Legal system - England + Wales (not everything), low is everywhere the same, but names are different. SOURCES OF LAW
Acts of Parliament
Orders (decisions taken by ministers)
By-laws (decisions taken by local governments)
Common Law - ancient law, derived from customs and interpreted in court by judges
European Union Law - economic and social matters
Cases: Queen against the criminal or…
Private person/police - criminal charge
Crown Prosecution Service - deals with everything
Head: The Director of Public Prosecution - choose prosecutors for courts (he doesn't many things - he is involved only in very difficult cases). He provides lawyers.
Chief Crown Prosecutors
CRIMINAL LAW (from lowest to highest instances)
Magistrates Courts - not very complicated, not serious. Sometimes victim decides whether trial should start here or in higher court.
Judges: Lay Magistrates - they are not lawyers, only trustworthy citizens. It is not permanent work, they work for some days and they are not paid for it - they get money as compensation for time they were not working.
Term: Justice of Peace
Crown Courts - 1st intstance (for more serious crimes) or 2nd instance court
Circuit judges (they are lawyers, ONLY barristers can be judges). It's their job but they can't be promoted.
If criminal pleads no guilty - trial. JURY - 12 people, ordinary citizens, they say guilty or not. Both sides have to agree, they can reject some people.
High Courts - judges (Mr Justice). It can be 1st instance for extremely difficult or very important cases.
Judges have to be barristers (from high court up) - it means a lot of experience as a lawyer. Their job is extremely important. They cannot be dismissed from work (2 houses have to decide to dismiss these person - in the case of serious crime for example).
The Court of Appeal
Judges (Mr Justice)
CRIMINAL DIVISION (there is also civil division - deals with civil cases)
The Supreme Court - very few cases will go here. Only extremely important, extremely complicated.
Judges (Justice) Judges always wear wigs (peruki). APPEALS
Magistrate - Crown Court
Crown Court/The High Court of Justice - The Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal - Supreme Court
Some magistrate courts are different. SPECIAL COURTS:
Juvenile Courts (for youngsters, under 17 years old). Lay magistrates. No media, no public, nobody can go (that's the only difference). Other magistrate courts are open; journalists can come and see trials.
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