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Outline the work of the County Court including the limits on its jurisdiction, and also how well it deals with small claims.

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Introduction

GCSE Law Coursework 2003-4 Before I can answer the questions set regarding the county court, I would first like to look at what the law is and how the County court has progressed over the years. There is no set definition for what the law is but Sir John Salmond defined law as 'the body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice'. But in simpler terms law is a set of rules, where they are recognised by the people in a country and given backing by the government to enforce them in the country, in other words, 'recognised and applied by the state'. To help the state apply these they make use of the courts, and one branch of the courts is the County Court. The County courts were created by the County courts Act 1846 to hear small civil claims. The reason for the county courts was to provide cheap justice in small civil cases, as the courts before were unable to do. The County courts jurisdiction was limited by the value of the claim. In 1991 the jurisdiction of the County courts was changed and the deciding factor in their jurisdiction is now the complexity of the case. There are nearly 300 County courts that are run by circuit judges and district judges. ...read more.

Middle

The only time these will not be tried in a County Court if the case seems to be more suitable for trial in the High Court, using the CALSA 1990. The County Courts also have a special jurisdiction where they can hear specific family proceedings under certain pieces of legislation. Some County Courts can be chosen to be 'divorce county courts' and can hear petitions for divorce, nullity of marriage and separation orders, where other County courts can specifically deal with insolvency cases. Even with all these areas the County Courts can cover, and cases they can consider, there are certain limitations on the jurisdiction of the county courts. The County Courts are seen to be inferior, and the courts power is also limited in two main ways. The first limit is to do with geography. What this means is that the case should be dealt with in the county court in the district where the defendant lives or carries business. The second limit to do with what remedies the county courts can grant. For example, they cannot grant the "prerogative remedies of certiorari, mandamus or prohibition" these remedies are made by high courts, it's in their power to make them. These three remedies: Certiorari is an order, which "has the effect of ordering a lower court or tribunal to send a record of its proceedings to the Divisional Court". ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, a person bringing a claim knows that if they fail, they only have to meet their own expenses and a limited amount of the opponent's costs. This is in direct contrast to ordinary civil cases where a potential claimant has to weigh the risk of loosing the case and paying the full legal costs of the opponent as well as their own legal costs. In 1986 there was a review of the small claims procedure, which found that most of the cases brought were about the provisions of goods and services, and this particular procedure was both used by the traders and the professionals and ordinary customers. Most of those claiming said that the procedure was satisfactory and much faster than ordinary cases dealt in the court. According to this review the small claims procedure is an affective way of dealing with small claims quickly and efficiently. Bibliography * GCSE Law by Jacqueline Martin, 2nd edition * AQA Law for AS by J Martin Hodder & Staneghton * Law for legal Executives, part one year one by Timothy Blakemore & Brendam Greene * The Law Making Process by Michael Zander * Law for GCSE by Peter Shears, 3rd edition * Law by David Barker & Colin Padfield * www.justask.org.uk * www.google.co.uk * www.courtservice.gov.uk * www.thomashiggins.com/arnitration.htm * www.depthelpuk.co.uk/law/lawsonyourside * www.dur.ac.uk/c.j.neville-smith * www.justclaim.co.uk/county * www.ukonline.gov. ...read more.

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