Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.

Portal:Law of England and Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The law of England and Wales portal

English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States (as opposed to civil law or pluralist systems in use in other countries). It was exported to Commonwealth countries while the British Empire was established and maintained, and it forms the basis of the legal systems of most of those countries. England and Wales are constituent countries of the United Kingdom; Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own legal systems, although in some areas of law there are no differences between the jurisdictions. Whilst Wales has a devolved Assembly, its power to legislate is limited by the Government of Wales Act 2006.

English law is a mixture of common law, legislation passed by the UK Parliament (or subordinate legislation made under delegated authority) and European law. The essence of common law is that it is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedent (stare decisis) to the facts before them. A decision of the highest appeal court in England and Wales, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, is binding on every other court in the hierarchy. Common law can be altered by Parliament. The oldest statute currently in force is the Distress Act 1267, part of the Statute of Marlborough. Three sections of Magna Carta, originally signed in 1215 and a landmark in the development of English law, are still in force, but they date to the reissuing of the law in 1297. European law applies in England and Wales because the UK is a member of the European Union, and so the European Court of Justice can direct English and Welsh courts on the meaning of areas of law in which the EU has passed legislation. (more about English law...)

Selected article

18th-century drawing of the first Marshalsea prison
The Marshalsea was a prison on the south bank of the River Thames in Southwark, now part of London. From at least 1329 until it closed in 1842, it housed men under court martial for crimes at sea, including "unnatural crimes", political figures and intellectuals accused of sedition or other inappropriate behaviour, and—most famously—London's debtors, the length of their stay determined largely by the whim of their creditors. Run privately for profit, as were all prisons in England until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned largely as an extortion racket. For prisoners who could afford the fees, it came with access to a bar, shop, and restaurant, and the crucial privilege of being allowed to leave the prison during the day, which meant debtors could earn money to pay off their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for decades for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated. The prison became known around the world during the 19th century through the writings of the English novelist Charles Dickens, whose father was sent there in 1824 for a debt of £40 and 10 shillings. Much of it was demolished in the 1870s, though some of its buildings were used into the 20th century. (more...)

Selected biography

Judge Norman Birkett at the bench during the Nuremberg Trials
Norman Birkett, 1st Baron Birkett (1883–1962) was a British barrister, politician and judge. Born in Ulverston, Lancashire, he initially trained to be a Methodist preacher, and attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge to study theology and history. He became President of the Cambridge Union, and after switching to law graduated in 1910. He was called to the Bar in 1913 and developed a reputation as a barrister able to defend people with almost watertight criminal cases against them, such as in the second of the Brighton trunk murders and the Blazing Car murder. He sat as a Member of Parliament for Nottingham East in the 1920s, and was described as "the Lord Chancellor that never was". In 1941, he became a judge of the High Court, and later served as the alternate British judge in the Nuremberg Trials. Unhappy with his time in the High Court, he accepted a position in the Court of Appeal in 1950, but after finding he enjoyed it even less, retired in 1956 when he had served long enough to draw a pension. Following his retirement he was made a hereditary peer, and spoke regularly in the House of Lords. After speaking there in 1962 he collapsed at home, and following a failed operation died aged 78. (more...)

Selected case

Greene v Associated Newspapers Ltd is a 2004 decision of the Court of Appeal that governs the use of injunctions against publication in alleged defamation cases. Greene, a businesswoman, sought an injunction against Associated Newspapers Ltd to prevent them publishing alleged links with Peter Foster; while they claimed to have emails showing links, she asserted that they were false. The test at the time for a preliminary injunction in defamation cases was Bonnard v Perryman, where it was established that the applicant has to show "a real prospect of success" at trial. The Human Rights Act 1998 established that judges should consider whether applicants are "more likely than not" to succeed at trial, a test applied to confidentiality cases in Cream Holdings Ltd v Banerjee and the Liverpool Post and Echo Ltd. Greene claimed that the Cream test should be applied rather than the Bonnard test. The Court of Appeal said that defamation was significantly different from breach of confidentiality. While the damage from a breach of confidentiality can never be undone, justifiying a simple test for issuing injunctions, a defamation case that is won vindicates the injured party. Making it easier to grant injunctions in defamation cases would damage the delicate balance between freedom of the press and the right to privacy; as such, despite the Human Rights Act and Cream, Bonnard is still a valid test. (more...)

