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Chapter 9 Justice and the Law. Pictures Focal Questions What are the basic principles of the legal system in England and Wales? How many types of courts.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Justice and the Law. Pictures Focal Questions What are the basic principles of the legal system in England and Wales? How many types of courts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Justice and the Law

2 Pictures

3

4 Focal Questions What are the basic principles of the legal system in England and Wales? How many types of courts are there in the legal system in England and Wales? What are their different functions? What is ‘precedence’? Why is it practised in a British court? Which feature of the English judicial system impresses you most? Why?

5 Basic principles – simple sum-up The rule of law----everybody is subject to the law ----laws must not be arbitrary ----a person is innocent until proven guilty Natural law ----a law is higher than a man-made law Natural justice----reflection of the prevailing moral view of the society

6 The Rule of Law No one is above the law. "For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other." Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776) Opposed to dictatorship, anarchy Due process

7 A 1 Introduction – Basic Principles of *** English Law What is the Law that is higher than man- made law? What are the criteria? What kind of orders are soldiers expected to disobey? Give examples. What about slavery and genocide?

8 A 1 Introduction – Basic Principles of English Law Natural Law  Natural Law: A system of universal moral and ethical principles that are inherent in human nature and that people can discover by using their natural intelligence (e.g., murder is wrong; parents are responsible for the acts of their minor children)  Natural Law is higher than Man-made law. Eg. Nuremberg War Crimes Trial  Natural Justice -- reflections of prevailing moral view of society

9 A 1 The Supremacy of Parliament Parliament can pass, repeal and alter any of Britain’s laws. This is one of the major powers that a government has. Parliament also has the power – after going through its own parliamentary processes – of altering its own laws. In theory there is no body that can declare a law passed by Parliament as unconstitutional - though the full impact of the European Court is not yet known.European Court But decisions of the European Court must be accepted in UK.

10 A 1 Introduction -- Two branches of law Civil law -- defines and enforces the duties or obligations of persons to one another. Criminal law -- by contrast, defines and enforces the obligations of persons to society as a whole.

11 A 1 Introduction – Sources of British Law Common Law – decided by judges, their decisions in cases being arrived at after considering the customs and practices of the people involved. This kind of law has evolved long before Parliament became the main law- making body. Statute Law – made by Parliament Case Law – has evolved through decisions in actual trials European Union law

12 Most ridiculous British laws: 1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%) 2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down (7%) 3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6%) 4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day (5%) 5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter (4%)

13 Most ridiculous British laws: 6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet (4%) 7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%) 8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%) 9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour 10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2%)

14 Most ridiculous foreign laws: 1. In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk (9%) 2. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation (8%) 3. In Bahrain, a male doctor can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror (7%) 4. In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm (6%) 5. In Alabama, it is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle (6%)

15 Most ridiculous foreign laws: 6. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed (6%) 7. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth (6%) 8. In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except funerals or hospital visits (5%) 9. In Japan, there is no age of consent (5%) 10. In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon (4%)

16 Legal systems Civil law (Continental European law) The central source of law: codifications in a constitution or statute passed by legislature, to amend a code.codifications constitutionstatutelegislature Common law and equityequity The decisions in cases by judges; a legislature that passes new laws and statutes (not to amend a collected and codified body of law)judgeslegislature Religious law: a religious system or document being used as a legal source, varied methodology

17 ……the common law has in itself a number of historical sources which were , prior to Conquest , embodied in local custom. The unique contribution of the Norman Conquest , was to unify these local customs into one system of law common to all men , for this reason termed the "common law". ——Walker & Walker , The English Legal system , London l976 , The English Legal system , London l976 , p.3

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19 Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (1) Lord Chancellor remains, but with much less power over judiciary and no longer automatically Speaker of Lords Title will usually be held by the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs Holder can come from either House

20 Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2) New Supreme Court formed, with independently appointed members Will move into new buildings in Middlesex Guildhall in 2008 Lords will lose its judicial functions

21 The Court System Civil branch Criminal branch County Court Magistrates’ Court (JPs, stipendiary magistrates) Crown Court High Court (QBD, CCD, FD) Court of Appeal Supreme Court

22 A 3 Legal Advice & Assistance *** Who pays for it? 3 forms of legal aid Legal Advice & Assistance – who offers aid? ? Civil legal Aid– represented by whom? Criminal Legal Aid -- privilege or right? represented by whom?

