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Funding and Roles in English Legal System: Lawyers, Judges, and Lay People

Aug 5, 2023 | 0 comments

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Aug 5, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

The Uses of Courts in Civil and Criminal Court Hierarchies

The United Kingdom courts can have both trial and appellate jurisdiction, similar to criminal and civil jurisdiction. Civil courts deals with civil cases that arises when a business or individual believes their rights have been overstepped. Most easy cases go to council courts while substantial cases tot eh high court. Criminal courts deal with cases that come after the decision has been reached by the crown prosecution service, to prosecute an individual for alleged crime. The magistrate in the Magistrate’s court hears the presented evidence as a panel and reach of a decision of guilty or not guilty.


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Hierarchy of Civil Courts

Country Courts

The work of these courts on the civil side incorporates dealing with civil disputes, such as claims fro damages and injunctions and claims fro reasonable provision out of the estates of a dead person among others. The county course jurisdiction is first instance and final it has limited powers to hear appeals from local authorities within the housing law area.

High Court

This is divided into three:

The Queen’s Bench

They are referred as such because there is presently a queen on the throne, however, when a king is on the throne they are called King’s Bench Division. It handles actions associated to numerous kinds of tort (civil wrongs in a contract breach). The QBD also handles appeals from the Magistrate’s Court and Crown Court, both criminal courts. It also acts as a supervisory jurisdiction over cases coming from Magistrate’s Court and Crown Court under its judicial review role.


It act on personal and corporate insolvency, trade, business, mortgage enforcement, industry disputes, intellectual property rights, contentious probate actions, and copyrights and patents.

Family Division

The family division acts on cases of divorce and custody of children.

Criminal Courts

Magistrate’s Courts

They are essential in the criminal justice system as it deals with major complicated criminal cases. It can also deal with civil cases, such as public health, anti-social behaviour. However, they have limited jurisdiction over civil matters.

Crown Courts

These are courts that deal with more serious criminal cases such a rape, murder, and robbery, either on appeal or referred from Magistrate Courts. The trials are heard by a 12 person jury and a judge. Besides, they have limited jurisdiction over civil cases, including limited powers to hear appeals from Magistrate on civil cases.

Supreme Court and European Courts

Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the entire UK for both criminal and civil cases. Supreme Court can hear appeals from Court of Appeal civil and criminal divisions, High Courts, and leapfrog appeals from High Court that may bypass the Court of Appeal. The European Court of Justice interprets and enforces the law of EU and it outranks national Supreme Courts.

The Role of Lay People and Lawyers in Criminal Cases

Lay people refer to magistrates within the English legal system that are appointed, interviewed and trained on handling criminal cases. Lay people hands less serious crimes that their hearings start in the Magistrate’s courts and most of them are concluded there. Therefore, lay people work to provide summary of offences and hearing cases in Youth Court. The magistrates are responsible for timetabling, hearing evidence, deciding bail, and provide ruling on the whether the accused is innocent or guilty. Besides, magistrates begins the initial hearing f all serious crimes, however, they are later referred to the Crown Court. Also, magistrates decide whether the defendant can be bailed out and impose conditions on the bail that is usually given to attend the next hearing. Meanwhile, criminal lawyers work within the criminal justice system to prepare cases for their clients as such; he or she acts as a legal representative. The lawyer assesses the strength of evidence provided when compiling the case and advices the client on the chances of success.

Role of Judges and Lawyers in Civil Cases

Judges often preside over a civil trial and functions to interpret and uphold the law. The law governing civil cases is laid down in statutes by Parliament. Besides, the English court system is adversarial and the judge has a role akin to a referee, between the defence and prosecution. As such, they spend much of their ruling on law points, especially when the jury is absent. In civil cases, the judge is entitled a wide degree of latitude in a procedure used to conduct proceedings in the court. Judicially, he or she deals with cases justly and in accordance with the overriding objective as expressed in the civil proceeding rules. Civil lawyers represent clients within the lawsuit. Overall, civil lawyers present cases and argue in a civil court in support of the client. Civil lawyers mainly emphasizes on cases involving trusts, wills, child custody, and divorce.

Compare and Contrast the Roles of Lawyers, Judges and Lay People in English Legal System

Judges predominantly presides over the trial in the English justice system. As such, the judges fulfill their roles by ensuring that all parties adhere to the rules and procedures of trials necessary for both civil and criminal cases. Overall, judges ensure that both parties are accorded fair treatment and judgment in either criminal or civil convictions. Lawyers functions to prepare cases for clients and in the process acting as an advocate. The lawyer is responsible for assessing the depth of evidence and advice the client on the chances of succeeding. Meanwhile, lay people, juries and magistrates is to adjudicate in the case of a summary trial and listen to presented evidence respectively.

Significance of Lay People in English Legal System

Firstly, magistrates are usually unpaid, and as such lowers the cost of providing justice. As such, most criminal cases are tried without the need of a judge that would have a salary of over 90,000 pounds. The lay people also have local knowledge that is necessary when it comes to understanding where an offence took place. Also, in the Crown Court, a lot of time can be spent explaining the location of crime and where the witness was standing. Magistrates can also offer sentencing taking into consideration local problems that can be assisted by sensitive sentencing. In most criminal trials, nearly 90 percent of defendants plead guilty, as such, magistrates are suited for presiding over cases of conflicting evidence rather than the question of law. The magistrate is thus has a perfect ability to decide on who is telling the truth and decide on a reasonable behaviour in the situation.

Funding of Advice and Representation Leaflet

Private Agreements

  • The method is traditionally based in which the fees are calculated grounded on the duration of the entire legal battle

Conditional Fee Agreements

  • Commonly known as ‘No win no fee’ agreements, however, may be widely understood
  • If an individual has not won a case then no fees are paid, but the individual pays the payments made by the third parties
  • If the entity wins the case, the legal fees is paid in addition to the increased percentage on top of the normal fees (success fees)

Legal Expense Insurance

  • People take legal expense insurance cover coupled with household insurance cover
  • The insurance company pay the legal expenses when the individual is involved in a judicial case

Damage Based Agreements

  • Entities enter into agreements in which fees are paid on the condition that the entity wins the claim and the fees is calculated in terms of percentage of damage recovers

Soliciting funds from family, fund solicitors, well wishers

  • Make a list of family and friends and reach them for legal aid

Court Sponsorship

  • An individual can apply for legal funding from the court settings and the court evaluates the request and sponsors the case.

Ways of Funding Advice and Representation

  • Court sponsorship
  • Lawsuit Loans
  • Private sponsorship
  • Insurance legal funding
  • Fund solicitation aid
  • Advocacy assistance that covers the costs f cases

Evaluation of Financing advice and representation

Legal advice and representation funding is a significant asset for the lawyers and the plaintiffs involved in the judicial processes. Legal and advice funding provides staying power for individuals entangled in the judicial process. Legal advice and representation funding are offered by various legal market fund institutions. The financing of legal and representation has provided great assistance to lawyers, investors and plaintiffs. Primarily, legal advice and representation funding provides the meaning of the law profession as the law counsels relies on legal funding for rewards. Besides, legal funding has enabled investors and plaintiffs to process their cases and get compensated or get the deserved justice in the judicial system. Finally, legal advice and representation funding provides the entities with the required time on the judicial process and get the best trial results.

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