Civil Courts

  • Created by: Riles
  • Created on: 10-09-20 19:04
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  • Chapter 3 - Civil Courts
    • Civil Cases
      • Civil claims are between individuals, companies and/or government departments
        • e.g. negligence
      • Judicial review challenges the lawfulness of how a decision was made
      • Defendant issues proceedings by giving court description of claim on form and fee. Claim is then sent to defendant for response
    • Civil Courts
      • Jurisdiction is the official power to make legal decisions and judgements
      • Courts of first instance
        • County Courts
          • Hears the majority of civil cases
          • Various tracks allocated depending on value of case
        • High Courts
          • First instance for trials in specific areas of law
          • Appeal court for county and magistrates' cases
          • Queen's Bench Division is the biggest and deals with cases over £100,000 e.g. slander. Also carries out judicial review
          • Chancery Division - Single judge hears cases such as insolvency and intellectual property
          • Family Division - When there is a dispute about which country's laws apply, Hague Convention
    • Pre-trial procedures
      • Pre-action protocol is a list of things to do by each party involved
      • Parties must try to undergo ADR
      • County < Personal injury £50,000 < County or High
      • County < Claim £100,000 < County or High
      • Issuing a claim
        • Using one of the 200 county courts or 20 district registries, the claimant must fill out form N1 and pay a fee
      • Defending a claim
        • The defendant may admit and pay the full amount, or has 14 days to send a defence to the court. Once defended a track will be allocated
    • The three tracks
      • Small Claims
        • General claims under £10K and PI claims under £1K. Heard in private by a district judge, with parties being encouraged to represent themselves
      • Fast track cases
        • Straight forward disputes up to £25K. Heard in open court by circuit judge within 30-50 weeks. Trial limited to 1 day and 1 expert witness.
      • Multi-track cases
        • More complex cases over £25K. Each case heard by a judge who manages it including ADR, dealing with procedural steps and court timetabling to reduce costs
    • Evaluation
      • Advantage
        • Fair process - everyone treated alike
        • Legal experts conduct trials
        • Legal Aid
        • Appeal process
        • Decision enforceable by courts
      • Disadvantage
        • Cost
        • Delay - up to 1 year for larger claims
        • Uncertainty - no garuntee of winning
        • Complicated process due to compulsory steps e.g. pre-action protocols
    • Appeals
      • Appeals from the county court
        • If the case was heard by a district judge then the appeal is to a circuit judge in the same county court. If the case was heard by a circuit judge then the appeal is to a high court judge
        • Second appeals to the COA are granted under exceptional circumstance
          • S.55 Access to Justice Act 1955
      • Appeals from the high court
        • Usually go to the Court of Appeal but it is possible to 'leapfrog' to the supreme court in rare cases


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