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Encyclopedia > Courts of England and Wales

Law of England and Wales

This article is part of the series:
Courts of England and Wales English law is a formal term of art that describes the law for the time being in force in England and Wales. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_England. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Wales_2. ...

Administration

Ministry of Justice
Secretary of State for Justice
Her Majesty's Courts Service

Civil courts The Ministry of Justice is a department of the government of the United Kingdom, reorganized from the former Department for Constitutional Affairs. ... The Secretary of State for Justice is a United Kingdom cabinet position. ... Her Majestys Courts Service is an amalgamation of the Magistrates Courts Service and the Court Service. ...

Privy Council
House of Lords
Lords of Appeal in Ordinary
Court of Appeal
Master of the Rolls
Lord Justice of Appeal
High Court of Justice
Chancellor of the High Court
President of the Queen's Bench
President of the Family Division
High Court judge
County Courts
County Court Bulk Centre
District Judge

Criminal courts The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... The Master of the Rolls is the third most senior judge of England, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain traditionally being first and the Lord Chief Justice second. ... The Lords Justices of Appeal (Judges of the Court of Appeal) of England and Wales: The Rt Hon. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (usually known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales (which under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, is to be known as the... The Chancellor of the High Court is the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ... The President of the Queens Bench Division is the head of the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. ... Sir Mark Howard ... A judge or justice is an appointed or elected official who presides over a court. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... The County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC) is a County Court in England & Wales created to deal with claims by the use of various electronic media. ... There are various levels of judiciary in England and Wales — different types of courts have different styles of judges. ...

House of Lords
Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Court of Appeal
Lord Chief Justice
Lord Justice of Appeal
High Court of Justice
President of the Queen's Bench
High Court judge
Crown Court
Circuit Judge
Recorder
Magistrates' Court
District Judge
Justice of the Peace

Criminal justice The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are Life peers entrusted since the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 with carrying out the judicial functions of the House of Lords. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales was, historically, the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor. ... The Lords Justices of Appeal (Judges of the Court of Appeal) of England and Wales: The Rt Hon. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (usually known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales (which under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, is to be known as the... The President of the Queens Bench Division is the head of the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. ... A judge or justice is an appointed or elected official who presides over a court. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... A Circuit judge is a position in British Law, in which a Judge moves to different Crown Courts within a certain area. ... A Recorder is a barrister or solicitor of 10 years standing who serves as a part-time Crown court judge. ... This article is about Magistrates Courts in England and Wales. ... A federal judge is a judge appointed in accordance with Article III of the United States Constitution. ... A justice of the peace (JP) is a puisne judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. ...

Attorney General
Director of Public Prosecutions
Crown Prosecution Service

Barristers and solicitors Her Majestys Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales. ... The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world. ... The Crown Prosecution Service, or CPS, is a non-ministerial department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for public prosecutions of people charged with criminal offences in England and Wales. ...

Bar Council
Barrister
Law Society of England and Wales
Solicitor
Solicitor Advocate
Schematic of court system for England and Wales
Schematic of court system for England and Wales

The Courts of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they are constituted and governed by the Law of England and Wales and are subordinate to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. A bar council in a Commonwealth country is a professional body that regulates the profession of barristers together with the Inns of Court. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that represents the solicitors profession in England and Wales. ... A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but not the United States (in the United States the word has a quite different meaning—see below). ... A Solicitor Advocate is a solicitor who is qualified to represent clients as an advocate in the higher courts in England and Wales or Scotland. ... Outline of English courts system - this is the copyright work of A N Cutler which has been released into the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Outline of English courts system - this is the copyright work of A N Cutler which has been released into the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... In the common law, civil law refers to the area of law governing relations between private individuals. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... This article is about the concept of justice. ... English law, the law of England and Wales (but not Scotland and Northern Ireland) is considered by some to be one of Britains great gifts to the world. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats...


The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. There are exceptions to this rule; for example in immigration law, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal's jurisdiction covers the whole of the United Kingdom, while in employment law there is a single system of Employment Tribunals for England, Wales, and Scotland (but not Northern Ireland). The Courts of Scotland are the civil, criminal and heraldic courts responsible for the administration of justice in Scotland. ... The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system — England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... Nationality law is the branch of a countrys legal system wherein legislation, custom and court precendent combine to define the ways in which that countrys nationality and citizenship are transmitted, acquired or lost. ... The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal(AIT) is a tribunal constituted in the United Kingdom with jurisdiction to hear appeals from many immigration decisions. ... Employment law is the branch of the law that deals with employment related issues. ... Employment Tribunals are inferior courts in Great Britain which have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees. ...


The Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court, the Magistrates' Courts, the County Courts are administered by Her Majesty's Courts Service. Her Majestys Courts Service is an amalgamation of the Magistrates Courts Service and the Court Service. ...

Contents

House of Lords

The House of Lords is the highest appeal court in almost all cases in England and Wales. In practice, only the Law Lords hear the appeals. Its judicial functions were abolished by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, but an election was held before the act came into force, and the new Parliament passed the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875 which amended the first Act to preserve the House of Lords' judicial function. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 will transfer these functions to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The House is also the court of trial in impeachment cases, although impeachment in England is now obsolete. The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... The Judicature Act 1873 was an Act of Parliament by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1873. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats... The Judicature Acts are two Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom, the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 (36 & 37 Vict. ... The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2005 c. ... The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will be created under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to take over the judicial functions of the Law Lords in the House of Lords and from the Judicial committee of the Privy Council. ... Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ...


Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The Privy Council is the highest court of appeal in a handful of areas of law, only accessible by those of Her Majesty's Dominions. It is widely known as The House of Lords "wearing a different wig" as it were. (see article for details). They are composed of the same members. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ... This is a page about Dominions of the British Empire/Commonwealth. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ...


Supreme Court of England and Wales

The Supreme Court of England and Wales (until 1981, the Supreme Court of Judicature) is the most important superior court of England and Wales. It consists of the following courts: Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ...

When all the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 come into force the courts comprised in the present Supreme Court of England and Wales will become known as the Senior Courts of England and Wales. This change is being made consequent to the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by that Act. Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2005 c. ... The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will be created under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to take over the judicial functions of the Law Lords in the House of Lords and from the Judicial committee of the Privy Council. ...


Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal consists of two divisions: the Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court and County Court and certain superior tribunals, while the Criminal Division may only hear appeals from the Crown Court connected with a trial on indictment (i.e. trial by judge and jury (the jury is only present if the defendant pleads "not guilty")). Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ...


High Court

Main article: High Court of Justice

The High Court of Justice functions both as a civil court of first instance and a criminal appellate court for cases from the subordinate courts. It consists of three divisions: the Queen's Bench, the Chancery and the Family divisions. The divisions of the High Court are not separate courts. Although particular kinds of cases will be assigned to each division depending on their subject matter, each division may exercise the jurisdiction of the High Court. However, beginning proceedings in the wrong division may result in a costs penalty. Her Majestys High Court of Justice (usually known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales (which under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, is to be known as the... A trial court or court of first instance is the court in which most civil or criminal cases begin. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Appeal. ...


Crown Court

The Crown Court is a criminal court of both original and appellate jurisdiction which in addition handles a limited amount of civil business both at first instance and on appeal. It was established by the Courts Act of 1971. It replaced the Assizes whereby High Court judges would periodically travel around the country hearing cases, and Quarter Sessions which were periodic county courts. The Old Bailey is the unofficial name of London's most famous Criminal Court, which is now part of the Crown Court. Its official name is the "Central Criminal Court". The Crown Court also hears appeals from Magistrates' Courts. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1760x1168, 380 KB) Summary Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1760x1168, 380 KB) Summary Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... The Courts Act 1971 is a UK Act of Parliament reforming and modernising the courts system. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... The Courts of Assize, or Assizes, is the name of criminal courts in several countries. ... The Courts of Quarter Sessions or Quarter Sessions were periodic courts held in each county and county borough in England and Wales until 1972, when together with the Assize courts they were abolished by the Courts Act 1971 and replaced by a single permanent Crown Court of England and Wales. ... The Old Bailey by Mountford (1907) The Central Criminal Court, commonly known as The Old Bailey (a bailey being part of a castle), is a Crown Court (criminal high court) in London, dealing with major criminal cases in the UK. It stands on the site of the mediaeval Newgate Gaol... This article is about Magistrates Courts in England and Wales. ...


