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English Legal System: Chapter 1 UCLM Master


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Presetation done in the first session of the Master at the UCLM University

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English Legal System: Chapter 1 UCLM Master

  1. 1. LEGAL ENGLISH Subject integrated into the Master called “Legal Practice and Business”
  2. 2. Course Syllabus <ul><li>I. INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM </li></ul><ul><li>II. LEGAL ENGLISH </li></ul><ul><li>III. SOME LEGAL TEXTS: STRUCTURE AND VOCABULARY </li></ul><ul><li>3.1. Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>3.2. Divorce decree and testaments </li></ul><ul><li>3.3. Firms and entreprises </li></ul><ul><li>3.4. Affidavit </li></ul>
  3. 3. I. INTRODUCTION TO THE ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM <ul><li>It’s based on the common law : previous resolutions, codes </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a system different to the Continental law </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the system typical in former English colonies (India) </li></ul><ul><li>In English legal system statute law can also be applied </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1.1.The English Legal System and its sources <ul><li>2 branches: public law (relationship citizens-state) and private / civil law (citizens’ rights+ duties) </li></ul><ul><li>Common law system : born in feudal times. Courts deal with offences related to property, personal injuries, breach of contract </li></ul><ul><li>Equity: justice made by the king / Lord Chancellor </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Binding precedent doctrine or Case Law : decisions taken by judges are binding and cannot be ignored </li></ul><ul><li>This can be considered as a difference with Continental Law : resolutions don’t have a binding force </li></ul>
  6. 6. OTHER BRANCHES OF LAW <ul><li>Constitutional law: constitutional rights </li></ul><ul><li>Contract law: duties /rights derived from an offer </li></ul><ul><li>Competition law: entrepreneurs’ right to compete in market </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer law: consumer’s interests </li></ul><ul><li>Land law: freehold states </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Environmental law: environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate law: establishes separate legal entities (company or corporation) </li></ul><ul><li>Employment law: employment issues </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1.2. Organization and administration of the English Legal System <ul><li>Magistrates’ Court : misdemeanours+ summary offences </li></ul><ul><li>County Court : civil cases </li></ul><ul><li>Crown Court: criminal cases </li></ul><ul><li>High Court of Justice: civil cases + appellate court </li></ul><ul><li>House of Lords : last instance court </li></ul>
  9. 9. 1.3. Judges and magistrates <ul><li>Courts are mainly consituted by j udges (trained) + magistrates (lay) </li></ul><ul><li>Magistrates’ court : stipendiary magistrates ( barristers / solicitors with more than 7 years of experience) </li></ul><ul><li>County Courts: circuit judges appointed by the Queen </li></ul><ul><li>High Court of Justice: barristers with more than 10 years of experience </li></ul>
  10. 10. 1.4. Decisions made by judges <ul><li>Judgment (Civil cases) </li></ul><ul><li>1- Decision seeking for a remedy </li></ul><ul><li>2- Remedies can be equity (rescission, injunction) and legal (damages) </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence (Criminal cases) </li></ul><ul><li>1- Found guilty: custodial sentences (imprisonment) and non-custodial (fines) </li></ul><ul><li>2- Acquittal: guilty cannot be proved </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Providencia ( order) </li></ul><ul><li>1- Decisions dealing with questions related to the process </li></ul><ul><li>Auto (order) </li></ul><ul><li>1- Reasoned decisions </li></ul><ul><li>2- Types: writ of summons, warrant </li></ul>
  12. 12. 1.5. Proceedings against the Crown <ul><li>When a citizen challenges an administrative action on the grounds of exceeding, abusing or usurping functions, he’s demanding for a judicial review </li></ul>