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Revision for Unit 1.

What is Law?

- Law is a set of rules.

Why we need Law?

- To keep public order.
- To protect individual freedoms.
- To regulate relationships.
- To set standards.
- To provide solutions for legal problems.

Classification of Law

- International and national law.
- Public and private law.

Differences Between Civil and Criminal Law

- Criminal cases are where the State accuses someone of a crime.
- Civil cases are taken by individual people or businesses in order to claim or enforce a right.

Double Liability

- When an action breaches two types of law.

Criminal Courts (Magistrates' Courts)

- Cases are tried by a district judge or lay magistrates.

Criminal Courts (Crown Court)

- Cases are tried by a judge and jury.

Criminal Appeal Courts

- Crown Court (for appeals from the Magistrates' Courts)
- High Court Administrative Court (for appeals from the Magistrates' Court on points of law)
- Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) for appeals from the Crown Court
- Supreme Court for a further appeal from the Court of Appeal

Civil Courts (County Court)

- Cases are decided by judges.

Civil Courts (High Court

- Deals with claims of more than £15,000.

Civil Appeal Courts

- High Court (for appeals from the County Court)
- Court of Appeal (Civil Division) for appeals from the High Court
- Supreme Court for a further appeal from the Court of Appeal

Magistrates' Courts (Summons)

- A document sent by post to the accused person.

Magistrates' Courts (Arrest)

- For more serious offences, the suspected person will be arrested by the police.

Magistrates' Courts (Police Bail)

- After the suspect has been charged the police may decide to allow them bail.

The Crown Prosecution Service

- The CPS is responsible for prosecuting most cases in the criminal courts.

Magistrates' Courts Duty Solicitors

- While a suspect is being held by the police at a police station, he or she has the right to consult a lawyer.

Magistrates' Courts Bail

- Police Bail/Bail at Court

Magistrates' Courts Summary Offences

- Less serious offences which can be tried only in a Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates' Courts Offences Triable Either Way

- Offences which can be tried either in the Magistrates' Court or in the Crown Court.

Magistrates' Courts Indictable Offences

- More serious offences which can be tried only at the Crown Court.

Magistrates' Courts Guilty Plea/Not Guilty Plea

- The defendant can plea guilty or not guilty.

Magistrates' Courts Sentencing

- Before sentencing a defendant, they will hear about the defendant's past convictions and his or her background and financial situation.

Magistrates' Courts Appeals

- The defendant has the right to appeal against both conviction and/o sentence.

Crown Court Trial on Indictment

- An indictment is the document setting out the charges against the defendant.

Crown Court Role of the Judge

- Before the trial.
- Guilty plea.
- At the trial.
- Sentencing.

Crown Court Role of the Jury

- Decide the verdict.

Crown Court Sentencing

- Custody.
- Community orders.
- Fines.
- Discharge.

Crown Court Appeals

- Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
- Further Appeal at Supreme Court.

Civil Claims

- Most people will try to come to an agreement rather than start court proceeding.s.

Citizens Advice Bureaux

- Issue general advice on legal matters.

Funding a Civil Case

- Public funding.
- Conditional fees.
- Insurance.
- Public Funding.

Bringing a Civil Claim

- The claim form.
- Defending the claim.
- The track system.
- Small claims.
- Fast-track cases.
- Multi-track cases.


- Damages.
- Injunctions


- Set up to deal with specific types of claim.
- Enforce Human Rights

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

- Negotiation.
- Mediation.
- Conciliation.
- Arbitration.

Use of Juries

- The use of a jury in the courts to help decide cases goes back over a thousand years.

Jury Qualifications

- Aged between 18 and 70.
- Registered to vote on the electoral register.
- Have lived in the UK for at least five years.

Selection of a Jury

- Jurors are selected at random from computerised lists of the electoral registers for each area.

Role of Juries in Criminal Trials

- The role of the jury in the Crown Court is to listen to the evidence and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.

Applying to be a Magistrate

- Those who wish to be lay magistrates must apply to their local advisory committee.

The Role of Magistrates

- Most of the work is connected to criminal cases.


- Training.
- Solicitors' work.
- Advocacy.


- Training.
- Pupillage.
- Barristers' work.
- Queen's Counsel.

Types of Judge

- District Judges (Magistrates' Court/County Courts)
- Recorders (Part time in Crown Court)
- Circuit Judges (Crown Court)
- High Court Judges (High Court)
- Lords Justices of Appeal (Court of Appeal)
- Law Lords (Supreme Court)

Role of Judges

- District Judges (small claims cases under £5,000)
- Recorders (part time judges)
- Circuit Judges (hear civil cases)
- High Court Judges (Queen's Bench Division, Chancery Division, Family Division)

Qualifications of Judges

- Qualified as either a barrister of solicitor.


- House of Commons.
- House of Lords.

Green and White Papers

- Green Paper (Government's view put forward)
- White paper (Government will publish a final white paper)

Passage if a Public Bill through Parliament

- First Reading.
- Second Reading.
- Committee Stage.
- Report Stage.
- Third Reading.
- House of Lords.
- Royal Assent.
- Commencement of an Act.

Orders in Council

- Made by Queen and Privy Council.

Statutory Instruments

- Made by government ministers.


- Made by local authorities.

Ratio Decidendi

- Summary of the facts of the case.

Obiter Dicta

- Other things said.

Stare decisis

- Stand by the decision made.

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