Judicial Institutions (Courts)

In all legal systems there are institutions for creating, modify­ing, abolishing and applying the law. Usually these take the form of

a hierarchy of courts.The role of each court and its capacity to make decisions is strictly defined in relation to the courts. There are two main reasons for having a variety of courts. One is that a particular court can specialize in a particular kind of legal action. The other is so that a person who feels his case was not fairly treated in a lower court can appeal to a higher court for reassess­ment.The decisions of a higher court are binding upon lower courts. At the top of the hierarchy is a supreme law-making body.

The court in which a case is first heard is called the court of first instance. Appellate courts(or Appeal Courts)are civil or crime courts to which a person may go for a reconsideration of the deci­sion of the original court.

The formal courts are not the only means of solving disputes; adjudicationincreasingly takes place outside the court system. The two main forms of extra-court adjudication are tribunalsand arbi­tration.Tribunals were established to adjudicate on disputes arising out of social legislationwhich regulates such areas as employment, housing and social security benefits.

The disputes in these areas might be settled by ordinary courts but the ordinary courts lack the necessary expertise or are too for­mal, slow and costly. Hence, the legislation has established a tribu­nal to do the job. There are numerous types of tribunals, each with its own limited jurisdiction over a particular type of claim. Many tribunals have expert assessors1sitting along a legally experienced chairman to make up the judging panel2.From the point of view of the ordinary citizens they are the most important courts in the country but from the point of view of lawyers they are perhaps the least important element in the court system of England.

In contrast, arbitration is a private means of adjudication, ar­ranged and agreed between parties involved. Here the parties agree to place their dispute in the hands of an independent third party and investthe arbitrator with the powerto decide the issue. The ar­bitrator is likely to be someone with expertise in the area. The pur­pose of arbitration is to enable people to have small disputes resolved in an informal atmosphere, avoiding as far as possible the strict rules of procedure usually associated with court proceedings. This does not mean that rules are not observed because the object of all court procedures is to protect the interests of each party to the action and to ensure that the case is tried fairly. Nevertheless, the formalities are kept to the minimum.

The advantages of arbitration are similar to those of tribunals: speed, lower costs, flexibility, informality and adjudication by an expert. These advantages must, of course, be balanced against dis­advantages. There is the argument that cheaper, quicker and less formal hearingsresult in a poor quality service. Nevertheless, the increasing use of tribunals and arbitration seems to indicate that they are a popular way of resolving disputes. On a wider point, they also increase access to justice for the ordinary people who make up 38 per cent of the plaintiffs.

Notes to the Text

1. expert assessor — эксперт-консультант

2. judging panel — состав, список судей

Упражнение 1.Дайте русские эквиваленты выделенным словам и слово­сочетаниям, переведите предложения.

1. A hierarchy of courtsis an organization with levels of author­ity from the highest to the lowest courts. 2. To appealmeans to take a case to a higher court in the hope of a new decision. 3. A request to a higher court to reexamine and change the judgment of a previ­ous court hearing is called an appeal.4. An appellant is the person or the party that requests an appeal. 5. Adjudicationis an act of giv­ing a judgment or of deciding a legal problem. 6. The courts called tribunalsare specialist courts outside the judicial system which ex­amine special problems and make judgments. 7. To arbitrateis to settle a dispute between parties by referring it to an arbitratorin­stead of going to court. 8. The word «legislation»means making laws or the laws made. 9. Jurisdictionis administration of justice or the extent of legal authority. 10. An assessor experthelps and ad­vises a judge on technical matters in a particularly difficult case. 11. Disputesare disagreements or arguments. To be in disputemeans to be in opposition to each other. 12. The agreement is bind­ingon all parties, that is, all parties signing it must do what is agreed. 13. To bindis to place a court under legal obligation to act in accordance with a previous judicial decision.

Упражнение 2.Заполните пропуски.

1. We have no authority to deal with this matter: it does not come within our ... 2.The person who goes to a higher court to ask

it to change a decision or a sentence of a lower court is known to be called an ... 3. To ... means to take a question to a higher court for rehearing and a new decision. 4. An ... is a person giving a decision on a legal problem in an industrial dispute. 5. The judicial ... im­plies that judges in the higher courts have more authority than those in the lower courts. 6. Labour ... is laws concerning the em­ployment of workers. 7. ... is the settlement of a dispute between parties by an outside person, chosen by both parties. 8. He lost his ... for damages against the company. 9. Industrial ... are courts which can decide in disputes between employers and employees. 10. Industrial or labour ... are arguments between management and workers. 11. ... precedent is a decision of a higher court which has to be followed by a judge in a lower court.

Упражнение 3.Составьте словосочетания глаголов из колонки А и суще­ствительных из колонки В.

1. hear / treat



4. resolve / settle









A. interests

b. a rule
с a case

D. facts

E. relations

F. with power

g. a part / role

h. a dispute / argument i. to a higher court j. smth. to the minimum k. a decision

Упражнение 4.Подберите к глаголам из колонки А близкие по значению слова и словосочетания из колонки В.








7. settle / resolve



A. express disagreement

B. consider, deal with

Наши рекомендации