Here are my notes taken for today's classes. I must say both lecturers were so good and I was totally into the lectures... even with a bad headache. :)
Disclaimer - this is written by me and I could have misheard or mistyped or misinterpreted the contents. After all, I don't speak the same English as the people giving me the talks.
Introduction to Cambridge and to Faculty of Law (GrahamVirgo)
Who does what?
- colleges and faculty – how are the responsibilities split?
- University – responsible for formal teaching (including exams andgiving degree – I will end up with a BA, previously LLB was LLM yup it isconfusing)
- Colleges – small group teaching and supervisions will be provided bycollege for BA but with LLM, all teachings are done by faculty)
- Faculty of Law – lectures are provided at the faculty
o Lectures are starting at 5 pastand finish at 5 to every hour (each lecture is 50min)
o LG – lower ground, B – basement
o Library 1 to 3rdlevel
o Admin – Receptionist (Norma –she will have answers to most questions if not she can point to the rightperson, Laura Smethurst – Secretary of Faculty – we will get many emails fromher)
o Limited financial supportavailable for hardship
o You can be a practicing lawyerin the UK with one year of academic studying of law.
o Debate of legitimacy of law as an academic subject - the Feb 27 in LG19
o Need to learn how to think andwrite like a lawyer
o Critical engagement – not onlyto criticize the law but also suggest improvements
o Develop other legal skills
o Mooting – form of debatingabout law and the application of particular problems (participate mootingcompetitions)
Practical issues (Steve Burdett)
- Computing – http://www.law.cam.ac.uk
o Internet based legal resources– westlaw uk / lexis library / justcite etc
o Lapwing and Eduroam (Eduroam - just need to be authenticated once)
o Free McAfee –http//www-tus.csx.ac.uk/virus (Mac/PC)
- Mailing lists – http//lists.cam.ac.uk – Raven authenticated
- Check that you are a member – firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to Law and Sources of Law (Mrs. Padfield)
Recently there has been much focus onprocedural justice – which will not be our focus at the moment.
Common law vs. Equity Law
- common law tradition – Romans never had influenced on the legalsystem in the UK
- Lord chancellors – legal advisors
- Common law courts and equity courts were running in parallelhowever, it is important to distinguish.
- Bleak House – Charles Dickens ß read
- 1873 – 1875 – time of enormous arrogance, time of radical legalreform
- Since then, you can go to any court and ask for common law or equitylaw remedies
- In contract – common law court only developed common law remediesand equity courts – different
- Magna carta – highlight to understand – some sort of human rightsdocument
- 1485 – Welsh took over all power of this country
- when speaking about English legal system it means English and Welshsystem – Scottish system is very different
- 1605 – Scotland and England joined
- there is no one written constitutions – bits and pieces due tocomplicated legal history
Sources of Law – acts of parliaments
- acts of parliaments – before they become acts, they are bills
- Common Law systems – we put more weight on cases
o Status of judges different fromEnglish system to others (lawyers become judges)
o We needed judges to make law –codification of law may not require judges to make laws (i.e. in France) –judges made law
o The court of appeal (there isonly one in this country) – can set precedents
- cases remain as an important source of the law
o Martin (if only one name thentypically criminal case, neutral citation code is EWCA Crim 2245)
o Reeves v Commissioner (But readReeves and Commissioners) - tort – Ms Reeves partner got caught and hunghimself. Ms Reeves sued the police.
o Ms Reeves was awarded 8600 GBP à then appealed, then got awarded 4300 because both parties wereaware of Mr Reeves mental instability
o A v S of S for Home Dept – read to understand how to read cases
o R (Purdy) – judicial reviewcases, right to die cases (Mrs. Purdy would like for her husband to be allowedto kill her)
- You don’t have an innate ability to appeal – unless you prove thatthe court was unsafe(?) that the conviction was unsafe.
Structure of the Courts
- magistrates’ courts (unpaid and unqualified) – mainly family lawbusiness, can’t divorce people but can set terms of separations etc
- county courts – not much interesting for visitors, busy for all lowlevels – relatively small - civil disputes, contract à cheaper than high courts
- you get higher quality judges at high courts
- high courts – more substantive cases
o wills, trusts, injunctions –chancery division at high courts
o queen’s bench division – expertcourts within this division, includes commercial court
o divisions are much moreflexible now so even if you are not in the quite right division, less likely toget thrown out
o family divisions
- Court of Appeal (CA) – Civil divison
- Supreme courts – used to be called house of lords (changed in 2005)(à look up carpets at Supreme courts) à Supreme Court is for UK
- Tax matters – high court to Supreme Court
- serious cases are dealt at Crown Courts
- Judge can have a trial without a jury but very exceptional cases
- Summarying, indictable, tribal
- Magistrates court can convict much less amount – if guilty, pleadguilty magistrates court if pleading not guilty, go for a jury for much higheracquittal rate.
- Divisional court –
- Mr Fagen’s case – innocently parked on policeman’s foot but did notmove it right away but had a laugh. Didhe assault the policeman?
Cricket Field at Fenner's