'Describe the jurisdiction of the High Court and the County Court in civil cases including an explanation of the track system
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'Describe the jurisdiction of the High Court and the County Court in civil cases including an explanation of the track system.' There are four main civil courts in the English Legal System, which hold civil jurisdiction; the County Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and The House of Lords. There are also smaller civil courts with some jurisdiction such as the Magistrate's Court and then there is the European Court of Justice setting precedent for all our courts. The magistrate's court has a very small amount of civil jurisdiction. They are responsible for granting licences to pubs, betting shops and other outlets. They also have jurisdiction over some domestic matters such as adoption and some other matrimonial matters.
The county court hears cases up to £50,000, for both personal injury and normal claims, since the recommendations for reforms from Lord Justice Woolf in the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. These cases are nearly always heard in open court (anyone can attend) and utilise the three track system introduced by Woolf in the Civil Procedure Act 1997 to improve the efficiency of the civil justice system. These are the Small Claims procedure, Fast Track and Multi Track systems. The Small Claims procedure is designed to be relatively cheap, simple and fast. Claims under £5000 (£1000 for personal injury) are heard using the Small Claims procedure and the claimant and defendant are encouraged to represent themselves to lower costs.
These divisions are The Queen's Bench Division, Chancery Division and Family Division. The Queens Bench Division is headed by Lord Chief Justice and the vast majority of cases that come before this court are concerned with all forms of tort law and breach of contract. The Queen's Bench Division also conducts judicial Review cases. The Chancery Division deals with company law matters, conveyancing, land law matters, copyright actions and breach of patent, probate and taxation cases. The final division is the Family Division whose jurisdiction is primarily to hear divorce and matrimonial cases. Also it hears social welfare cases (child welfare, financial orders for the division of family property, payment of maintenance and others.) Other minor issues concerning the court include adoption, custody and the access of children.
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