Selected picture

Thomas More was a leading counsellor to Henry VIII and served as Lord Chancellor from 1529 to 1532. He was imprisoned and beheaded in 1535 after he had fallen out of favour with the king over his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy 1534.
Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger
Thomas More was a leading counsellor to Henry VIII and served as Lord Chancellor from 1529 to 1532. He was imprisoned and beheaded in 1535 after he had fallen out of favour with the king over his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy 1534.

Selected legislation

The Obscene Publications Act 1959 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament that significantly reformed the law related to obscenity. Before the Act, the law on publishing obscene materials was governed by the common law case of R v Hicklin, which had no exceptions for artistic merit or the public good. During the 1950s, the Society of Authors recommended reform of the existing law, submitting a draft bill to the Home Office in February 1955. After several failed attempts, a bill was introduced to Parliament by Roy Jenkins and given the Royal Assent on 29 July 1959, coming into force on 29 August 1959. With the committee consisting of both censors and reformers, reform of the law was limited, with several extensions to police powers included in the final version. The Act created a new offence for publishing obscene material, replacing the previous common law offence of obscene libel, and also allows Justices of the Peace to issue warrants for the police to seize such materials. At the same time it created two defences; firstly, the defence of innocent dissemination, and secondly the defence of public good. The Act (which is still in force) has been used in several high-profile cases, such as the trials of Penguin Books for publishing Lady Chatterley's Lover and Oz for the Schoolkids OZ issue, but more recently has been rarely used despite the increasing amount of "obscene" material available to the general public. (more...)

Did you know...

From Wikipedia's "Did You Know" archives:

Selected quotation

Edward Coke, 17th-century Lord Chief Justice

Quality content

Featured articles
Featured lists
Good articles

Categories

To display further subcategories, click on the "►" symbols

Topics

Open bible 01 01.svg
Legislative and constitutional system

Constitution • Parliament • House of Commons • House of Lords • Legislation • Law enforcement • Royal Prerogative

Courts and tribunals

Courts of England and Wales • Supreme Court • Court of Appeal • High Court • Crown Court • County Courts • Magistrates' Court • Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority • Employment Appeal Tribunal • Employment Tribunal • Information Tribunal • Mental Health Review Tribunal

Judges

Lord Chancellor • President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom • Lord Chief Justice • Master of the Rolls • Chancellor of the High Court • President of the Family Division • President of the Queen's Bench Division • Lord Justice of Appeal • High Court judge • Judiciary of England and Wales • Magistrates of England and Wales

Government and state bodies

Ministry of Justice • Secretary of State for Justice • Attorney General • Director of Public Prosecutions • Crown Prosecution Service • Her Majesty's Courts Service • HM Land Registry • National Offender Management Service (HM Prison Service • National Probation Service) • Law Commission • Office of the Public Guardian • Tribunals Service • Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council · Boundary Commissions • Civil Justice Council • Information Commissioner's Office • Judicial Appointments Commission • Judicial College • Legal Services Commission • Sentencing Council • Youth Justice Board

Lawyers and institutions

Barrister • Bar Standards Board • Inns of Court (Gray's Inn, Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple) • General Council of the Bar • Queen's Counsel • Solicitor • Law Society of England and Wales • Solicitors Regulation Authority • Legal executive • Institute of Legal Executives

Legal areas

Administrative law • Causation • Civil liberties • Commercial law • Company law • Competition law • Contract law • Criminal law • Estoppel • Family law • Frustration • Insanity • Insolvency • Intoxication • Inquests • Juries • Labour law • Loss of a chance • Manslaughter • Marriage • Misrepresentation • Mistake • Murder • Nuisance • Police powers • Privacy law • Property law • Provocation • Right to silence • Tort law • Trespass • Trusts law

Related portals

Things to do

Clipboard.svg

Wikimedia

English and Welsh law on Commons English and Welsh law on Wikisource English and Welsh law on Wikiversity Law on Wikiquote Law on Wiktionary Law on Wikibooks Crime and law on Wikinews
Images & Media Texts Learning resources Quotations Definitions Manuals & Texts News

Purge server cache


Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Portal:Law_of_England_and_Wales&oldid=798062591"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Law_of_England_and_Wales
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Portal:Law of England and Wales"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA