English Legal System

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The cases in volumes 2 and 3 are generally reprinted in the Law Reports. The first volume of the Weekly Law Reports contains cases considered to be less important. The Weekly Law Reports have the advantage of currency; it can take up to two years for a case to appear in the Law Reports.

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A64 is still published. It is not wholly duplicative of the Law Reports and its headnotes are considered to be more helpful than those in the Law Reports. Weekly advance sheets are also issued.

Common Law: The role of precedent, LLB Study Weekend 2011

In addition to the general series of law reports, there are commercially published reporters containing cases in a specific subject area. The online catalog will indicate whether the library receives a set of reports and its call number. English cases are also published on the web. House of Lords cases decided from are available from its archives, and the Supreme Court website provides information about pending and decided cases.

The judiciary website makes selected judgments available, as well as the British and Irish Legal Information Institute website. The Times Online publishes legal news along with the full text of selected judgments. E52 , which covers cases from the Yearbooks to the present. Cases are arranged in classified order under broad subject headings and then chronologically within each topic. Each case is assigned a number that can be used to trace the later treatment of that case thereby allowing The Digest to be used as a citator.

The digest's organization is similar to that of Halsbury's Laws of England see below under Encyclopedias. Each volume has its own index and there is a two-volume general index of subjects and of words and phrases. The third or green band edition of The Digest is the most current. In some instances an older case may not be in the current digest. You may find it by checking one of the older editions. Like its American counterparts, The Digest has Tables of Cases volumes allowing you to find a case if you know it by name and do not have a citation.


It will refer you to the correct volume of The Digest which will then provide the full citation for the case. Each method will lead to different parts of the same document. However, this feature is available only for cases in reporters included in the Westlaw databases. Lexis doesn't have a comparable feature, but once you have identified a case, you can try searching in the case databases with the name of the parties to find other cases that refer to your case. Restricting the search by date will help to limit results to cases that followed your case.

C84 through which traces the subsequent history and treatment of cases since note that cases are listed alphabetically, rather than by citation as in Shepard's.

For the history and treatment of cases prior to , check The Digest KD E52 The article by Stephen E. British treaties and agreements of international effect including unratified treaties are published as Command Papers , all of which appear in State Papers , the bound volume of Parliamentary Papers for each session. Treaties are indexed in the monthly and annual lists of government publications of Her Majesty's Stationery Office now the Office of Public Sector Information.

Ratified treaties, and most of the agreements and exchanges of notes, are numbered within the Treaty Series KZ T74 , in which a new numbering commences every year. The complete set of Command Papers is available at Perkins Library. Halsbury's Laws of England KD H34 , currently in its fifth edition, contains many of the elements of the American law dictionary, encyclopedia, digest and treatise. It is a complete narrative statement on the law of England, which has been culled from many sources, including the ancient common law, case law, statutory law and instruments, European legislation and treaties.

It is supplemented by monthly current service, annual supplements, new additional volumes and an annual abridgement volume KD The arrangement of the set is under title headings in alphabetical order. Means of access is through an index volume. It is an excellent resource and a recommended starting point for any UK legal research project. Two of the leading English legal dictionaries are Stroud's Judicial Dictionary , 9th ed.

Module description

S and Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law , 3rd ed. J69 Both are supplemented and cite relevant statutes and cases for their definitions. From the library received the Legal Journals Index Reference Indexes , which indexes all British legal periodicals. This index is now available from to present on Westlaw. Issues of Current Law KD C82 , both monthly and annual, also contain indexes to periodical articles. We will consider the history of the common law, and look at what it means to say that English law is a common law system.

We will also explore some important themes in common law. Welcome to the second week of the course. This week will introduce you to the British Constitution and identify its sources. Week 2 will also look at the fundamental constitutional principles which underpin the English Legal System. Welcome to the third week of the course. This week we'll look at how the court system works in England. We'll think about different courts in the system, and also other methods of resolving legal disputes. Welcome to the fourth week of the course. This week will introduce you to statutes or Acts of Parliament, one of the most important sources of English law.

