Explain The Different Sources Of Law In England

1838 words - 8 pages

ETMA02 | March 22
2013
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Personal Identifier: C2507317 | James Delaney |

Q1 Explain the Different Sources of Law in England Using Examples from Block 1 of W100

Laws are official codes which have the backing of state powers of enforcement and sanctions, the major sources of law in England are the Westminster Parliament, Common Law, and the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.
Laws made by Parliament are called Acts of Parliament and can be also known as statutes or primary legislation. In England, Parliament consists of the House of Commons which is elected by the public and the House of Lords which consists of life Peers, elected hereditary Peers and Bishops. ...view middle of the document...

The English legal system is often referred to as a ‘common law’ legal system, instigated by Henry II in 1154, which means that many of our primary legal principles have been established by judges (rather than by Parliament) from case to case over a number of years resulting in a system of precedent, where the lower courts are bound to follow principles established by the higher courts in previous cases. The policy of Precedent forms the basis of the common law and is known as the doctrine of “stare decisis”, which is Latin for ‘to stand by/adhere to decided cases’. The three essential elements to this system is court hierarchy, binding precedent and accurate law reporting.
The role of the judiciary in statutory interpretation is vital. Although the meaning of a law in a statute should always be clear and explicit, this is not always the situation and many cases come before the courts because there is a dispute over the meaning of a word in a Statute e.g. the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. However, once an interpretation has been made, it can form a precedent for later cases.
Following the end of World War II the Council of Europe was established in 1949 to protect human rights, promote cultural diversity and combat social problems such as intolerance and bigotry. The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights) was one of the earliest accomplishments of the Council of Europe. It was agreed in November 1950 and came into force on 3 September 1953. Unlike the principles of English law, the rights in the ECHR are stated in general terms and are interpreted according to international legal principles. Until the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force an individual could not bring proceedings for infringement of ECHR rights in the UK courts and so is now looked on as one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed
The European Union (EU) was the brain-child of the 1950’s French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman and its aim was to promote the economic position of European countries. Upon joining the EU the member states agree to abide by the laws created by the EU institutions and relinquish part of their own sovereignty, accepting the supremacy of EU law and delegating part of their decision-making powers to the EU. Membership of the EU created a new source of law for UK lawyers and judges to refer to when representing their clients or making judgments in judicial proceedings. The need for European laws can be most dramatically demonstrated in the development of the single European market. Trade barriers and restrictions between the member states have been removed; there is free movement of people, goods and money between member states. However to achieve this some of the laws of the member states have needed to be harmonised e.g. the laws on safety standards need to be similar across all the member states, otherwise countries...

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