Law Making and the Legal System

This unit will count towards the A/S qualification and involves studying the following areas of the Law.

Candidates will study both section A and section B. In the examination, they will answer questions on one topic from each section, and questions on a third topic from either section.

Section A Law Making

Parliamentary Law Making

Outline of influences on Parliament: role of the Law Commission; political, media and pressure group influences; Green and White consultative papers. 

Formal UK legislative process: roles of the House of Commons, House of Lords, and the Crown; the types of Bill; stages in the process.

Doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy and limitations on it: effect of membership of the European Union; effect of Human Rights Act 1998. Advantages and disadvantages of the influences on Parliament and of Parliamentary law making.

Delegated Legislation

Statutory Instruments; Orders in Council; By-laws (Local Authority and other bodies).  Reasons for delegating powers. 

Parliamentary and judicial controls on delegated legislation. 

Advantages and disadvantages of delegated legislation.

Statutory Interpretation

Common law approaches to interpretation: literal, golden and mischief rules; purposive approach. 

Aids to interpretation: rules of language; internal and external aids. 

Advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches and aids to statutory interpretation.

Judicial Precedent

The Doctrine of Precedent: the hierarchy of the courts; stare decisis, ratio decidendi and obiter dicta; law reporting. 

The operation of the doctrine: following, overruling, distinguishing and disapproving. 

Advantages and disadvantages of the doctrine and operation of precedent.

 

Section B The Legal System

The Civil Courts and other forms of dispute resolution

Outline of civil courts and appeal system.

Other forms of civil dispute resolution: tribunals, arbitration,mediation, conciliation and negotiation.

Advantages and disadvantages of the civil courts and other forms of dispute resolution, including comparisons with each other.

The Criminal Courts and lay people

Outline of criminal courts and appeal system, including classification of offences.

Lay magistrates: qualification, selection and appointment; composition of bench; training; role and powers. Jurors: qualification and selection; role.

The advantages and disadvantages of using lay people in the criminal courts.

The Legal Profession and other sources of advice, and funding

Barristers, solicitors and legal executives: qualification, diversity, training and work of each group. Other sources of legal advice.

Outline of private funding: own resources, insurance and conditional fees. Outline of state funding: Community Legal Service and Criminal Defence Service.

Simple evaluation of the legal profession, of other sources of advice and of funding

The Judiciary

Judges: qualification; selection and appointment; composition of the bench; role and work; training; dismissal.

The independence of the judiciary: security of tenure, immunity from suit; independence from the Executive; the separation of powers.

Simple evaluation of the judiciary.

© AQA 2010

 

Units and Topics

The following units are part of the AQA A/S A Level GCE Law course

Law Making and the Legal System

The Concept of Liability

Criminal Law (Offences against the Person) or Contract Law

Criminal Law (Offences against Property) or Tort, and Concepts of Law

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