The Crown Court is only a superior court in connection with its jurisdiction to hear trials on indictment. In other cases, such as when hearing an appeal from a Magistrates' Court or exercising civil jurisdiction, it is an inferior court and may be subject to judicial review. Judicial review is the power of a court to review the actions of public sector bodies in terms of their constitutionality. ...


Subordinate courts

The most common subordinate courts in England and Wales are the

This article is about Magistrates Courts in England and Wales. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Family Proceedings Court (FPC) is the name given to the Magistrates’ Court when members of the family panel sit to hear a family case. ... Teen courts are authorized by law in many United States to provide an alternative disposition for juveniles who have committed a delinquent act and are otherwise eligible for diversion. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ...

Magistrates', Family Proceedings and Youth Courts

Magistrates' Courts are presided over by a bench of lay magistrates (or justices of the peace), or a legally-trained district judge (formerly known as a stipendiary magistrate), sitting in each local justice area. There are no juries. They hear minor criminal cases, as well as certain licensing applications. Youth courts are run on similar lines to Adult magistrates' courts but deal with offenders aged between the ages of 10 and 17 inclusive. Youth courts are presided over by a specially trained subset of experienced Adult Magistrates or a District Judge. Youth Magistrates have a wider catalogue of disposals available to them for dealing with young offenders and often hear more serious cases against youths (which for adults would normally be dealt with by the Crown Court). In addition some Magistrates' Courts are also a Family Proceedings Court and hear Family law cases including care cases and they have the power to make adoption orders. Family Proceedings Courts are not open to the public. The Family Proceedings Court Rules 1991 apply to cases in the Family Proceedings Court. Youth courts are not open to the public for observation, only the parties involved in a case being admitted. Local justice areas are units in England and Wales established by the Courts Act 2003, replacing and directly based on the previous petty sessions areas. ... For jury meaning makeshift, see jury rig. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Family Proceedings Court (FPC) is the name given to the Magistrates’ Court when members of the family panel sit to hear a family case. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The Family Proceedings Court (FPC) is the name given to the Magistrates’ Court when members of the family panel sit to hear a family case. ...


County Courts

County Courts are statutory courts with a purely civil jurisdiction. They are presided over by either a District or Circuit Judge and, except in a small minority of cases such as civil actions against the Police, the judge sits alone as trier of fact and law without assistance from a jury.


County Courts are local courts in the sense that each one has an area over which certain kinds of jurisdiction -- mostly actions concerning land -- are exercised. For example, proceedings for possession of land must be started in the county court in whose district the property lies. However, in general any county court in England and Wales may hear any action and claims are frequently transferred from court to court.


Special courts and tribunals

In addition, there are many other specialist courts. These are often described as "Tribunals" rather than courts, but the difference in name is not of any great consequence. For example an Employment Tribunal is an inferior court of record for the purposes of the law of contempt of court. In many cases there is a statutory right of appeal from a tribunal to a particular court or specially constituted appellate tribunal. In the absence of a specific appeals court, the only remedy from a decision of a Tribunal may be a judicial review to the High Court, which will often be more limited in scope than an appeal. Employment Tribunals are inferior courts in Great Britain which have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees. ... Contempt of court is a court ruling which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, deems an individual as holding contempt for the court, its process, and its invested powers. ...


Examples of specialist courts are:

  • Employment Tribunals (formerly Industrial Tribunals) with appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal
  • the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which is a superior court of record, and therefore not subject to judicial review, appeals go to the Court of Appeal
  • Leasehold Valuation Tribunals, with appeal to the Lands Tribunal
  • the Lands Tribunal
  • VAT and Duties Tribunals (who deal with indirect tax cases)
  • the General Commissioners and Special Commissioners (who deal with direct tax cases)
  • Rent assessment committees

Employment Tribunals are inferior courts in Great Britain which have statutory jurisdiction to hear many kinds of disputes between employers and employees. ... The Employment Appeal Tribunal is a superior court of record in Great Britain. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... The term indirect tax has more than one meaning. ... Tax rates around the world Tax revenue as % of GDP Economic policy Monetary policy Central bank   Money supply Fiscal policy Spending   Deficit   Debt Trade policy Tariff   Trade agreement Finance Financial market Financial market participants Corporate   Personal Public   Banking   Regulation        The term direct tax has more than one meaning: a colloquial... A rent assessment committee is a tribunal in England and Wales set up under the rent acts[1] whose main task is to assess fair and market rents of properties referred to it. ...

