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The Civil Courts and other forms of Dispute Resolution

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Presentation on theme: "The Civil Courts and other forms of Dispute Resolution"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Civil Courts and other forms of Dispute Resolution
Outline of civil courts and appeal system

2 Objectives Draw a diagram of the civil court structure showing appeal route State the jurisdiction of each court Describe the appeal process

3 Key Terms Claimant Defendant Jurisdiction Royal Courts of Justice
Equity Access to Justice Act 1999 Case stated Leave to Appeal Justices of the Supreme Court Delegated legislation Precedent Parties

4 Outline of courts and appeal
Supreme Court Court of Appeal (Civil Division) High Court Family Division Queen’s Bench Division Chancery Division County Court (including the Small Claims Court)

5 Courts of first instance
Civil disputes between individuals, partnerships, companies and or local or national government departments May disagree on a number of areas (family, tort, contract etc) Dispute between claimant and defendant Claimant issues proceedings and claim sent to defendant for response

6 Courts of first instance
Two main civil courts County Court and High Court Magistrates mainly a criminal court but does have some civil jurisdiction These courts are known as ‘Courts of First Instance’ Cases may be commenced and decided there If a party disputes the decision of the court - may ask a higher court to reconsider - known as appeal

7 Courts of first instance
216 County Courts in England and Wales Hear lower level civil disputes Trials in High Court may be in London or one of 26 High Court District Registers in England and Wales Hears higher level civil cases Does have jurisdiction to hear all types of civil dispute

8 Magistrates’ Court Jurisdiction over most family matters
But not divorce Recovery of unpaid council tax Charges for water, gas, and electricity Hears appeals from local authority about granting of licences for gambling and sale of alcohol

9 County Court Deals with many types of civil disputes
Including contract, tort, and divorce Civil cases divided into three types: Small claims up to £5000 – District Judges Fast track - £ £25000 – Circuit Judge Multi-track over £25000 – Circuit Judge or transferred to High Court Plans to increase the amounts of claims heard by Small Claims Court and County Courts

10 High Court Three divisions These are then sub-divided:
Queen’s Bench Division Family Division Chancery Division These are then sub-divided: Courts where civil claims may be issued Court where appeals from lower courts will be heard 120 High Court Judges

11 High Court – Queen’s Bench Division
Main court Deals mainly with contract and tort cases 74 High Court Judges sitting in this court Often heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London May be heard in one of High Courts District Registries Multi track cases may be heard here (due to money, complexity or certain type of case)

12 High Court – Family Division
All aspects of family matters Divorce, related children Financial clams Adoption Care proceedings

13 High Court – Chancery Division
Historically cases in which rule of equity could be used Modern version deals with Partnership disputes Company law Wills or trusts Bankruptcy sale of land Creation of mortgages 17 Judges sit in Chancery Division Heard at Royal Courts of Justices or at one of the eight Chancery centres around the country

14 Appeal Hearings When one party unhappy with decision and requests a higher court to review the earlier decision Access to Justice Act 1999 Majority of appeals only allowed if either original court or the appeal court has given authorisation Permission only granted if it involves a matter of importance or appeal has good chance of success

15 High Court as an Appeal Court
High Court both a Court of First Instance and an appellate court

16 High Court – Queen’s Bench Division
Judicial review – may review decisions made by local authorities and national government departments and tribunals Judicial review is about rules of fairness in decision making process Appeals on point of law by way of case stated from Magistrates or Crown Court These will be criminal cases Unlawful detention may apply for writ of habeas corpus

17 High Court – Family Divisional Court
Hears appeals of decisions made from Magistrates and County Courts in respect of family matters

18 High Court – Chancery Divisional Court
Hears appeals of decisions made in bankruptcy and insolvency cases originally decided in County Court

19 The Court of Appeal 37 Judges (Lords Justice of Appeal) sit in CA
Most senior is the Master of the Rolls CA has a Civil Division which specialises in civil cases Hears appeals from County Court (District or Circuit Judge) High Court in its capacity as a court of first instance High Court in its position as an appellate court The Employment Appeal Tribunal

20 The Court of Appeal Appeals generally heard by 3 – 5 judges
May be heard by 2 judges if parties agree In most cases a leave to appeal is required Not a rehearing but a review of the case Barristers in Court of Appeal hearings must provide advance copies of written and concise arguments to court and opposing barristers These are called ‘skeleton arguments’ Court will look at lower court judges decision to see if the law has been interpreted properly

21 The Supreme Court Constitutional Reform Act 2005 created the Supreme Court to replace House of Lords Change took place in 2009 Supreme Court now has no connection with Parliament Has its own building, staff and budget Final court of appeal in civil law for England 12 judges called Justices of the Supreme Court

22 The Supreme Court Hears about 200 cases per year
Majority are Civil and are matters of general public importance Most cases heard by 3 – 5 judges Leave to appeal must be obtained from original court or Supreme Court itself Majority of appeals are from Civil Division of Court of Appeal

23 The Supreme Court There is a ‘leap-frog’ procedure provided by Administration of Justice Act 1969 If High Court Judge certifies a case suitable for Supreme Court and Supreme Court agrees case will go straight from High to Supreme Court Case must be one on a point of law And one of public importance with regard to the statutory interpretation of an Act of Parliament or delegated legislation And one when the trial judge is bound by precedent of the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court

24 The Supreme Court Court of Appeal has a civil and criminal division
Hears more cases than the Supreme Court Court of Appeal hears 2000 cases per year (ten times more) Decisions in Court of Appeal are more likely therefore to have an impact on public Generally Supreme Court restricted in the cases it decides – normally important legal issues

25 Objectives Draw a diagram of the civil court structure showing appeal route State the jurisdiction of each court Describe the appeal process

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