Civil courts in UK: does it need a reform?
...This paper is going to look into the structure of the civil court of the UK.
There are over four hundred county courts in England and Wales and they are staffed by Circuit Judges and District Judges. The Circuit Judge is appointed by the crown from advice of the Lord Chancellor. The Circuit Judge would usually sit alone although there is the possibility of trial by a jury of eight persons in some cases. A District Judge may also be appointed as a temporary measure to clear up any business in the County Court. The county court will hear cases for claims up to £25,000 or any personal injury case which is less than £50,000, unless the cases are extremely complex (Slapper and Kelly, 2003). The County Court is bound by the decisions of all the higher courts and decisions made by the County Court does not bind any other court. The decision made by the County Court may be appealed, which are usually made to the High Court. As the County Court is very formal, inflexible, costly, time consuming and some issues may be too technical for judges to resolve Alternative Dispute Resolution may be used. Negotiation is favoured by the court as hopefully the matter can be resolved before the court hearing. There may be a tribunal which operates alongside the courts and are used as an alternative to the courts, often because they are more appropriate. A tribunal usually comprises of three people, one legally qualified chairperson and two experts with the knowledge of the individual cases...
Trial Jury: guarantee against injustice?
...A defendant is a person accused of a wrong doing of a criminal or civil action. Moreover the word injustice has been an issue for many centuries. As injustice is a form of unfair treatment or action against any one person, (Collins English Dictionary). Injustice can be said to be a “violation of another’s right or of what is right; lack of justice… A specific unjust act; a wrong”
The word ‘trial’ originates from the Anglo-French, from ‘trier’, ‘to try’. (www.gurunet.com). The English Dictionary defines trial as the, “investigation of a case before a judge” The more serious criminal cases are tried on the basis of a document called the indictment - the defendant is indicted on criminal charges specified in the indictment by the prosecutor. In most cases, the prosecution is on behalf of the Crown (the State) and is handled by an official agency called the Crown Prosecution Service, which takes the case over from the police who have already investigated most of the evidence. The first stage will be to decide whether there is a case to answer - what is called a prima facie case. This process, called committal, will be dealt with by a magistrate on the basis of evidence disclosed in papers provided by the prosecutor. If the case proceeds, it is heard in the Crown Court (there is only one Crown Court but it has about 70 centres around the jurisdiction). The trial is before a judge and jury. The judge presides over the trial process by attempting to ensure clarity and fairness. The judge must also consider and decide on legal issues (such as whether a piece of evidence is admissible - should be put before the jury) and also instruct the jury as to the correct view of the law relevant to the case...
Law from Malaysian Perspective
...In a society with certain structure it is definite that different individuals will have different opinions which have to be coordinated by law. Laws is a type of glue stick that holds society together, so that they can live peacefully. For example, law of criminal helps to safeguard the personal property and lives. Law of contract helps to ensure people keep on their promises
Law protects basic individual rights and freedom such as liberty, equality and freedom of speech. It prevents individuals in powerful position from taking an unfair advantage of other people.
Law ensures a safe and peaceful society, in which individual rights are preserved. Certain governments have cruel laws, where police and armies arrests and punishes people without a trial in the court.
Law applies to every persons, public authorities, governmental departments, private bodies, profit making organizations as well as non-governmental organizations.
In Malaysia, the legislative body which is made up of Lower House and the Upper house, both which consists of representatives of people, makes law. The executive body which is headed by YDPA, who is assisted by Prime Minister, enforces the law, so that everyone will follow. The judiciary body judges law. These three bodies form the Malaysian government. The law, however, is an independent entity by itself although it is made, enforced and judged by the government...
Man’s concept of morality and lawyer’s outlook on it
...In elucidating whether the lawyer’s litigious role and notion of professional responsibility initiate divergence from common perceptions of morality an essential starting point is to briefly explicate some form of understanding in relation to the moral values the lawyer’s role ostensibly subverts. In actual fact providing a definitive answer which encapsulates the various perspectives espoused in relation to the notion of common morality is a somewhat unfeasible task as the concept remains elusive. Nevertheless one feature has remained dogmatically constant throughout the various interpretations advocated and that is the importance of the moral sense. One need only look at ancient mythology and Zeus’s solution to the inexorable decline of the human race, the gift of a moral sense, to gain a mesmerising insight into the inherent importance of morality. Although historically religious ideology provided much of the framework in relation to the assessment of moral standards it is argued that in a modern pluralistic society biblical authority no longer determines the formulation of ethical principles. Thus moral philosophy has made a number of attempts to provide a definitive answer in relation to what the concept of morality actually embraces and it has been conveyed that moral duty “is the action which will cause more good to exist in the universe than any other possible alternative...
Social problems: what is law’s role in their solutions?
...Amitai Etzioni distinguishes four methods of assessing social problems. In the first "Consensus and Structural Function Approach" he defines a social problem as "...what people think they are.". Thus the law takes no part in defining social problems, this is the role of society, the law only attempts to remedy them. His second preposition is the "Conflict or Alienation Approach" that traces its roots in Marxist theory. Here the failings of a Capitalist Society create sub-sections of underclass citizens that are affected with social problems. Again the law does nothing to define the problem but the "Conflict" theory suggests its resolution of social problems is based on a new system of governing. It can therefore be said that this theory clearly sees the resolutions of social problems in a structured state that, by definition, must require a legal system and suggests all social problems are cured by an adherence to the law, or nearly all. His third model is "Symbolic Interactionism and Ethnomethodology" in which individuals through social interaction define social problems, for example if all my friends are criminals then I do not find it a social problem but if all my friends are not then I find crime a problem. It does not however define how to solve the problem but suggests that education is the key to transforming the definition of social problems...