Foundations of Law- Introduction to the English Legal System

Constitutional Doctrines and the English Legal System: Separation of powers
The primary Functions of state shouldn't be carried out by the same body
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Parliamentary Sovereignty
Only Parliament can enact legislation and is superior to all other sources of law
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Judiciary Independence
The Executive are prevented from trying to influence the judiciary
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Rule of Law
No one is above the law, all must act within it
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What must we always question about the law?
WHY it develops and what that means for the future
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How are criminal cases written/ spoken?
R v Taylor= The Crown against Taylor, or just 'Taylor'
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How are Civil cases written/ spoken?
Smith v Jones= Smith and Jones
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Common Law and Civil Law
Distinct legal systems. Common Law systems are those which have adopted the English Legal System e.g. USA. Civil Law system= a system derived from Roman Law and tends to be codified in abstract form e.g. most European countries
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Common Law and Equity
Common Law= The law applied to all people over a period of many years after the Norman Conquest. Equity= People who couldn't follow the procedures would be denied justice, apply to the Sovereign for a remedy. This eventually became a Court of Equity.
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Common Law and Statute Law
Common Law= judge made. Statute Law= established by parliament through legislation.
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Public and Private Law
Public Law= addressed to public bodies. Private Law= regarding ordinary citizens
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Civil and Criminal Law
Civil Law= individuals can assert claims against other individuals. Criminal Law= an aspect of public law concerning conduct. In a criminal case the defendant must be found guilty by proof beyond reasonable doubt. Civil case= balance of probabilities
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Which are the Criminal Courts? (Magistrate)
Magistrates- deal with 96% of cases. Summary offences e.g. Drunk and disorderly, or Indictable offences e.g.theft, simple to to M, expensive go to Crown.
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Which are the Criminal Courts? (Crown)
Crown- Has jury, M doesnt. Deals with indictable offences e.g. large scale theft. Also offences tried on Indictment e.g. murder, ****) (then goes to QBD of high court, CA, SC)
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What is the court for Civil cases?
County Courts- deal with less complex cases e.g. Contract, Torts, some family law, debts. (HC, CA, SC, CJEU)
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Some facts about the Supreme Court?
Has 2 courts of appeal- civil and criminal divisions. Is the most important court in the country but deals with least cases due to filter- the cases of the SC usually deal with general public dispute- might change the law.
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Who is who in the European context?
1. Council of Europe 2. The European Court of Human Rights 3. The EU
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Explain the Council of Europe?
1947- set up to protect human rights. Separate from EU. Enacted European Convention of HR.
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Explain the European Court of Human Rights?
Estab. by Council of Europe to enforce rights of the European Convention of Human Rights.
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Explain the main purpose of the European Union?
The promote greater social, political and economic harmony among western Europe. EU reasons that nations whose economies are independent are less likely to engage in conflict.
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What are the principles of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty and EU Law?
1. The UK Constitutional Principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty- The UK Parliament is the highest legislative body. May enact any law it sees fit, providing future parliaments are not bound. No other body may overrule it.
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2. The Principle of Supremacy of EU Law- Provides that where EU law and national law conflict.
3. Maintenance of the UK Doctrine- in theory, maintained by the argument that Parliament may repeal the European Communities Act at anytime, thus removing need to comply with EU law.
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Card 2

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Parliamentary Sovereignty

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Only Parliament can enact legislation and is superior to all other sources of law

Card 3

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Judiciary Independence

Back

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Card 4

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Rule of Law

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What must we always question about the law?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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