Privy Counselor – член Таємної Ради 

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Privy Counselor – член Таємної Ради

The Ministry of Justice is a department of the government in the UK, created under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Lord Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the court of last resort, highest appellate court in all matters under English law, Welsh law, Northern Irish law and Scottish civil law (the High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland). The Supreme Court started work on 1 October 2009. It replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the UK.The court hears appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance. There are 12 Justices of the Supreme Court; one of them is the President.

The Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice and Crown Court are senior courts in the English legal system. The Court of Appeal consists of two divisions: the Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court and County Courts, and some superior tribunals, while the Criminal Division may hear appeals from the Crown Courts connected with a trial on indictment (i.e. trial by judge and jury, (the jury is present if the defendant pleads “not guilty”)). Three Lord Justices of Appeal hear an appeal, reaching a decision of majority. The decisions are binding on all courts apart from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Lords Justices are selected from the ranks of senior judges.

The High Court of Justice or theHigh Court functions both as a civil court of first instance and a criminal appellate court. It consists of three divisions: the Queen’s Bench Division mainly deals with civil actions based upon contract law or tort, and appeals on points of law from Crown Courts; the Chancery Division is concerned with matters relating to business law, intellectual property and some others; the Family Division hears cases connected with family law. High Court Judges are normally Privy Counselors.

The Crown Court is the higher court of first instance in serious criminal cases, which also hears criminal appeals from Magistrates’ Courts, and handles a number of civil cases both at first instance and on appeal. The court carries out four principal types of activity: appeals from decisions of magistrates, sentencing of defendants committed from Magistrates’ Courts, jury trials, and the sentencing of those who are convicted in the Crown Court, either after trial or on pleading guilty. High Court Judges, Circuit Judges and Recorders may sit in the Crown Court. Circuit Judges are the same ones who sit in the County Courts, and have had a seven-year qualification, or from Recorders. Recorders are barristers or solicitors in private practice, who sit as part-time judges.

Magistrates’ Court is the court where all criminal prosecutions are initiated. Though they hear only minor criminal offences, 95% of all criminal cases are tried there. These courts have a limited jurisdiction in civil matters relating to family law (Family Proceedings Court) and licensing applications. Youth Courts, special magistrates’ courts, deal with offenders under 18 years old. Magistrates’ Courts are presided over by three lay magistrates (Justices of the Peace) who are unpaid but trained volunteers, or by a District Judge. The magistrates are assisted by a professional legal adviser or Clerk to the Justices, and there is no jury. District Judges are barristers or solicitors of 5 years’ general practice. Deputy District Judges, i.e. practising solicitors or barristers, can sit as part-time judges in Magistrates’ and County Courts.

The County Courts are courts of purely civil jurisdiction. They are local courts and deal mostly with certain kinds of actions concerning land. Most matters are decided by a District Judge or Circuit Judge sitting alone. Civil cases (with some exceptions, e.g. in some actions against the police) do not have juries. Judges in the County Courts are either former barristers or solicitors.

The independent Judicial Appointment Commission selects candidates for judges, who are appointed on behalf of the Monarch.



1. Find in the text the information on:

a) courts of appellate jurisdiction;

b) courts of original jurisdiction;

c) courts of both original and appellate jurisdiction;

d) judges and their appointment.

Draw up a diagram, which shows the hierarchy and jurisdiction of the courts in England and Wales. Start with the highest court in the country.


Complete the table with the information from the text and rearrange it from superior to inferior judges. Pay attention that some types of judges may sit in different types of courts.

Judicial Office Court(s) Qualifications
Deputy District Judges    
  The Supreme Court of the UK  
    Barrister or solicitor, 5 years’ general practice
Circuit Judges    
  County Court  
  High Court of Justice  

Fill the gaps of the text with suitable words and entitle it. The first and sometimes the last letters of the missing words are given.

The Courts of Northern Ireland are c…l and c…l courts responsible for the administration of j…e in Northern Ireland.

The UK Supreme Court is the h…t court of appeal. The Supreme C… of Judicature (відправлення правосуддя) is the most superior court of N…n I…d. It c…s of the following courts: the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the Crown Court.

The Court of A… is the highest court of Northern Ireland. It hears a…s from the lower courts and tribunals.

The H… Court, like its English equivalent, consists of the Queen’s Bench, F…y and Chancery Divisions.

The Crown Court h… more serious criminal cases.

The County Courts are the main c…l courts. They hear different civil c…s and appeals from m…s’ courts.

Magistrates’ Courts (including Youth Courts and Family Proceedings Courts) hear less serious c…l cases.

Arrange the following sentences logically to make up the paragraph on the courts in Scotland.

1) The Court of Session is the supreme civil court and both a court of first instance and a court of appeal.

2) District Courts sitting in each local area handle less serious criminal cases.

3) The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court and both a court of the first instance and a court of appeal.

4) The Sherriff Court is the other civil court.

5) The UK Supreme Court is the highest civil court of appeal in Scotland.

6) The Sherriff Court is the main criminal court.

7) The civil, criminal and heraldic Courts of Scotland are responsible for the administration of justice.

Read the definitions and put the letters in order to make up the words connected with the English judicial system.

1) Not allowed by law eglilal

2) A law made by a government tca

3) A type of lawyer in the UK iolsrtico

4) A lawyer trained to speak for you in higher courts tarebisrr

5) An illegal action cfenfoe

6) A court which decides who is right in some types of cases urtaibln

7. Choose any two types of the UK courts and compare them. Use information from the table and the text. The following words and phrases will help you:

As compared with, unlike, neither of, both, both…and, the same is true of…

8. Translate the following into English:

Верховний Суд України є найвищим судовим органом в системі судів загальної юрисдикції. Він здійснює правосуддя, забезпечує однакове застосування законодавства всіма судами загальної юрисдикції.

Верховний Суд України здійснює такі повноваження:

1)розглядає у касаційному порядку рішення загальних судів у справах, віднесених до його підсудності процесуальним законом;

2)переглядає в порядку повторної касації всі інші справи, розглянуті судами загальної юрисдикції в касаційному порядку;

3)як суд першої інстанції в окремих випадках розглядає справи, пов’язані з винятковими обставинами;

4)дає судам роз’яснення з питань застосування законодавства на основі узагальнення судової практики та аналізу судової статистики;

5)веде та аналізує судову статистику, вивчає та узагальнює судову практику, знайомиться в судах з практикою застосування законодавства та ін.


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