Martin J,The English Legal System

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English Legal System
Reading List and the proposed content
Katarzyna Gromek-Broc

University of York
Reading List:

Partington M, An Introduction to the English Legal System, (OUP 5th edition, 2010)

There is also a blog provided by OUP supporting different sections of the book with important material and up-to date examples from the real life and real situations, news, the courts’ decisions
Martin J Hodder A, The English Legal System (5th ed, 2010)
Elliot C, Quinn F., English Legal system (10th edition, Pearson Longman 2009)
Slapper, G.,Kelly D. The English Legal System, (11th Ed.2010)
Martin, J. Looking at the English Legal System (2ed ed.2003)
Informative content:

1. Introduction to English Legal System: Structure and operation:
This introduction aims at setting an overview of the English Legal System placing it in the context. .Discussing the purpose and functions of the law; law as a public, political social, economic order.
2. Law as a subject in England and Wales

The main classification of law in England and Wales:

criminal/civil law; public/private and public international/private international law.
3. Sources of Law: A general Overview: Common Law, Statute, delegated legislation, Custom, EU and international Law
4.Common law & Equity

a) Authority of judicial decisions, Do judges make law? How do judges decide cases?

Exercise: reading a real case Attorney General v Scotcher 2004 UKHL 36
b) Judicial Precedent

The doctrine of Stare Decisis. Nature and authority of precedent with examples.

The hierarchy of Courts: Court of Appeal, House of Lords

Important judicial mechanisms: distinguishing, overruling, reversing.

Nature and authority of precedent with examples.
5. Legislation:

Parliament’s Acts:

Doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty, The Jackson Decision

Why legislation is necessary (to amend or repeal existing

legislation, to change or add to the common law, to codify or

to consolidate law).

Delegated Legislation
6. Statutory Interpretation:

The literal interpretation

The Golden rule

The Mischief rule

Purposive Interpretation

Use of language

7. Institutions:

Government: law maker

Criminal Justice system: Criminal Courts and Procedure

Administrative Justice System

Employment Tribunals,

Civil and Commercial Justice System, Civil Courts and Procedure

8. The Judiciary, Juries and Magistrates

The function of the courts, the role of the juries and the magistrates

9. The Personnel

The legal scholars, adjudicators and the legal profession

10. Police Powers:

Example: terrorism

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