Presentation on theme: " We can trace the courts back to the courts of Israel and the fourth century B.C. in Athens, Greece. Today there are 208 statewide courts, and about."— Presentation transcript:
We can trace the courts back to the courts of Israel and the fourth century B.C. in Athens, Greece. Today there are 208 statewide courts, and about 9065 full time judges which serve in the statewide trail court systems. Supreme Court hears about 7500 cases annually, and the 655 judges of the lower federal courts dispose of 63,000 cases per year (Peak, 2004).
In the U.S. we have what is called an adversarial court system. The adversarial system the desire to win can become overpowering, for both the prosecution and the defense. Still one of the best systems that you can find worldwide.
In the United States we have what is refer to as a dual court system, which quite simply means that we have one national Federal court system and 50 state course systems that are part of our judiciary system. In the court system we have the Supreme Court which consists of both Federal and state supreme courts, courts of appeal that operate on both the Federal and state level and what I would term the trial courts which are the actual first step in the court process.
The Supreme Court is the highest and one of the old escorts in the nation, formed in 1790. Due to the number of cases that they receive they are only capable of reviewing the tiny fraction of the thousands of cases they get per year. Although when speaking of the Supreme Court most people think of the Federal Supreme Court recall that there is also states supreme court’s which our courts of last resort for cases that involve the individual states constitutional matters.
The courts of appeals are the intermediate courts of appeals for the Federal Court system. 11 of the circuits are identified by number and another is called the DC circuit. The courts of appeals are staffed with 179 judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate. These courts do not hear regular cases as do the district court or your local state court is responsible for, they only here appeals of these cases.
There are an estimated 2000 major trial courts in the 50 states and Washington, DC. The most common names for these courts are a district, circuit, and superior. The workload of these lower courts can be divided into felony criminal cases, non- felony criminal cases, and civil cases.
Peak defines the courts as an “Informal work group in which interaction among members occurs on a continuing basis”. The courts are a place generally speaking where professionals meets and make decisions at times in informally processes (for example, in the plea bargain situation the defendant and their lawyer as well as the prosecutor have to agree to the plea), and the judge is deferring to their expertise and knowledge of that trial. The court systems are a more functional organizational system which spells out areas of responsibility and lines of communication and defines the chain of command.
Geographical- courts are authorized to hear and decide disputes within a specified geographical area (a Texas court cannot decide incidents that occur in Oklahoma, for example). Subject matter- trial courts of limited jurisdiction hear a restricted category of cases, while courts of general jurisdiction can hear all other types of cases in their jurisdiction. Hierarchical-this refers to different court functions and responsibilities. Original jurisdiction means a court has authority to try a case and decide it; appellate courts primary jurisdiction is to ensure that the trial court correctly interpreted and applied the law.
Simplified court structure- At present many have overlapping jurisdiction. Centralized administration- reformers envision the state supreme court working with state and county court administrators and providing leadership for the state court system. Centralized rule making- the state supreme court should have the power to adopt uniform rules that would be followed by all state courts. Centralized budgeting- having a centralized state judicial administrators who reported to the Supreme Court