Week 4 will cover how statutes are made and the different ways they are interpreted by the courts. You'll also consider whether statutes should be simplified. Welcome to the fifth week of the course. This week we'll explore another key source of English law, case law. You'll be introduced to the doctrine of judicial precedent and the question of judges as law-makers.

You'll have the opportunity to read a case yourself and write a case-note. Welcome to the sixth and final week of the course. Week 6 will also consider the impact of membership of the EU and of the Human Rights Act on the English Legal System, in particular on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. This course is a well designed one. It provides us a good comprehensive guide on the legal practice in England. I'm grateful to the designers of the course and 2 lecturers for presenting us this. Very good overview to law, especially to someone who had never studied it before. Some parts were confusing, as I did not know the law term, but overall beneficial course.

The Roots of Our Legal System: The Foundation for Growth

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English Legal System (M3036)

Browse Chevron Right. Social Sciences Chevron Right. Introduction to English Common Law. Offered By. University of London. About this Course 60, recent views. Flexible deadlines. Flexible deadlines Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule. Beginner Level. Hours to complete.

http://modernpsychtraining.com/cache/business/gib-how-to.php Available languages. Learners taking this Course are. Chevron Left. Syllabus - What you will learn from this course. Video 7 videos. Welcome to the course! Welcome to Week 1 37s. Key features of English law 2m. The origins of common law 3m. Common law and equity 3m. Thus there is the need for the requirement to use just the ratio decidendi. It makes the judgements much more precise and predictable 10 , as it requires each judge not to find just useful arguments but the legal reasons for a particular previous decision, because it are those, which are binding In civil law jurisdictions there is not such a system of precedent as it can be found in the English legal system.

In Germany, for example, there is no precedent at all. As a result of the German experiences with the legal system during the Third Reich 12 , the judge of modern Germany has every freedom in his decisions. Thus judicial decisions are not a binding formal source of law at all. But, and I have to lay emphasis on this, the judges are completely free to interpret the statutes in a way different from the one the BGH proposes, as long as they obey the rules of interpretation and as long as they do it within the legal frame of statute and constitution.

Here you can see, that the decisions of the highest German courts are not binding in the sense a precedent is binding; the situation a judge is in when he has to make a decision is a completely different one. These are paragraphs, which need a certain framework to be useable, and this framework consists of an interpretation, which is related to some kind of recent understanding of a certain word, the society as such has, a good example is paragraph BGB 14 performance according to good faith.

When you have a look at a typical German legal commentary for example at the problems paragraph BGB comes with 16 , you easily get the impression, that the German legal system does not know precedent as such, but that it is absolutely necessary to know the decisions of the BGH and BVerfG, if you want to be a proper judge, lawyer, or solicitor.

In comparison to the practice of precedent in the English legal system the European Court of Justice shows a different picture. First of all, the European Court of Justice does not feel bound to its own previous decisions While the House of Lords is usually bound to its decisions see above , the European Court of Justice freely exercises its right to reconsider its previous decisions But, apart from this fact, there are even more differences between the practice of precedent in the European Court of Justice and the English legal system.

In contrast, at least as far as preliminary rulings are concerned, to precedents in the English legal system, the cases the European Court of Justice decides are not binding to all the lower which in this context means national courts This system, in fact, is not strict, because in some cases the European Court of Justice seems to regards its decisions as being binding in other cases. Having a closer look at the way, the European Court of Justice frequently introduces a statement of the law, this immediately reminds you of the way, an English judge would proceed.

But the European Court of Justice neither explains why it is following a previous decision or not, nor does it draw any apparent distinction between ratio decidendi and obiter dictum, which is essential in an English decision. Furthermore the decisions of the European Court of Justice are, especially from the English point of view, short and dogmatic in tone, with much abstract discussion but a less detailed examination of facts - a style that can be found in decisions of the German Bundesgerichtshof and Bundesverfassungsgericht as well.

The absence of separate concurring and dissenting judgements is a further characteristic of the decisions of the European Court of Justice, as well as the interpretation of the Treaty provisions in the light of their spirit rather than their text. This absence of any discussion of precedent and the abstract style might make the decisions of the European Court of Justice more difficult to understand.