civil courts

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  • Created on: 12-11-11 22:46

The civil courts

Civil or criminal?

                The laws that have developed in the English legal system can be divided between civil and criminal laws and often separate courts are responsible for civil and criminal matters.

The civil justice system

                The civil justice system is designed to sort out disputes between individuals or organisations. The burden of proof is usually on the claimant, who must prove his or her case on a balance of probabilities. Major reforms were introduced following Lord Woolf’s report, Access to Justice, which was published in 1996.

The civil courts

                There are 2 main civil courts which hear civil cases at first (1st) instance. These are the County courts and the High court. The county courts hear the cases where less money is involved, whereas the High Court hears the bigger financial cases.

Dealing with cases “justly”

                The 1st rule of the new Civil Procedure Rules lays down an overriding objective which is to underpin the whole system. This overriding objective is that the rules should enable the courts to deal with cases “justly”.

Civil procedure

                Almost all proceedings start with the same document, called a claim form. If the defendant files a defence, the court will serve an allocation questionnaire


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