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

To what extent is it still true to say that legal justice in England and Wales rests upon adversarialism?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is it still true to say that legal justice in England and Wales rests upon adversarialism? Introduction In the past, legal justice in England and Wales has rested upon adversarialism a great deal more than today. There have been many changes within the English legal system that seem to have in some way damaged the adversarial process. In this assignment I strive to examine these changes by using examples of adversarialism both being successful and detrimental to the English justice process. As the word justice and adversarial apply to both aspects of law (criminal and civil) then, of course, I will mention the changes in both but the bulk of this essay will be based on the effects within the civil legal system. What do we mean by 'adversarial' and 'justice' within criminal and civil law? The word 'justice' is controversial and takes many definitions within law but in this instance, I will mainly concentrate on how the English legal system uses adversarialism to achieve justice and research to what extent the use of the adversarial process has changed within the fast developing UK legal system. The word 'adversarial' has several meanings but the most plain of these is, "one side against the other."1 Within law, adversarialism is a battle over which side or story is believed. Firstly, there are two approaches for attempting to achieve fairness within the criminal legal system; these are due process and crime control. ...read more.

Middle

With the establishment of the county courts in 1846 came a means by which businessmen could recover damages without investing all their time and hard earned money. Towards the latter part of the last century the original Woolf reforms were reestablished but this time they were done so with the intent to increase the work of both the superior and county courts. Already the older trend of using an adversarial approach was slipping away into more modern times. At the beginning of the 20th century there was evidence of more complaints about delays in the civil courts and the ever increasing financial status of litigation. In his report, Lord Woolf estimated that in the 20th century alone there had been approximately 60 different reports concerning the attempt to reform the civil justice system. One of Woolf's arguments was for a 'root' and 'branch'3 review which would lead to a fundamental change within the system unlike many other proposals which had barely affected the civil process. Lord Woolf's Reforms 1995 In the interim report on 'Access to Justice,' Lord Woolf described the problems within the civil justice system as being "interrelated" and "restricted to one particular area".4 Lord Woolf illustrates the new civil system as being based upon 'aggressive adversarialism.' Woolf suggested the following reforms (which seem to have no regard for the adversarial process that has been used for so long) ...read more.

Conclusion

The most significant achievements have been introducing alternative dispute resolutions and also the pre-action protocols9 which, have made it possible to move those cases that can not be settled in these ways through the legal system quickly and effectively. On the other hand there are negative points to Lord Woolf's reforms such as his reform for fixed costs through the fast track reform, which unfortunately did not prove viable. The biggest change that proved fundamental was within the legal aid system which changed to conditional fee arrangements. This means that in personal injury claims, defendants are now liable for the success fees as well as the costs of the claimant's insurance. Conclusion From all the research I have done and from the evidence I have gathered it is my conclusion that although in the past the legal justice system in England and Wales did rest upon adversarialism, since the Woolf reforms and over the last century adversarialism has become a thing of the past and is no longer heavily relied on. As with everything in life the fast changing times bring with them serious changes, even within the most complex legal system. The adversarial approach has by no means been completely erased but new, improved methods of litigation are now being applied and seem to be creating equality and fairness within both the criminal and civil justice system. I have no doubt that within the next century there will be even more reforms and change, and maybe even the total abolishment of adversarialism. Reference list * http://www.dca.gov.uk/middle/report. ...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. Alternative Dispute Resolution Essay

    would even know about it, so business could carry on as usual. In court proceding the parties are not in control of anything at all, because strict rules and times are laid down which must be followed, this can allow opinions and important evidence to be unused or overlooked which

  2. Recommendations of the Woolf Report 1996.

    Fast track means that the court will set down a very strict timetable for the pre-trial matters. Once a case is set down for hearing, the aim is to have the case heard within 30 days. 3. The multi track.

  1. Critically analyse the relationship between law and justice.

    prove the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt, the right of a defendant to remain silent during questioning and trial, and the direction of the judge in order to ensure the rules of evidence are followed. Yet there are various famous cases where miscarriages of justice have occurred, such as the

  2. Free essay

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

    Criminal law in general is enforced by the government. (Ashworth, 1998) Therefore, this is usually decided by reference to the main sources of law which are statue law and common law. If a conduct can be defined as a criminal conduct by an Act of Parliament then it is a criminal conduct.

  1. Law and Fault. The fundamental principle of English law is that there is ...

    Here, although an offence has been committed, there is no intention; and because he had no control over his actions, he is not at fault and therefore would not be liable. Furthermore, the principle of fault can be illustrated by the use of special defences.

  2. What changes have been made to the novel Harry Potter to make the film ...

    Uncle Vernon keeps interrupting Harry because the turn shifts to Uncle Vernon before Harry has finished his utterance. This interruption is rude and shows lack of interest, it is a sign of conversation power and control. In the exchange, the priority of turn taking was given to Uncle Vernon because

  1. Policing Using New Technologies

    but to use as little force as possible while being effective in doing so. Evidence shows that there has been less force used by the police, ?as Edwards, Granfield and Onnen(1997) found a substantial decrease in use-of-force complaints following the introduction of OC spray? (Brown.

  2. Expert Testimony and Its Value In the Justice System

    Professor Sir Samuel Roy Meadow Issues with Expert Testimony The Expert The use of expert witnesses has come under considerable scrutiny in recent years. This has reached such a stage that the Law Commission produced a consultation paper[8] which suggests changes that it believes need to be made to the current legislation to resolve key issues.

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