Билеты по английскому для юристов
Magistrates' Courts Magistrates' Courts are the people's courts, formerly known as police courts, the lowest tier in the criminal justice system. There are around 28,000 lay magistrates sitting in the 700 or so courts in England and Wales (the system is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland). They deal with more than two million cases a year, and perform a variety of other functions as well. Their main job is to deliver 'summary justice' to people charged with less serious crimes (grave offences are dealt with at the Crown Court). 8 Crown Courts Crown Courts have existed only since 1972. When there is a jury, the judge's role is limited to deciding matters of law and summing-up to the jury. The jury decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. There are 94 Crown Court centres in England and Wales, many of them consisting of several courtrooms. The most famous Crown Court in England, and perhaps, the most famous court in the world, is the Old Bailey. Officially the Central Criminal Court, it stands on the site of Newgate prison, and was completed in 1907. The Crown Court acts also as the appeal court against both convictions and sentences by magistrates. When the appeal is against conviction, the Crown Court judge re-hears all the evidence that witnesses have already given in the lower court, but there is no jury. For all appeals the judge sits with two, three or four lay magistrates. County Courts Just as the Magistrates' Courts deal with the vast majority of criminal. cases, county courts take on most of the smaller civil cases. In general, they deal with breach of contract or tort cases involving up to 5,000 pounds. They also have jurisdiction over most matrimonial matters. They can grant divorces and make a range of orders relating to money, property and children. There are county courts all over England and Wales, around 270 altogether. The judges have the rank of circuit judge, the same level as those who sit in the Crown Court. The High Court The 81 High Court judges are distributed between the three divisions, which have their home in London's Royal Courts of Justice, an eccentric Victorian Gothic building on the Strand, with outposts in some 25 large provincial towns and cities. The biggest of the divisions, with the widest jurisdiction, is the Queen's Bench (King's Bench). Its most important function is as the main civil court for disputes involving more than 5,000 pounds. Claims for money owing, and actions for damages arising from motor and work accidents are the High Court's main folder. It also deals with suits for libel. The division also includes a Commercial Court, which specialises in large commercial disputes, and an Admiralty Court for shipping cases. The Family Division deals with divorce; disputes between warring spouses involving children, property or money; adoption, wardship, and other questions affecting children. The Chancery Division deals with tax, interpretation of wills, companies, settlements, trusts, and various other issues affecting finance and property. The Court Of Appeal The Court of Appeal is the main repository of dissatisfaction with the decisions of lower courts. Above it is the House of Lords. There are two divisions of the appeal court: the head of the Criminal Division is no less than the Lord Chief Justice, the country's top judge. The Civil Division is led by the Master of the Rolls. It is yet another oddity of the system that these, the two most senior judges, do not sit in the most senior court, the House of Lords. The Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court as well as from county courts and a few more specialised courts. The House Of Lords The House of Lords is the final arbiter not only of all English law, but also of Scottish civil, though not criminal, law. The Law Lords do not deliver judgements like all other judges, they make speeches. They do not come to a decision, they take a vote on a motion that the appeal be dismissed or allowed. Some Other Courts The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Its jurisdiction is now confined to hearing appeals from the remaining colonies, and from those former British territories which have chosen to retain it as their final appeal court. The judges of the Privy Council are predominantly the same Law Lords that normally sit in the House of Lords, with the addition, every now and again, of eminent judges from Commonwealth countries, The Employment Appeal Tribunal was set up following the great increase in recent years of disputes arising from employment, especially involving unfair dismissal or discrimination. The court hears appeals from industrial tribunals. Every case is heard by a High Court judge and two lay members chosen for their knowledge and experience of industrial relations: trade union officials, for instance, and representatives of employers' organizations. The Restrictive Practices Court which is of the level of the High Court, has various powers to stop or control restrictive or monopolistic practices in the supply of goods and services - for example, agreements between ostensibly competitive companies to charge a minimum price for their products, against the interests of the consumer. Coroners' Courts. Coroners, who must be qualified lawyers or doctors, have a duty to hold public inquests into any violent, unnatural or suspicious death, or in the case of a person dying suddenly without any obvious cause, or in prison or in police custody. Coroners' inquests are not trials, but witnesses are called, and there is often a jury who decide on the manner of death - suicide, unlawful killing, misadventure or accident - or (where they are not sure) return an open verdict. Tribunals. Outside the normal hierarchy of the courts, flourishes a parallel structure of administrative and judicial bodies lumped together under the genera! description of tribunals. Some of them have been in existence for a century or more, but they have proliferated especially in the last thirty years, since the creation of the welfare state. The sixty or so tribunals cover a wide range of subjects, from tax to mental health, from forestry to patents. Some of the most important and widely used are the industrial tribunals, where workers can claim compensation for unfair dismissal; the supplementary benefit appeals tribunal; rent tribunal; and the immigration appeals tribunal. The tribunals differ in their membership and rules of procedure, but they all conduct themselves according to the principles of justice used by the courts. Two Foreign Courts Two courts outside Britain's boundaries have recently come to play a big part in her affairs. The two deal with completely different issues, and belong to different regional institutions, The European Court (more properly, the Court of Justice of the European Community, called the European Union - EU - since 1993) sits in Luxembourg. It is the court of the EU, and therefore Britain, as its member, is under its jurisdiction on matters affecting the EU. The European Court of Human Rights sits in Strasbourg (France) and operates under the umbrella of the Council of Europe.