Unit 25 English Legal System

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Introduction


Aim

The purpose of this Unit 25 English Legal System is to provide learners with an understanding of the sources of English law, the courts and their personnel and the different legal business entities.

Unit abstract

The unit looks at the English legal system in detail. It will develop learners’ understanding of the court structures, both civil and criminal. Court procedures, funding and legal personnel are evaluated, as are alternative methods of settling disputes. The importance of the different sources of law, their development and interpretation are assessed and analysed. Finally, the unit considers the legal formalities required for the formation of the different business entities, their management and dissolution. The unit seeks to enable learners to develop the ability to apply this understanding of the law in given situations.

Learning outcomes


1 Understand the court system and its alternatives

  • Criminal courts: classification of crimes and methods of trial; magistrates court (jurisdiction, personnel, procedure); Crown court (juries, their role and structure, jurisdiction, procedure); grounds for appeal: Court of Appeal: House of Lords: European Court of Justice
  • Civil courts: small claims court and jurisdiction; county court and High Court (jurisdiction of both, allocation of cases to tracks); grounds for appeal; Court of Appeal; House of Lords; European Court of Justice
  • Alternative dispute resolution: meaning; conciliation; mediation; arbitration; advantages and disadvantages; tribunals and enquiries

2 Understand the finance of representation

  • Legal advice and funding: sources of legal advice; duty solicitor scheme; funding; conditional fees
  • Legal personnel: solicitors and barristers; legal executives; paralegals; roles and training; the judiciary

3 Be able to evaluate the different sources of law

  • Sources of law: judicial precedent, statute, delegated legislation (meaning, how they operate, advantages and disadvantages); Rules of Statutory Interpretation; European law (types of law)
  • Differences between common law and equity: role of equity today

4 Be able to select an appropriate legal entity

  • Meaning and examples: sole traders; partnerships; limited liability partnerships; companies
  • Advantages and disadvantages: of types of legal business entity
  • Legal requirements: for the formation of sole traders, partnerships, and companies
  • Provisions:relating to the running/management of businesses e.g. rights/duties of partners, directors and creditors; dissolution of business entities

Resources


Essential requirements

Learners must have access to a learning resource centre with a good range of legal text and case books. These must be supported by journal, statutes and law reports. Newspapers are also necessary because of the topical nature of law.

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