23 A 4 Inside the Courts cont *** What are the qualifications for judges? Where do magistrates come from? What are their jobs? How important are they? Are they paid for the jobs? In which branch of court do you find a jury? Sentencing What is the most severe punishment in Britain? Pp

24 How Are Magistrates Appointed? ApplicationApplication Advisory Committee InterviewsInterviews Recommendation to the Lord Chancellor AppointmentAppointment Requirements of local communities: number, gender, ethnicity, etc qualifications Qualifications/Disqualifications: e.g. age, residence, occupation, criminal record No formal qualification is Qualifications

25 Magistrates or Justices of the Peace (JPs) At least 26 half-days per year to sit in court Volunteers from all walks of life Around 95% of criminal cases in England and Wales Not paid for their services Time off with pay, or allowances at a set rate Selection based entriely on merit

26 Your role as a magistrate Determining whether a defendant is guilty or not and passing the appropriate sentence Deciding on requests for remand in custody Deciding on applications for bail Committing more serious cases to the Crown Court Cases in the family and youth courts. A 'bench' of three (an experienced chairman with two other magistrates) A trained legal advisor

27 English Judges

28 A 5 Outside the Court – The Professional Barristers and Solicitors Differences in training Work See pp , handouts

29 Barrister (P158)

30 Solicitor (P158) A solicitor

31 Your Role As A Juror Selected at _____ from the electoral _____ To represent the ___________ of a society Between 18 and ___ Disqualified people: On _______, sentenced to ___________ or ________ service, currently on ____ To discuss _________ with the jury officer in confidence before being selected to sit on the trial

32 Your Responsibilities To carefully consider the ______ presented to you To decide with fellow jurors whether the _______ is guilty or not of the _____ they’ve been charged with ____ call; failure to attend resulting in ____ To arrive at court on time; otherwise contact the jury officer immediately To bring your _______ To ____ if delay is ______ of control To get ______ from court staff to ____ the jury area or the court building

33 The Courtroom The judge—to control proceedings from the _____ in the front of the court room A ___ Court Judge: My ___/___ A Circuit Judge (Crown Court, County Court, High Court of Justice): Your _____ Judges: wearing ____ and ___ Court ____: black gown, probably also a wig ___ of the court: black gown

34 The Courtroom Facing the bench—2 ____ ____ representing: The ______ The _____ _____: black gown, wig, representing and arguing that case to the ____ The defendant: sitting in the ___, accompanied by a ___ officer Witness: witness ___, sometimes via a ___ link or behind the ____ An area for the press & the public ____

35 Jury Selection A ____: Jury officer—randomly selected, around 15 people (In court) Court ___—12 people The defence or prosecution advocate: ______ the selection of a particular juror ________ challenge ____ reading: 2 versions available

36 The Trial (Case for the prosecution and for the defence respectively) Court clerk: to read out the ______ The prosecution: outlining details of the _____ Witnesses: being called, ____, and _________ Evidence-in-chief (The defence) Cross-examination: questioning the witness to find out ___________ and ___________

37 The Judge To ________ from time to time to keep the trial on course To deal with the point of ___ or a ________ that has arisen To ask the jury to ______ the room

38 Closing speeches Both the prosecution and the defence Talking directly to the ____ Judge’s summing up (what the law _______, the ____ of the case) A ___ passed via an ____ to judge for further ____________ or questions Raising ____ or passing note to raise the ___’s attention: feeling unwell, going to the toilet, or being ______ by evidence

39 Not under influence of outside factors No ____ with anyone other than fellow jurors No ______ of items of evidence or notes from the courtroom Notifying the jury officer or usher if ________ by anyone else

40 The Verdict The jury ___________ room: to discuss the evidence, to make decision To nominate a ______ or ______ to chair the discussion & as a __________ in courtroom A serious offence: to ______ any information about anything discussed in the jury room __________ or majority verdict Answering only questions from a ____

41 Your Rights _______: jury officer, court office To _____ if summoned again within 2 years To claim expenses and an __________

