Introduction to the Law

Topics: Law, High Court of Justice, Criminal law Pages: 5 (1885 words) Published: July 2, 2013
“Dual Liability may arise from the same set of facts, however the two branches of the law have very different purposes, procedures and resulting penalties will differ.” The English legal system has two types of law, criminal and civil law, they deal with different things in different ways. A crime is wrong against the state, which will be also be punished by the state, in one side we have the wrongdoer and the other we have the state or the crown court, the aim is to punish the wrongdoer to also make sure it does not repeat itself. Serious cases such as murder are dealt with by a judge or a jury, less serious offences (breach of peace) are dealt with by magistrates, the parties that are present at the prosecution and the defendant. The crown prosecution must prove the case with no doubts; if the defendant is found guilty, they will be convicted by the judge or the jury if not, they found not guilty, sanctions and punishment include imprisonment, fines and community order. Criminal cases are brought by the state in the name of Crown. A criminal case example would be in the R v Lamb 1967 where the defendant was convicted of manslaughter having shot and killed a friend. He did not intend to injury his friend as both them did not know how guns worked, there were two bullets inside, but they thought there was no danger pulling a trigger, but when the defendant did the victim was killed. In a civil law case, the civil action is between the wrongdoer and the potential victim and the aim is to compensate the victim for the harm done. Civil law comes under the private law which a relationship between certain individuals which are also citizens. In this legal process the individuals can claim against each other confidentially. The main purpose in civil law is to settle a negotiation between the individuals and find a fair outcome. In this type of law the state already has given out specific laws; it is up to the individual concern and it has different aspects, like contract, tort and property law. In a civil law case the injured party can bring action or sue the party liable and may recover damage, it can be settled out of court and it can be withdrawn at any time, the claimants issues a claim form citing out the facts and asking for damages or other types of remedies, which include financial reward for damages or injunctions. An example of a civil law case would be Smith v Jones where a claimant sues a defendant. In criminal law the prosecution has to prove that defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, while in civil law the level of proof is lower and has only to be set of scales of probabilities. In comparing criminal and civil law it is often thought, in popular belief, that criminal cases are most important to maintain social order but we could also argue that in reality it is the opposite, people come in contact less with criminal law, where as everyone is constantly involved in with civil law, even if it is only the use of contract law to make some purchase. In any case it remains the fact that both have their own distinct legal system. In the English legal system there are different types of court, the Country Court (218 courts) are where they deal with the majority of civil litigations subject to nature of the claim, the Tribunals are where they hear appeals from decisions on immigration, social security, child support, pensions, tax and lands, the Magistrates Court are where the trials of summary offences take place, committals to the crown court, family proceedings...
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