Compare the English legal system to that of two other countries

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Compare the English legal system to that of two other countries

The English Legal System

The English legal system consists of two main courts. The Magistrate's Court and the Crown Court. The magistrate's court is for minor offences and any case that will result in a punishment of no more than a five thousand pound fine or six month imprisonment will be tried here. However if the case is likely to exceed the maximum punishment it will be passed on to the crown court. Serious cases like rape or murder will be tried at the Crown Court.

If somebody believes that they have been wrongly accused they have the opportunity to appeal to the courts. However if they were sentenced by a magistrates court they would have to appeal to a crown court, if they were sentenced by a crown court they would have to appeal to a high court, if they had been convicted at a high court then they will have to go to a court of appeal. However there must be reasonable grounds for the appeal. The sentenced must have new evidence or reason of a clear mistake.

Crown Court

The crown court is found in most cities. It is used for trying serious crimes. There are 15 types of people involved;

* Judge - a highly qualified lawyer with successful experience in criminal law as a barrister. The judge has to listen to both sides of the story (the prosecution and defence). If the defendant pleads not guilty then a jury will be called in who will along with the assistance of the judge come up with a verdict.

* Jury - there would be 12 members of the public aged 18-70 who would listen to the case and come up with a verdict. To reach a verdict they will take all the evidence in mind and discuss behind closed doors until there is an agreement of at least 10:2. This is why cases can take ages because the majority have to persuade the minority. These people are selected randomly from electoral roles so it could be anyone who has cast a vote. Barristers may change or reject some jurors if they feel that they are biased.
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* Solicitors - help the barristers prepare their arguments.

* Barristers - these are lawyers that are trained and experienced in criminal law. Prosecution barristers will put across the police case and defence barristers put across the defendant's case.

* Stenographer - types down everything what happens during a trial.

* Witnesses - people called by the prosecution or defence to support their case. They are cross examined by the other side.

* Defendant - the person who committed the crime.

* Police and prison officers - make sure that defendant does not ...

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