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					Comparative Law
Spring 2003
Professor Susanna Fischer
ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM
ENGLISH LEGAL PROFESSION
April 10, 2003
U.K.: Constitutional Hereditary
Monarchy
                    Head of State – the
                    Queen (Queen Elizabeth
                    II)
                    Appoints bishops to
                    Church of England,
                    Chief Justice, highest
                    ranking members of
                    armed forces
                    Ceremonial and
                    integrating role
                    See:
                    http://www.royal.gov.u
                    k/output/Page1.asp
UK - PARLIAMENTARY
SYSTEM (Westminster Model)
  Parliamentary systems, unlike presidential
  systems, typically do not have a separation of
  powers between the legislative and executive
  branches.
  Prime Minister (chief executive) is usually
  elected to the legislature like other members.
  PM is leader of the party that wins the
  majority of votes to the legislature (either de
  facto, or in some cases through an election
  held by the legislature).
  For link to FAQ on Parliament see:
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS
  Prime Minister appoints Cabinet Ministers
  who are generally legislative members from
  the ruling party or ruling coalition.
  Thus, in a parliamentary system, the
  constituency of the executive and legislature
  are the same. If the ruling party is voted out of
  the legislature, the executive also changes.
  Need for cooperation between
  executive/legislative for govt to survive and
  operate effectively.
CABINET
  Meets once a week in 10 Downing
  Street
  See list of ministers in Her Majesty’s
  Government at: http://www.number-
  10.gov.uk/output/Page1371.asp
PRIME MINISTER
                 Tony Blair
                 MP for Sedgfield
                 Leader of Labor party
                 Election after 18 years
                 in Opposition (age 43)
                 Won again in 2001
                 Wife: barrister Cherie
                 Booth QC
                 See:
                 http://www.number-
                 10.gov.uk/output/page4
                 .asp
Removing PM from Office
   Parliamentary system – 1. No confidence
   motion 2. By PM’s party vote
   French Semi-Presidential System 1. National
   Assembly can pass motion of censure forcing
   PM and government to resign 2. President
   can remove PM 3. President can dissolve
   National Assembly (not Senate). President
   can’t be removed before term expires
Elections
   Centrality of political parties
   Single member district-plurality system (first-
   past-the-post system)- effective in securing a
   majority government.
   In 1997, Labour won 43.2% of national vote,
   but this secured 63.6% of seats in the
   parliament. Liberal Democrats won 16.8% of
   votes, with only 7% of seats in the House of
   Commons.
Source of Law: Statutes
   Statutes are made by Parliament:
   House of Lords – reforms: in 1999 hereditary
   peers reduced from 750 to 92; second stage
   reform to come: appointed? Elected? Hybrid?
   House of Commons
   What is parliamentary sovereignty?
   See Ruth Rendell, The Blood Doctor, at:
   http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearc
   h/isbninquiry.asp?pwb=1&ean=97814000450
   44
Making an Act of Parliament
   How are parliamentary statutes made?
Delegated Legislation
   What is delegated legislation?
   Why is it necessary?
   What are some criticisms of it?
Judicial Review
   Can the validity of a parliamentary
   statute be challenged by a court?
   Delegated legislation?
3 Main Types
   Statutory Instruments
   Bye-laws
   Orders in Council
English Legal Profession
   Judiciary
   Solicitors
   Barristers
English Legal Profession
   Judiciary
   Solicitors
   Barristers
   Compare judicial selection to the French
   system and the U.S. system
   How are judges trained in England?
   How can a judge’s appointment be
   terminated? How can judges be disciplined?
Judicial Independence in
England?
   What are some of the main questions
   that have been raised about judicial
   independence?
Questions Concerning Judicial
Independence
   Narrowness of ethnic background, sex, and
   age of judges
   Secretive and discriminatory appointment
   process
   Limited training
   Insufficient procedures for criticism and
   dismissal
   Political system limits judicial independence
   Right-wing bias?
   Influence of Freemasonry
English Judiciary
                    See Charles Yablon,
                    Wigs, Coifs and
                    Other Idiosyncracies
                    of English Judicial
                    Attire, Cardozo at:
                    http://www.cardozo.
                    net/life/spring1999/
                    wigs/
The Lord Chancellor
                      Lord Irvine of Lairg
MAJOR TYPES OF ENGLISH
LAWYERS
  Solicitors
  Barristers
  There are also Public Notaries, who
  are solicitors or law students who
  pass the Notarial Practice exam
  and undertake a period of
  supervision
BARRISTERS
  How many barristers are in private
  practice in England and Wales?
  What is the function of a barrister?
  What is a QC?
  Governing body: Bar Council – see
  http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/
  What legal work do barristers do?
CHAMBERS
  What are Chambers?
INNS OF COURT
                What are the Inns
                of Court?
                Middle Temple
                Inner Temple
                Gray’s Inn
                Lincoln’s inn
INNER TEMPLE GARDEN
INNER TEMPLE CROQUET
  Members wishing to
  play croquet should
  collect the keys to the
  garden and the
  croquet shed from
  the Gardener. You
  should sign your
  name down when
  you take the key.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A
BARRISTER?
3 TRAINING STAGES
  ACADEMIC
  VOCATIONAL
  PUPILLAGE

				
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