(1) The rule of law and the role's of Judges

Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A level Governing the UK - 2C (The Judiciary) Mind Map on (1) The rule of law and the role's of Judges, created by Marcus Danvers on 02/10/2014.

Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 5 years ago
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(1) The rule of law and the role's of Judges
1 The rule of laws
1.1 Laws should rule
1.2 It should be applied to the conducts and behaviour of all
1.3 Ensure a "government of laws" and not a "government of men"
1.4 Sub-principles are:
1.4.1 No one is above the law Applies to public officials and private citizens (up held through administration laws, body of law) Many of the power of the PM and ministers are based on Royal Prerogative, which isn't subject to judicial oversight Parliamentary privilege means that MPs and peers are not subject to legal restrictions on what they can say in Parliament The Queen, as head of the legal system, is not properly subject to the law Parliament is sovereign and so in this sense is above the law
1.4.2 Equality before the law Everyone has access to legal system Legal disputes may be costly and so prohibits those who cannot afford a top lawyer Judges may be biased against, for example, women, ethnic minorities, or the poor because they come from a privileged educational narrow social background
1.4.3 Law is always applied Punishment only for breaches of laws and so no-one is penalised excerpt though the process of law Police resources may be limited and so many crimes may go undetected "Trial by media" means people may be "punished" without legal proceedings having taken place, despite, in some cases, being acquitted
1.4.4 Legal redress is available though the courts If people rights have been infringed, they have a right to protect themselves through the law (safeguard from the state) Not all crimes are reported and therefore are not legally addressed There is no entrenched bill of rights to protect fundamental human rights The Human Rights Act, 1998, can be set aside if Parliament wishes Access to the European Court of Human Rights is expensive and time-consuming
2 What do judges do
2.1 Preside over court proceedings
2.1.1 In this role, Judges make sure that the rules of court procedure are properly followed by both sides in a case. There Job is to ensure a "Fair Trial"
2.2 Interpet and apply the law
2.2.1 This, in most cases, means that they interpret statutes laid down by Parliament. However, this can lead to conflicing interpretations by judges and by minister
2.3 "Make" laws, in certian cases
2.3.1 In a sense, all law is "judge made" law. This is because laws ultimately mean what judges say they mean. common laws, which is particularly important in the English legal tradition, is built upon the basis of judicial precedent
2.4 Decide sentencing in criminal cases
2.4.1 This is further important area of discretion, as judges have traditionally had a free hand in deciding what sentence to hand out. Neverless, this in recent year, as a result of the wider use of minimally or mandatory sentence
2.5 Chair public inquires and commissions
2.5.1 Judges are used for this purpose because of their reputation for being independent and impartial. Such a role has also led to criticism, however. In chairing inquires, judges inevitably come into close contact with ministers and senior officials, and this may compromise their independence and tend to give them a pro-government bias
2.5.2 Lord Leveson inquiry into press standers

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