English Legal System

  • Created by: Han11
  • Created on: 19-06-19 15:38

Civil courts = 

County Court –

Does not exceed £100,000. £50,000 for personal injury. 

High court –

More than £100,000. More than £50,000 for personal injury.

Pre-trial procedures -  

List of things parties must do before the case is heard,

can admit the claim + pay or submit a defence within 14 days, if fail to do this   claimant apply for court order. 

Three tracks –

·     Small claims track, under £10,000 District judge £1,000 personal injury cannot claim legal costs heard in private. 

·     Fast track, £10,000 to £25,000, circuit judge, limited 1 day and 1 expert witness, usually in open court. 

·     Multi track, complex cases £25,000 plus managed by single judge. 

Appeals – 

·     Case heard district judge county court ®  circuit judge county court ®court of appeal civil division. 

·     Case heard circuit judge county court ®high court ®court of appeal civil division. 

·     High court ®Court of appeal ®Supreme court. 

·     High court ®Supreme court, leapfrog appeal on issue of national importance. 

Evaluation –

·     Advantages, fair impartial judge legal expert decides, appeal process, ‘legal aid’ possibility, enforcement is easier/stronger. 

·     Disadvantages, Legal costs more than the claim, Delays on a lot of procedure, Complicated if no legal training, uncertain outcome / costs. 


Tribunals = 

First tier tribunal –

Split into 7 chambers, e.g. Taxation, armed forces compensation, asylum and immigration. 

Upper tribunal –

4 chambers, appeals from first tier tribunal, possible appeal to court of appeal. 

Evaluation –

·     Advantages, Cheaper than court, quicker dealt with in a day, more informal than court, use of experts.

·     Disadvantages, Legal aid rarely available, more formal ADR, can be a delay. 

Alternative dispute resolution = 

Negotiation –

Resolve dispute by directly negotiating with the other party. 

Evaluation –

·     Advantages, Cheaper than court, more convenient for the parties, done in private. 

·     Disadvantages, imbalance of power, parties might not reach an agreement. 

Mediation –

Neutral mediator helps parties reach a solution. Commercial mediation service e.g. Centre for effective dispute resolution. 

Conciliation –

Neutral third party helps to resolve dispute. Conciliator plays more active role by coming up with suggestions. 

Evaluation –

·     Advantages, Parties are in control, decision based on compromise, makes it easier for businesses to do business in future. 

·     Disadvantages, no guarantee will be resolved. 

Arbitration –

Arbitration Act 1996. Voluntary submission by the parties of their dispute to the judgment of some person other than a judge, usually in writing. Commercial contracts include Scott v Avery clause, contract between two parties that will submit any difference between them before taking court action. 

Evaluation –

·     Advantages, Dispute resolved quicker than in court, decision is legally binding. 

·     Disadvantages, professional arbitrators expensive, rights appeal limited, delays international arbitration. 

Online dispute resolution = 

eBay –

Parties agree negotiation, money back guarantee. 

Resolver –

Links to complaints…


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