Presentation on theme: "Comparative Law Spring 2002 Class 37 Columbus School of Law The Catholic University of America Professor Fischer April 17, 2002."— Presentation transcript:
Comparative Law Spring 2002 Class 37 Columbus School of Law The Catholic University of America Professor Fischer April 17, 2002
GOALS FOR TODAY’S CLASS A word on sources: EC law and Human Rights Act Role and training of two main types of English legal professional, the BARRISTER and the SOLICITOR. The English legal profession is not currently, despite the recent abolition of the professions’ monopolies including the so-called “Bar Wars”.
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Human Rights Act of 1998 cames into force Oct. 2, 2000 By 1998, UK had been sued in the European Court of Human Rights more than any other signatory country except Italy and found in violation 52 times. What did Human Rights Act do?
European Convention on Human Rights What did Human Rights Act do? Incorporates the Convention into English law so English/Welsh citizens can enforce their rights in Engliosh courts. Courts must take ECHR into account but ECHR decisions aren’t binding on English courts. Public authorities, including courts, can’t act incompatibly with ECHR. Certain higher courts can issue a declaration of incompatibility.
Rights in the ECHR See p. 83 Compare these to the fundamental rights in the German Basic Law
COURTS AND LEGAL SERVICES ACT of 1990 Solicitors’ conveyancing, probate and direct access monopolies were abolished despite strong oppposition of solicitors (though there is only direct access to barristers by certain clients) Bar’s right of audience in higher courts was also abolished despite fierce opposition by barristers and judges (all at that time former barristers). Most advocates remain barristers. Access to Justice Act of 1999 grants broader rights of audience to barristers and solicitors including employed barristers.
What you should know Major Types of English Lawyers (their names and functions) How one becomes a lawyer in England and Wales
MAJOR TYPES OF ENGLISH LAWYERS Solicitors Barristers There are also Public Notaries, who are solicitors or law students who pass the Notarial Practice exam and undertake a period of supervision, Legal Executives, who are like American paralegals, and Licensed Conveyancers who are involved in conveyancing property.
BARRISTERS How many barristers are in private practice in England and Wales? What is the function of a barrister? What is a QC?
BARRISTERS How many barristers are in private practice in England and Wales? Around 10,000 – compare this to around 8,000 candidates for the New York Bar Exam each year! What is the function of a barrister? Primarily, advocacy. What is a QC? A senior barrister who has been granted silk by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with judiciary and profession. There are around 1000 silks, 82 of whom are women. There are current pressures to reform or abolish the silk system.
CHAMBERS What are Chambers? What is a clerk and what does he or she do? How well is he or she compensated compared to barristers?
3 TRAINING STAGES ACADEMIC VOCATIONAL PUPILLAGE
Legal Fancy Dress What do English lawyers wear in court? Would you like to emulate them?
Wigs and Gowns Only barristers wear wigs and gowns in open court proceedings. Solicitor-advocates wear a gown but no wig – they have pressured for wigs The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, would like to abolish wigs and gowns in civil court but retain them in criminal cases.
INNS OF COURT What are the Inns of Court? Middle Temple Inner Temple Gray’s Inn Lincoln’s inn
SOLICITORS How many solicitors are in practice in England and Wales? (Remember! Scotland has its own legal system)
SOLICITORS How many solicitors are in practice in England and Wales? (Remember! Scotland has its own legal system) over 100,000, around 80,000 of whom have practising certificates. Most work in private practice; some also work as employed solicitors for the Government, the Crown Prosecution Service, or a commercial/industrial organization What is the function of a solicitor?
BECOMING A SOLICITOR How do you become a solicitor? GCSE/3 ”A” Levels University (Law Degree or Not) If no law degree, CPE/Diploma in Law Legal Practice Course (“LPC”) Training Contract DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A UNIVERSITY DEGREE TO BECOME A SOLICITOR?
Pros and Cons of Fusion Do you think that the English legal profession should be fused? What are the arguments for and against fusion?