English Legal System

English Legal System provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal foundations and structures that define the English legal system. This course aims to acquaint students with the historical evolution of the Common Law tradition, the constitutional principles underpinning the legal framework, and the intricate workings of the judicial system.

1. Common Law Tradition
This module delves into the historical roots and development of the Common Law tradition in England. Students explore the evolution of legal principles through judicial decisions and the impact of precedent on shaping the English legal system.

2. Constitutional Principles
Constitutional principles form the basis of the legal framework in England. Students examine the foundational principles, including the rule of law, separation of powers, and parliamentary sovereignty, understanding their role in governing the relationship between the state and individuals.

3. Principles of Justice
Principles of justice underpin the legal system. Students explore key concepts such as fairness, equality, and access to justice, understanding their application in both civil and criminal proceedings.

4. Sources of Law
The English legal system draws from various sources. This module examines the sources of law, including statutes, common law, and European Union law, exploring how these sources interact and influence legal decisions.

5. Legal Research
Legal research is a fundamental skill for legal professionals. Students explore the methodologies and resources used in legal research, including primary and secondary sources, case law databases, and legislative materials.

6. Case Notes
Case notes are concise summaries of legal decisions. This module teaches students how to create effective case notes, focusing on the essential details of a case and extracting key legal principles.

7. Case Report
Case reports provide detailed analyses of legal decisions. Students delve into the structure and content of case reports, understanding how they contribute to legal scholarship and precedent.

8. Judicial Reasoning
Judicial reasoning involves the thought processes behind legal decisions. This module explores the various methods of judicial reasoning, including deductive and inductive reasoning, and the role of legal principles in decision-making.

9. Courts of England and Wales
The English legal system features a hierarchical structure of courts. Students explore the different tiers, from magistrates' courts to the Supreme Court, understanding their jurisdictions and functions.

10. Doctrine of Precedent
The doctrine of precedent is a central aspect of the Common Law system. Students examine how precedent is created, applied, and distinguished, understanding its role in shaping legal outcomes.

11. Statutory Interpretation
Statutory interpretation involves understanding and applying legislative provisions. This module explores the principles and methods of statutory interpretation, including the literal, purposive, and mischief rules.

12. Judiciary
The judiciary plays a crucial role in interpreting and applying the law. Students explore the structure of the judiciary, the roles of judges, and the principles guiding judicial independence.

13. Judicial Appointment
This module examines the process of judicial appointment in England. Students explore the criteria, procedures, and considerations involved in appointing judges at different levels of the judicial hierarchy.

14. Legal Proceedings
Legal proceedings encompass the processes involved in civil and criminal cases. Students explore the key stages of legal proceedings, from initiation to resolution, understanding the roles of the parties involved.

15. Legal Professionals
Legal professionals contribute to the functioning of the legal system. This module explores the roles of solicitors, barristers, and legal executives, understanding their responsibilities and ethical obligations.

16. Civil Justice Process
The civil justice process resolves disputes between private parties. Students explore the procedures, rules, and principles governing civil litigation, from filing a claim to enforcement of judgments.

17. Criminal Justice Process
The criminal justice process addresses allegations of criminal offences. Students examine the stages of criminal proceedings, from investigation and arrest to trial, sentencing, and appeals.

By exploring topics such as the doctrine of precedent, statutory interpretation, and the roles of legal professionals, students will gain valuable insights into the sources of law and the processes governing both civil and criminal justice.
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University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

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