deals with all minor cases of 95% of all criminal cases are dealt with in this
civil law. court, which either provides the necessary
prosecution, or refers the case to the Crown
Court.…read more


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