The law and procedural rules that have
The English Legal System is the English Law governingEngland and Wales. It distinguishes several types of law:. Common law andEquity. Private law andPublic law- Civil law and Criminal law.
Statute law(Legislation)- Acts of Parliament- Delegated Legislation. Law from the European CommunityFollowing the Norman conquest, English law has beendescribed as a common law system. This was a system whereby a number of legalconcepts from Norman Law were incorporated into the English system. Common law refers to the substantivelaw and procedural rules that have been created by the judiciary through thedecisions in the cases they have heard. It is also referred to as Case law. The only remedy availableunder common law is monetary in the form of damages.To deal with the issue that damages are not always asuitable remedy, equity was developed two or three hundred years later aftercommon law.
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Equity was brought in tointroduce fairness into the legal system and offers alternative remedies whenmoney is not sufficient. They are injunction, specific performance order(SPO),rescission, restitution and rectification. Whenever there is a conflict betweencommon law and equity,then equity prevails.
Within the English legal system, two distinct areas of lawoperate: private and public law. They both aim to create social order. Private law deals with relationshipsbetween private individuals, groups or organizations. This can include contractlaw, family law and other areas which deal with the intellectual propertyrights (copyrights, designs and patents), land law ,probate and company law. Thestate provides the legal framework( such as statutes) and the state does notget involved whereby it allows the individuals to handle the matters.
Public law isconcerned with government and the functions of public organizations. The keydifference between public and private law is that it is the state thatprosecutes under public law whereas the individuals take up the action inprivate law. Public law includes criminal law, constitutional law,administrative law , social welfare law and all deals with matters relating tothe whole country.Civil law is aform of private law and involves the relationships between individual citizens.The purpose is to settle disputes between the Plaintiff(claimant) and theDefendant. The case is brought by the claimant, who is seeking a remedy wherebythe defendant is being sued.
Civil cases are referred to by the names of theparties involved in the dispute, for example, Alonzo v Shelly. In civilproceedings, the case must be proved on the balance of probability. Theobjective is usually financial compensation in the form of damages, Spo,injunctions to put the claimant in the position he would have been in had thewrong not occurred.Criminal lawrelates to conduct which the State considers with disapproval and which itseeks to control.
In a criminal case, the State is the prosecutor, as therepresentative of society, acts positively to ensure compliance. Criminal casesare brought by the State in the name of the Crown. A criminal case will bereported as Regina v Joey where Regina means the Latin for ” queen”. In acriminal trial, the burden of proof to convict the accused rests with theprosecution, which must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Persons guiltyof crime may be punished by fines payable to the State, imprisonment or acommunity-based punishment. If found innocent, the accused will be acquitted. Legislation is the law created by Parliament and otherbodies to whom it has delegated authority. Parliament is the ultimate source oflaw and it can make whatever laws it wishes.
In terms of quantity, Parliamentproduces far more legal rules than any other source. Primary legislationconsists of three distinct elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lordsand the Monarch, but the real source of power is the House of Commons which hasthe authority of being the democratically elected institution. There are two mainforms of legislations: – Acts ofParliament, or Statutes, are legislations made by Parliament itself. An Actof Parliament is binding on everyone in the jurisdiction. It is the highestsource of law and will supercede both common law and equity. Before any legislative proposal, known atthat stage as a bill, can become an Act of Parliament it must proceed through,and be approved by, both Houses of Parliament and must receive the RoyalAssent. – Delegatedlegislation is law made by some person or body, usually a governmentminister or local authority, to whom Parliament has delegated its generallaw-making power.
A validly enacted piece of delegated legislation has the samelegal force and effect as the Act of Parliament under which it is enacted.Delegated legislation can take the form of: Orders in Council; StatutoryInstruments; Bye-Laws; or Professional regulations. The European UnionSince joining the European Community, now the EuropeanUnion, the United Kingdom and its citizens have become subject to EuropeanCommunity (EC) law. In areas where it is applicable, European law supercedesany existing United kingdom law to the contrary.The sources of EC law are: internal treaties and protocols;international agreements; secondary legislation; and decisions of the EuropeanCourt of Justice.