- first instance
- family matters
- unpaid council tax, charges for water, gas and electricity
- Heard by a District Judge
- First Instance
- Contract, Tort eg. negligence, bankruptcy, property
- Heard by a Circuit Judge
- First instance- 3 divisions
- OBD- Contract, Tort
- Family- family, divorce, chidren, financial claims, adoption and care
- Chancery- partnerships, company laws, wills, trusts
- Heard by a High Court Judge
- Appeals- 3 divisions
- OBD- criminal appeals- judicial review
- Family- appeals from Magistrates' and county courts
- Chancery- appeals, bankruptcy- from county court
The Court of Appeal Civil Division
- Appellate Jurisdiction- civil matters from County Court, High Court and Employment Tribunals
- 35 Lord Justices of Appeal, led by the masters of the Rolls
- 3-5 Judges hear an appeal, which requires leave to appeal from trial judge or Appeal Court to be heard.
The Supreme Court
- Appellate Jurisdiction- final court of appeal for England and Wales
- Hear appeals on civil matters from CofA
- Also leapfrog from High Court. About 200 cases per year.
- 12 justices of the Supreme Court
- 3-5 Judges hear the appeal which requires leave to appeal from appeal court or Supreme Court
- must be a matter of public importance
The European Court of Justice
- Under A234 of Treaty of Rome 1957 an English Court can refer a point of European Law to the ECJ
- ECJ's decision is binding but must be applied by the English Court
You first need to fill out a claims form for your claim.
The small claims track- in the county court. Cases below £5,000 (or 1000 if personal injury or housing/ parties encouraged to represent themselves & no legal aids costs available. The district Judge is informal and flexible in his approach.
The fast track- in the county court. Cases between £5-25k, although lower limit if housing or personal injury. Heard within a day by a Circuit Judge, with a strict timetable imposed (below 30 weeks).
The multi track- in the county court. Cases between £25-50k and straight-forward law. Personal injury cases will be heard in the County Court up to £50k. Heard by Circuit Judges.
In the High Court. Cases between £25-50k and complex law. Above £50k must be in the High Court and Defmation must be in the High Court. Heard by High Court Judges.
- Most simple form of ADR
- Informal negotiation- a discussion conducted by the disputing parties
- Communication by; face to face discussion, letter, telephone, email.
- Can however alternatively be carried out through the parties lawyers.
- Parties reach a compromise and decide the level of damages or other remedy themselves. Not legally binding (in court they would be bound by Judges decision)
- General examples, Domestic Disputes such as neighbour disagreements and Commercial disputes between businesses.
- A mediator is a independent third party
- Encourages parties to reach a compromise and settle the dispute themselves
- The mediator's skills help the parties involved in the dispute to move away from who is right or wrong; but to working out how they can resolve the problem. Acts as a neutral go between
- Doesn't Judge the case
- Not legally binding
- Shuttle mediation don't need to meet face to face
- General examples of businesses who carry out the service, Centre for effective dispute resolution and West Kent mediation service
- Concilator meets parties seperately
- Identifies the issues tries to the parties to understand each other position
- Concilator may find a solution no one thought of
- He will encourage them to come to a compromise but he will give his opinion and uggest a solution
- Commercial mediation- employment disputes eg. sex discrimination
- The Advisory, Concilation and Arbitation Service provides a concilation service
- It is voluntary and both parties must agree
- Not legally binding
- Arbitration governed by The Arbitration Act, Arbitator must fairly and impartially, Arbitrator determines the procedure.
- Arbitrator, independent 3rd party- resolves disputes by makinga legally binding decision
- Arbitration Clause- included in business contracts state that disputes must be settled by Arbitration
- 1 arbitrator or a panel 2/3- parties choose who and number
- The arbitrator is an expert in relevant subject matter
- Commercial disputes eg. Arbitration arranged bu Chattered Institute of Arbitrators [CIA] for Bristish Telecom and ABTA for Holiday disputes
- Arbitration hearing parties meet together- can be represented by lawyers
- Informal- by post, evidence form, photos etc- a bundle
- Arbitrators are paid by losing party
- Appeals on grounds that no reasonable arbitrator would have reached that decision- through the CIA
- Similar function as courts
- Th tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, provides a new structure
- Each tribunal is called a chamber within the standardised system. Each chamber has its own president
- Provides a 2 tier system, provides for appeals
- Longstanding tribunals will remain outside the new system eg Employment
- Judge and 2 experts in the subject matter
- Different Tribbunals for a particular type of disputes- hs it own procedures and rules of evidence.
- Tribunals specialise in one area
- 70 types
- Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council- supervise and review them
- carried out in private
- Deals with on types of dispute eg. Employment Tribunal, Land, In house
- Relatively formal some informal
- Parites legally represented
- Legally binding decision
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of negotiation, mediation and conciliation
- Cheaper than court trial. No lawyers are needed so cheaper compared to the court trial.
- Ouick compared to courts- courts are extremely busy with resultant delays.
- Non confrontational- can allow relationships to continue. Avoids the adversarial nature of court.
- Specialists- service provided by specialists trained in facilitating the resolution to problems- mediation and conciliation
Disadvantages of negotiation, mediation and conciliation
- Not legally binding- parties must be prepared to uphold their agreement. If a party breaks the agreement it cannot be enforced.
- Mediation, negotiation and conciliation is not likely to be successful if the parties aren't willing to compromise.
- Relies on the parties abiding by the settlement
- Sometimes one party is stronger- might be liable to intimidation
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of arbitration, tribunals and courts
- Legal expertise and experience of the Judge- paries should have confidence in the decision
- Some cases are publically funded eg. divorce and legal costs can be awarded- promotes access to justice.
- Remedies are useful eg. damages, injunctions. Can be legally enforceable
- Appeals- available if a party thinks the decision is flawed
Disadvantages of arbitration, tribunals and courts
- Judges lacks specialist technical knowledge
- Delays are common, lengthy- big workload of the court can be avoided in arbitration and tribunals.
- Inflexible procedure- precedent
- Expensive- costs of lawyers and legal procedures
- Can cause negative publicity.