42 Your Role As A Juror Selected at random from the electoral register To represent the cross-section of a society Between 18 and 69 Disqualified people: On probation, sentenced to imprisonment or community service, currently on bail To discuss eligibility with the jury officer in confidence before being selected to sit on the trial

43 Your Responsibilities To carefully consider the evidence presented to you To decide with fellow jurors whether the defendant is guilty or not of the offence they’ve been charged with Roll call; failure to attend resulting in fine To arrive at court on time; otherwise contact the jury officer immediately To bring your summons To wait if delay is outside of control To get permission from court staff to leave the jury area or the court building

44 The Courtroom The judge—to control proceedings from the bench in the front of the court room A High Court Judge: My Lord/Lady A Circuit Judge (Crown Court, County Court, High Court of Justice): Your Honor Judges: wearing robes and wigs Court clerk: black gown, probably also a wig Usher of the court: black gown

45 The Courtroom Facing the bench—2 legal teams representing: The prosecution The defence Advocate: black gown, wig, representing and arguing that case to the jury The defendant: sitting in the dock, accompanied by a dock officer Witness: witness box, sometimes via a video link or behind the screen An area for the press & the public gallery

46 Jury Selection A panel: Jury officer—randomly selected, around 15 people (In court) Court clerk—12 people The defence or prosecution advocate: challenge the selection of a particular juror Impersonal challenge Oath reading: 2 versions available

47 The Trial (Case for the prosecution and for the defence respectively) Court clerk: to read out the charges The prosecution: outlining details of the offences Witnesses: being called, sworn, and questioned Evidence-in-chief (The defence) Cross-examination: questioning the witness to find out weaknesses and contradictions

48 The Judge To intervene from time to time to keep the trial on course To deal with the point of law or a difficulty that has arisen To ask the jury to leave the room

49 Closing speeches Both the prosecution and the defence Talking directly to the jury Judge’s summing up (what the law requires, the facts of the case) A note passed via an usher to judge for further explanation or questions Raising hand or passing note to raise the usher’s attention: feeling unwell, going to the toilet, or being distressed by evidence

50 Not under influence of outside factors No discussion with anyone other than fellow jurors No removal of items of evidence or notes from the courtroom Notifying the jury officer or usher if approached by anyone else

51 The Verdict The jury deliberation room: to discuss the evidence, to make decision To nominate a foreman or forewoman to chair the discussion & as a spokesperson in courtroom A serious offence: to disclose any information about anything discussed in the jury room Unanimous or majority verdict Answering only questions from a clerk

52 Your Rights Queries: jury officer, court office To refuse if summoned again within 2 years To claim expenses and an allowance

53 A 6 Problems in the English Legal System Outdated practice System elitist Weak points of jury system Advantages and disadvantages of the jury system Lay magistrates See p 159

54 Potential or Possible Advantages of the Jury System The chief bulwark(defence) of the common man against abuse by the state or by individual members of the legal system The role the public play in the legal process People’s sense of involvement Jurors: more connected with the daily life of ordinary people Judgment of guilt or innocence made by the accused’s equals

55 Potential or Possible Disadvantages of the Jury System Difficulty following arguments and/or evidence in a complex case Gender or race discrimination and prejudice The influence of one dominant personality, the judge’s summing-up Impact of emotional witnesses’ accounts or barristers’ appeals

56 Potential or Possible Advantages & Disadvantages Lay Magistrates Critical decisions affecting personal liberty, reputation and rights: by ordinary individuals. So there is an analogy with trial by jury in the Crown Court, except that there a Judge rules on the law, whilst the jury decides the facts of the case. Magistrates do both of these things. As for potential or possible advantages and disadvantages of Lay Magistrates, some of the same things as above will apply e.g. gender, race. In addition, an extra advantage of the system is that magistrates handle the bulk of criminal cases (95%) preventing the higher courts from becoming overloaded with cases.

57 dying-Parliament-voted-Britains-absurd- legislation.html (The poll of 3,931 people, commissioned by UKTV Gold, asked the public to pick the most ludicrous British and foreign laws still in existence, from a shortlist.) dying-Parliament-voted-Britains-absurd- legislation.html orld (legal systems) orld w/index.htm (crime, justice and the law) w/index.htm The chart


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