Coroners' courts

The post of coroner is ancient, dating from the 11th Century, and coroners still sit today to determine the cause of death in situations where people have died in potentially suspicious circumstances, abroad, or in the care of central authority. Coroners no longer sit in judgement of Treasure Trove cases, following the passing of the Treasure Act 1996. A coroner is either the presiding officer of a special court, a medical officer, or an officer of law responsible for investigating deaths, particularly those happening under unusual circumstances. ... A treasure-trove is gold, silver, gems, money, jewellery, etc found hidden under ground or in cellar or attics, etc. ... The Treasure Act of 1996 is an Act of Parliament designed to deal with finds of treasure in the United Kingdom. ...


Ecclesiastical courts

The Church of England is an established church (i.e.. it is the official state church) and formerly had exclusive or non-exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over marriage and divorce cases, testamentary matters, defamation, and several other areas. Since the nineteenth century, the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts has narrowed principally to matters of church property and errant clergy. Each Diocese has a 'Chancellor' (either a barrister or solicitor) who acts as a judge in the consistory court of the diocese. The Bishop no longer has the right to preside personally, as he formerly did.[citation needed] Appeals lie to the Arches Court (in Canterbury) and the Chancery Court (in York), and from them to the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved (CECR). From the CECR appeals lie to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Church of England logo since 1998 The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation. ... An ecclesiastical court (also called Court Christian) is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but not the United States (in the United States the word has a quite different meaning—see below). ... The consistory is a type of Ecclesiastical court. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      This article is about a title... The Arches Court, presided over by the Dean of Arches is an ecclesiastical court of the Church of England covering the Province of Canterbury. ... The Chancery Court of York is an ecclesiastical court for the Province of York of the Church of England. ... An appellate court of the Church of England. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ...


Other courts

A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... Admiralty courts, also known as maritime courts, are courts exercising jurisdiction over all maritime contracts, torts, injuries and offences. ... The Court of Chivalry is a civil court in England. ... The Star Chamber (Latin Camera stellata) was an English court of law at the royal Palace of Westminster that sat between 1487 and 1641, when the court itself was abolished. ... In England, a Court of Piepowders was a special tribunal organised by a borough on the occasion of a fair or market. ... ... The Barmote Court (also written Bergjisote, Barghmote, Bargemote and Barmoot) is a court held in the lead mining districts of Derbyshire, England, for the purpose of determining the customs peculiar to the industry and also for the settlements of any disputes which may arise in connection therewith. ... In the legal system of Courts of England and Wales, the Patents County Court (PCC) in London is an alternative venue to the Patents Court of the High Court for bringing legal cases involving certain matters concerning patents, registered designs and, more recently, trade marks, including Community trade marks and...

Criminal cases

There are two kinds of criminal trial: 'summary' and 'on indictment'. For an adult, summary trials take place in a magistrates' court, while trials on indictment take place in the Crown Court. Despite the possibility of two venues for trial, almost all criminal cases, however serious, commence in the Magistrates' Courts. It is possible to start a trial for an indictable offence by a voluntary bill of indictment, and go directly to the Crown Court, but that would be unusual. This article is about Magistrates Courts in England and Wales. ... In many common law jurisdictions (e. ...


A criminal case that starts in the Magistrates' Court, may begin, either by the defendant being charged and then being brought forcibly before Magistrates, or by summons to the defendant to appear on a certain day before the Magistrates. A summons is usually confined to very minor offences. The hearing (of the charge or summons) before the Magistrates is known as a "first appearance".


Offences are of three categories: indictable only, summary and either way. Indictable only offences such as murder and rape must be tried on indictment in the Crown Court. On first appearance, the Magistrates must immediately refer the defendant to the Crown Court for trial, their only role being to decide whether to remand the defendant on bail or in custody.


Summary offences, such as most motoring offences, are much less serious and most must be tried in the Magistrates' Court, although a few may be sent for trial to the Crown Court along with other offences that may be tried there (for example assault). The vast majority of offences are also concluded in the Magistrates' Court (over 90% of cases).


