Court of the European Union (European Court ofJustice) (not to be confused with European Court of Human Rights);(i) Hears references and appeals from courts of member states on mattersof European Law;(ii) On European Law matters can overrule decisions of any UK court;(b) European Courtof Human Rights.
1 Distinction between criminal and civil law1.1 Civil lawWho brings the action?
Claimant (plaintiff) against Defendant.
E.g. Brown v Jones
Burden & standard of
Claimant must prove liability on ';balance of probabilities';
Where is action heard?
style="line-height: 2em;"> Small claims, County & High CourtWho decides liability/remedy?
Remedy?Compensation. E.g. damages
1.2 Criminal law
brings the action?
Prosecution (Regina) against Accused.
E.g. R v Smith
Burden & standard of proof?
Prosecution must prove guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’
Magistrates & Crown Court
Who decides guilt/sentence?
2 The courts of law
2.1 The European Courts:
(a) Court of the European Union (European Court ofJustice) (not to be confused with European Court of Human Rights);(i) Hears references and appeals from courts of member states on mattersof European Law;(ii) On European Law matters can overrule decisions of any UK court;(b) European Courtof Human Rights:
(i) The final source of appeal on European Convention on Human Rights matters. (Note that the Convention is now incorporatedinto UK law by Human Rights Act 1998);(ii) There is no appeal from the European Court of Human Rights to European Court of Justice.
style="line-height: 2em;"> 2.2 The House of Lords:
(a) Highest UK court;
(b) Personnel – Lords of
Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lords) . 5 will usually sit on an appeal;(c) Jurisdiction – purely appellate. Hears appeals from :
style="line-height: 2em;"> – Both divisions of the Court of Appeal– The divisional court of the Queens Bench Division of the HighCourt(d) On appeals from some Commonwealth Courts and Channel Islands the court sits as "The Judicial Committee of the PrivyCouncil".
2.3 The Court of Appeal:
(a) Divided into 2 divisions :
– civil and
(b) Personnel – Lord Justices of Appeal. 3 will usually sit on anappeal.
– civil division – Master of the Rolls is chief judge– criminal division – Lord ChiefJustice of the criminal division(c) Jurisdiction – purely appellate. Hears appeals from– all 3divisions of the High Court, the divisional court, the EAT, Lords Tribunal and Transport Tribunal– the Crown Court– the County Court (except for certain appeals in regard to family and bankruptcy matters)2.4 The High Court:
style="line-height: 2em;"> (a) Divided into 3 divisions:
– Queens Bench Division
– Chancery Division
(b) Personnel – High Court Judges (Puisne judges):
– QBD – Lord Chief Justice = chief judge– Family Division – President = chief judge– Chancery Division – Nominally Lord Chancellor – in practiceViceChancellor(c) Queens BenchDivision jurisdiction:
– Contract, Tort and other general civil matters without limit as to value (usually above 15,000) includes specialistcourts such as the Commercial and Admiralty Courts.
– The making of prerogative writs and ordersTheDivisional Court of the QBD hears appeals on points of law from the Magistrates and Crown Courts.
(d) Family Division jurisdiction:
style="line-height: 2em;"> – Defended divorces and matters under the Domestic Violence and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1976– Mattersrelating to Childrens Act 1989 and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990– Appeals in regard to family matters from the CountyCourt(e) Chancery Division jurisdiction:
style="line-height: 2em;"> – Company Law– Probate– Insolvency–
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