The legal profession in the United Kingdom

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The legal profession in the United Kingdom - strona 1

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In the United Kingdom and countries having a similar legal system the legal profession is divided into two kinds, the solicitors who contact and advise clients, and barristers who argue cases in court. In cases where a trial is necessary a client has to hire a solicitor, who will advise him and then retain a barrister on his behalf.
Both are trained in law but serve different functions in the practice of law. Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society, barristers by the General Council of the Bar and the individual Inns of Court. There are four Inns, all situated in the area of London close to the Law Courts in the Strand. Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, and the Middle and Inner Temples.
Solicitors are lawyers who traditionally deal with any legal matter including conducting proceedings in courts. Minor criminal cases are tried in Magistrates' Courts, which constitute by far the majority of courts. More serious cases start in the Magistrates Court and may then be transferred to a higher court. The majority of civil cases are tried in county courts and are almost always handled by solicitors. Cases of higher value (£50,000.00 or above) and those of unusual complexity are tried in the High Court, and the advocates in the High Court were until recentlybarristers engaged by solicitors to assist. Barristers, as the other branch of the English legal profession, have the only function to present cases in court. When they present a case in court, they, like judges, put on the archaic gown and wig which, it is supposed, emphasize the impersonal majesty of the law. There are currently about 10,000 barristers in practice in the UK.
Neither kind oflawyer needs a university qualification. The vast majority of barristers and most solicitors do in fact go to university, but they do not necessarily study law there. This arrangement is typically British. JUDGES
It is exclusively from the ranks of barristers that judges are appointed. Once they have been appointed, it is almost impossible for them to be dismissed. The only way that this can be done is by a resolution of both Houses of Parliament, and this is something that has never happened. Moreover, their retiring age is later than in most other occupations. They also get very high salaries . These things are considered necessary in order to ensure their independence from interference , by the stare or any other party.
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