Either way offences are intermediate offences such as theft and, with the exception of low value criminal damage, may be tried either summarily (by magistrates) or by Judge and Jury in the Crown Court. If the magistrates consider that an either way offence is too serious for them to deal with, they may "decline jurisdiction" which means that the defendant will have to appear in the Crown Court. Conversely even if the magistrates accept jurisdiction, an adult defendant has a right to compel a jury trial. Defendants under 18 years of age do not have this right and will be tried in the Youth Court (similar to a Magistrates' Court) unless the case is homicide or else is particularly serious.


A Magistrates' Court is made up in two ways. Either a group (known as a 'bench') of 'lay magistrates', who do not have to be, and are not normally, lawyers, will hear the case. A lay bench must consist of at least three magistrates. Alternatively a case may be heard by a district judge (formerly known as a stipendiary magistrate), who will be a qualified lawyer and will sit singly, but has the same powers as a lay bench. District judges usually sit in the more busy courts in cities or hear complex cases (eg extradition). Magistrates have limited sentencing powers.


In the Crown Court, the case is tried by a Recorder (part time judge), Circuit Judge or a High Court judge, with a jury. The status of the judge depends on the seriousness and complexity of the case. The jury is involved only if the defendant pleads "not guilty". Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... A Circuit judge is a position in British Law, in which a Judge moves to different Crown Courts within a certain area. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ...


Appeals

From the Magistrates' Court, an appeal can be taken to the Crown Court on matters of fact and law or, on matters of law alone, to the Divisional Court of Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, which is called an appeal "by way of case stated". The Magistrates' Court is also an inferior court and is therefore subject to judicial review. Judicial review is the power of a court to review the actions of public sector bodies in terms of their constitutionality. ...


The Crown Court is more complicated. When it is hearing a trial on indictment (a jury trial) it is treated as a superior court, which means that its decisions may not be judicially reviewed and appeal only lies to the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ...


In other circumstances (for example when acting as an appeal court from a Magistrates' Court) the Crown Court is an inferior court, which means that it is subject to judicial review. When acting as an inferior court, appeals by way of case stated on matters of law may be made to the Divisional Court of Queen's Bench Division of the High Court.


Appeals from the High Court, in criminal matters, may only go to the House of Lords. Appeals from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) may also only be taken to the House of Lords.


Appeals to the House of Lords are unusual in that the court from which appeal is being made (either the High Court or the Court of Appeal) must certify that there is a question of general public importance. This additional control mechanism is not present with civil appeals and means that far fewer criminal appeals are heard by the House of Lords.


Civil cases

Under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, civil claims under £5,000 are dealt with in the County Court under the 'Small Claims Track'. This is generally known to the lay public as the 'Small Claims Court' but does not exist as a separate court. Claims between £5,000 and £15,000 that are capable of being tried within one day are allocated to the 'Fast Track' and claims over £15,000 to the 'Multi Track'. These 'tracks' are labels for the use of the court system - the actual cases will be heard in the County Court or the High Court depending on their value. The Civil Procedure Rules 1998 came into force in England & Wales on 26 April 1999, largely replacing and significantly overhauling the previous Rules of the Supreme Court (applicable to the High Court of Justice) and the County Court Rules. ... In the common law, civil law refers to the area of law governing relations between private individuals. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ...


For Personal Injury, Defamation cases and some Landlord and Tenant disputes the thresholds for each track have different values.


Relationship with the European Court of Justice

Contrary to popular belief, there is no right to appeal at any stage in UK court proceedings to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Any court in the UK may refer a particular point of law relating to European Union law to the ECJ for determination. However, once the ECJ has given its interpretation, the case is referred back to the court that referred it. This is symptomatic of the fact that although the European Union is increasingly federal, there is no federal court system, just laws that must be interpreted in the same way across all member states. European Court of Justice building, Luxembourg The Court of Justice of the European Communities, usually called the European Court of Justice (ECJ), is the highest court of the European Union (EU). ... The European Union is unique among international organizations in having a complex and highly developed system of internal law which has direct effect within the legal systems of its member states. ...


The decision to refer a question to the ECJ can be made by the court of its own initiative, or at the request of any of the parties before it. Where a question of European law is in doubt and there is no appeal from the decision of a court, it is required (except under the doctrine of acte clair) to refer the question to the ECJ; otherwise any referral is entirely at the discretion of the court.


