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Comparative Law Spring 2003 Professor Susanna Fischer ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION April 10, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Comparative Law Spring 2003 Professor Susanna Fischer ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION April 10, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparative Law Spring 2003 Professor Susanna Fischer ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION April 10, 2003

2 U.K.: Constitutional Hereditary Monarchy Head of State – the Queen (Queen Elizabeth II) Appoints bishops to Church of England, Chief Justice, highest ranking members of armed forces Ceremonial and integrating role See: k/output/Page1.asp k/output/Page1.asp

3 UK - PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM (Westminster Model) Parliamentary systems, unlike presidential systems, typically do not have a separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches. Prime Minister (chief executive) is usually elected to the legislature like other members. PM is leader of the party that wins the majority of votes to the legislature (either de facto, or in some cases through an election held by the legislature). For link to FAQ on Parliament see:

4 PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS Prime Minister appoints Cabinet Ministers who are generally legislative members from the ruling party or ruling coalition. Thus, in a parliamentary system, the constituency of the executive and legislature are the same. If the ruling party is voted out of the legislature, the executive also changes. Need for cooperation between executive/legislative for govt to survive and operate effectively.

5 CABINET Meets once a week in 10 Downing Street See list of ministers in Her Majesty’s Government at: http://www.number-

6 PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair MP for Sedgfield Leader of Labor party Election after 18 years in Opposition (age 43) Won again in 2001 Wife: barrister Cherie Booth QC See: http://www.number- http://www.number-

7 Removing PM from Office Parliamentary system – 1. No confidence motion 2. By PM’s party vote French Semi-Presidential System 1. National Assembly can pass motion of censure forcing PM and government to resign 2. President can remove PM 3. President can dissolve National Assembly (not Senate). President can’t be removed before term expires

8 Elections Centrality of political parties Single member district-plurality system (first- past-the-post system)- effective in securing a majority government. I n 1997, Labour won 43.2% of national vote, but this secured 63.6% of seats in the parliament. Liberal Democrats won 16.8% of votes, with only 7% of seats in the House of Commons.

9 Source of Law: Statutes Statutes are made by Parliament: House of Lords – reforms: in 1999 hereditary peers reduced from 750 to 92; second stage reform to come: appointed? Elected? Hybrid? House of Commons What is parliamentary sovereignty? See Ruth Rendell, The Blood Doctor, at: h/isbninquiry.asp?pwb=1&ean=97814000450 44 h/isbninquiry.asp?pwb=1&ean=97814000450 44

10 Making an Act of Parliament How are parliamentary statutes made?

11 Delegated Legislation What is delegated legislation? Why is it necessary? What are some criticisms of it?

12 Judicial Review Can the validity of a parliamentary statute be challenged by a court? Delegated legislation?

13 3 Main Types Statutory Instruments Bye-laws Orders in Council

14 English Legal Profession Judiciary Solicitors Barristers

15 English Legal Profession Judiciary Solicitors Barristers Compare judicial selection to the French system and the U.S. system How are judges trained in England? How can a judge’s appointment be terminated? How can judges be disciplined?

16 Judicial Independence in England? What are some of the main questions that have been raised about judicial independence?

17 Questions Concerning Judicial Independence Narrowness of ethnic background, sex, and age of judges Secretive and discriminatory appointment process Limited training Insufficient procedures for criticism and dismissal Political system limits judicial independence Right-wing bias? Influence of Freemasonry Lack of specialization

18 English Judiciary See Charles Yablon, Wigs, Coifs and Other Idiosyncracies of English Judicial Attire, Cardozo at: http://www.cardozo. net/life/spring1999/ wigs/ http://www.cardozo. net/life/spring1999/ wigs/

19 The Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine of Lairg

20 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

21 BARRISTERS How many barristers are in private practice in England and Wales? What is the function of a barrister? What is a QC? Governing body: Bar Council – see What legal work do barristers do?

22 CHAMBERS What are Chambers?

23 INNS OF COURT What are the Inns of Court? Middle Temple Inner Temple Gray’s Inn Lincoln’s inn


25 INNER TEMPLE CROQUET Members wishing to play croquet should collect the keys to the garden and the croquet shed from the Gardener. You should sign your name down when you take the key.



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