• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Court Structure

Extracts from this document...


Court Structure Criminal Courts Criminal courts are those where the defendant is tried for committing a crime against the state. In the legal system the criminal courts are considered below the civil courts, at the lower end of the hierarchy. Different courts have different jurisdiction. The term jurisdiction means the power of the court to settle disputes. Courts of first instance only have the power to try a case for the first time, for example the Magistrates Court, whereas courts of appeal or appellate courts only have the power to hear appeal cases. Some courts, like the High Court, have a dual function and are able to do both. In the Magistrates court the trial is usually heard by three lay Magistrates or one District Judge, but there is no jury. Magistrates may not impose a sentence heavier that six months imprisonment (or 12 months of two or more offences tried together) and/or a fine of �5000. In exceptional cases the maximum fine is raised to �20 000. If the court feels that the defendant deserves a heavier sentence than they can impose they are able to commit the defendant to the Crown Court. The Magistrates Court may also act as a Youth Court. The Crown court was established by the Courts Act 1971. It is arranged in regions and within each region there are different centres for hearing cases. Theses centres fall into three classes: 1. First-tier centres. These are staffed by High Court and Circuit Judges, and hear all types of criminal cases. Some High Court civil work is also carried out in these centres. 2. Second-tier centres. Staffed by High Court and circuit Judges, and hear only criminal cases. ...read more.


All other claims may be issued in either court, although if the claim is of a high value, complexity or general importance then it should be started in the High Court. Once a claim becomes defended, it will be allocated by the court to one of three tracks: * The small claims track for claims up to �5000, or �1000 for a personal injury claim. * The fast track for claims not exceeding �15 000 and which are not otherwise allocated to the small claims track. * The multi track for all other claims. The High Court is a court of first instant for civil cases. It has three divisions, each with a president and a number of High Court Judges. Cases in the High Court are heard by a single judge sitting alone, although there is occasionally a jury of 12 in the Queen's Bench Division for certain types of case. The divisions of the High Court are as follows: 1. Queens Bench Division. It hears cases in tort and contract and the recovery of land. Cases are usually heard by a single judge unless it is a case to do with the person's reputation when they will be tried by jury. There are presently 70 judges of the Division. In London the judges are assisted by nine Masters of the Queens Bench Division, and in the provinces by District Judges. The Division includes some specialist courts such as the Admiralty Court and the Commercial Court. 2. Chancery Division. The Chancery Division is headed by the Chancellor. It hears mainly cases involving finance and property such as trusts, mortgages, administration of estates, companies, taxation and patents. ...read more.


7. The powers of the Council on Tribunals are too limited. The Court of First Instance The Court of First Instance is an EU court and was established in 1989 to reduce the very large workload of the ECJ. One judge from each Member sate sits in the CFI. The jurisdiction of the CFI includes: 1. disputes between the EU institutions and their officials and staff 2. actions brought against the Commission by businesses 3. actions brought against the EU institutions by individuals or businesses 4. restricted power to implement the EU competition rules, including related matters such as levies, production, prices, subsidies and agreements. The European Court of Justice Art 220 EC Treaty states that the ECJ's purpose is to ensure that the implementation and application of this Treaty the law is observed. Like the Court of First Instance the ECJ consists of one judge from each member state, serving for a renewable six year term. They are assisted by eight Advocates General, who are independent, and whose purpose is to advise them. The ECJ has two types of jurisdiction: 1. Direct actions against Member States for failing to fulfil their obligations under EC law. 2. Preliminary rulings, in which any court or tribunal in any Member State may ask the ECJ, under Art 234 EC Treaty, for a ruling on a question of interpretation or validity of a point of EC law that is necessary in order for it properly to determine a case before it. The European Court of Human Rights. The ECtHR hears cases concerning breaches of the European Convention of Human Rights, which was signed in 1951 by a number of European countries, including the UK. ?? ?? ?? ?? Vicky White ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Describing the Rules and Aids to Statute interpretation. Including Advantages and Disadvantages.

    4 star(s)

    Secondly the Literal Rule ignores the limitations of language and assumes the Parliamentary draftsmen and perfect and precise in the many meanings of words. Finally judges have tended to excessively emphasise the literal meanings of a statute without examining and scrutinising the meanings in a wider context.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Non-fatal Offences?

    3 star(s)

    Accompanying this, the hierarchy of the offences in terms of seriousness can also be severely criticized. This is because firstly while assault and battery can only be punished with a maximum sentence of 'six months imprisonment', ABH s47 can be punished by 'five years'.

  1. Free essay

    Critically discuss whether the criminal courts of England and Wales require substantial reform. Firstly ...

    That is no longer true. There is no time. Judges have a far more proactive role. Well in advance of the trial, it is their responsibility to get a firm grip of the case, seek to identify the issues, and give directions for the conduct of the trial.

  2. What justification was there for Socrates' trial, verdict and death sentence?

    He infuriated the jury so intensely, by saying he would refuse to stop prophesying, and owed a greater obedience to his god than to them. Therefore, Socrates I believe had the right to be brought to trial in this light, and even if it was because of prejudice against him,

  1. Notes on Sentencing in British courts

    4.2 Parental Responsibility o If parents agree a time is set to control kids. If fail they forfeit money, max �1000 o If unreasonably refuse court has power to force fine. o Parents also can be bound over to ensure child complies with community order.

  2. Explain the role of the CCRC (Criminal Cases Review Commission)

    The appeal courts will have to decide in the conviction is safe. The court of appeal will only quash the conviction if it decides that the conviction is UNSAFE. They also have the power to refer cases to the appropriate court whenever it feels that there is a real possibility that the sentence will not be upheld.

  1. Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies which deals with disputes concerning particular areas of law.

    There is also privacy as tribunals do not have to disclose cases to public. Appeals cannot be made on a decision however it can be made on a point of law. The appeal is first heard by the First Tier Tribunal, followed by a Upper Tier Tribunal.

  2. Why was the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) created?

    to improve mutual efficiency and co-ordination and to prevent any delays in the prosecution process. Some of his recommendations that stood out included that the CPS should be in 42 areas instead of the 13 as it was at the time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work