Supreme Court is
the most powerful court in the English legal system. The Supreme Court has authority
over all the other courts. It usually hears appeals on a point of law. Both
Criminal and Civil cases can appeal to the Supreme Court if there is a point of
law that needs clearing. A recent case heard at the Supreme Court regarding
planning permission from a big Chinese company who wanted to build on land.
QBD is part of the
High Court. This court is used for both criminal and civil matters. The Queen’s
Bench Division is the biggest of High Court. The cases at this division are
heard judges. The judges here usually deal with civil cases such as insurance
issues, contract issues and tort.
The aim of this
division is to solve personal problems such as; sale of land, mortgages etc. Chancery
Division also has its own courts, Patents Court and Companies Court. Civil
cases are only heard in the Chancery Division, Criminal Cases aren’t heard at
An example of a
case being heard in the family division is getting custody of a child. The
judges have the authority which allows them to get custody of a minor. Judges within
the ‘Family Division’ must also listen to referred cases from the County Court.
Queen’s Bench Division – contract and tort etc.
Division – bankruptcy, tax etc.
Division – family issues like divorce.
The High Court deals with 3 divisions:
The County courts deals
with cases such as divorce, custody of a child, individuals seeking compensation for
minor claims etc. They only hear first instance cases.
Complicated cases are held here such as family, as well as personal injury etc.
County courts can only call for repayments, however if anyone does not listen
to the judgement which is given in the County Court, they can be arrested.
The court of
appeal is the same for both criminal and civil divisions and deals with appeals
from Crown Court and sometimes from the Magistrates Court. The court of appeal
is under the criminal and civil division. It is the second most powerful court
in the hierarchy of the UK court structure.
The crown court
deals with offences that are much more serious, such as murder and rape etc. Unlike
the Magistrates Court, Crown Court can give life decisions if deemed to be the
right sentence to give meaning that they have no limits. Crown Court also deals
with appeals that have come directly from the Magistrate’s Court. In a crown
court there normally is a jury which are which decides if you’re guilty or not and
has a judge which then decides which sentences should be given after the jury’s
verdict. The crown court deals with around 3% of most criminal offences.
Offences that are ‘Indictable’ are always heard in the Crown Court.
court deals with over 90% of most criminal cases. It covers offences which come
under the ‘Summary Offences’ and ‘Either-Way Offence’. The maximum sentences a
magistrate court can give is up to 6 months.