Some first-instance cases, such as applications for annulment of an EU law or a claim for damages against an EU institution, can be brought before the EU-wide Court of First Instance and other EU tribunals, the decisions of which can be directly appealed to the ECJ on points of law only. The Court of First Instance, created in 1989, is a court of the European Union. ...


Relationship with the European Court of Human Rights

It is not possible to appeal the decision of any court in England and Wales to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Although it is frequent to hear media references to an "appeal" being taken "to Europe", what actually takes place is rather different. European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), often referred to informally as the Strasbourg Court, was created to systematise the hearing of human rights complaints against States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by...


The ECtHR is an international court that hears complaints concerning breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. An unsatisfied litigant in England and Wales might complain to the ECtHR that English law has violated his rights. A decision in the ECtHR will not change English law, and it is up to the Government of the United Kingdom to decide what action (if any) to take after an adverse finding.


Courts in England and Wales are not bound to follow a decision of the ECtHR, although they should "take into account" ECtHR jurisprudence when applying the Convention. The Convention has always had an influence on decisions of courts in England and Wales, but now the Convention has two further effects:

  1. a court, being a public body, must act in accordance with the Convention Rights found in the Human Rights Act 1998, which includes a requirement to construe statutes in accordance with the Convention; and
  2. direct claims may be made under the Human Rights Act 1998 against a public body for breach of Convention rights.

Relationship with the International Criminal Court

It is not yet clear what this relationship will be.


History

For nearly 300 years, from the time of the Norman Conquest until 1362, French was the language of the courts, rather than English. The Supreme Court of judicature was formed in 1873 from the merging of various courts then existing, such as the Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... Centuries: 13th century - 14th century - 15th century Decades: 1310s 1320s 1330s 1340s 1350s - 1360s - 1370s 1380s 1390s 1400s 1410s Years: 1357 1358 1359 1360 1361 - 1362 - 1363 1364 1365 1366 1367 See also: 1362 state leaders Events Under Edward III, English replaces French as Englands national language, for the... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... 1873 (MDCCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...

One of the ancient courts of England, the Kings Bench (or Queens Bench when the monarch is female) is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ... One of the courts of equity in England and Wales. ... The Exchequer of Pleas or Exchequer was one of the three common-law courts of Medieval and Early Modern England. ... Admiralty courts, also known as maritime courts, are courts exercising jurisdiction over all maritime contracts, torts, injuries and offences. ... Postdlf 06:03, 2 May 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person; specifically, resolving all claims and distributing the decedents property. ... For the record label, see Divorce Records. ...

See also

There are various levels of judiciary in England and Wales — different types of courts have different styles of judges. ... Her Majestys Courts Service is an amalgamation of the Magistrates Courts Service and the Court Service. ... This is a list of Courts in England and Wales. ... In English law, the legal year is the calendar during which the judges sit in court. ... English law is a formal term of art that describes the law for the time being in force in England and Wales. ... Contemporary Welsh Law is a term applied to the body of primary and secondary legislation generated by the National Assembly of Wales, according to newly devolved authority granted in the United Kingdom parliament Government of Wales Act 2006. ... Scots law is a unique legal system with an ancient basis in Roman law. ... European Union law is the unique legal system which operates alongside the laws of Member States of the European Union (EU). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Canon law is the term used for... Shortcut: UK topics This is a list of topics related to the United Kingdom. ... The courts system in the Republic of Ireland consists of the Supreme Court, the High Court and a number of lower courts. ... This is a chronological list of notable cases decided by the Supreme Court England and Wales. ...

External links

  • Her Majesty's Courts Service website
  • Official list of senior judges in the courts of England and Wales
  • Organisation of justice in England and Wales (pdf)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Courts of England and Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2483 words)
The House of Lords is the highest appeal court in almost all cases in England and Wales.
The Administrative Court, formerly known as the Crown Office List, is a specialist court within the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court and concerns itself with the administrative law of England and Wales, and oversees lower courts and tribunals.
Appeals lie to provincial courts, and to the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved and to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
England and Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (269 words)
England and Wales (red), with the rest of the United Kingdom (pink).
England and Wales are constituent countries of the United Kingdom and, because they share the same legal system, England and Wales is considered a single unit for the conflict of laws (sometimes termed a single state).
Wales was brought under a common monarch with England with the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and annexed to England for legal purposes by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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