Comparison of the US Court System and the UK Court System

Introduction

The structure of every country presupposes existence of specific systems which deal with particular issues. Thus, the judicial system is a state body which concerns judicial issues. It covers matters, suchlike court system, the number of justices, and the hierarchy of courts. The judicial system is an integral part of the country without taking into consideration the system of government; monarchies have a judicial system as well as republics and federations. Consequently, there cannot be a single judicial system in the world; some countries that have common history and roots can use common laws; a newly-separated country can use laws or base its laws on those of the former state. A court system is a part of the judicial system of every country; it concerns issues which cannot be solved without legal disputes. The court system of the United States of America can be opposed to the court system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is obvious that the US court system is younger and contains more appropriate schemes and issues. The founders of the United States of America had an opportunity to establish a well-structured court system with a view to previous experience of other countries.

The history of the European continent is more developed; correspondingly, the countries situated on the European continent must be considered more developed ones. Moreover, if one has more time to do something, it can be done better and at a higher level. I mean that the United Kingdom is an older state than the United States; the court system of the United Kingdom should be better in respects to its older history. However, the United States of America can be considered a great example of a young successful country with a developed court system. As you see, young does not have to mean bad or inexperienced. This paper is aimed at proving that the court system of the United States of America is more advanced than the court system of the old European countries, suchlike the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I am going to compare and contrast these two systems taking into consideration three main aspects. Thus, it is necessary to discuss the source of the law, the integrity of the court systems, and the age as one of the basic preconditions of success. The United States of America had a great opportunity to base their laws on laws cases and court decisions of the former colonial Empire. Imperialistic ideas influenced the court system of the United States; the basis for laws was created in accordance with laws to which people had got accustomed. The new country had a chance to change laws with a view to the demands of its citizens.

It is necessary to analyze specific aspects of the court systems of two great countries. The first aspect should be analyzed taking into consideration the age of each court system. Thus, the UK court system is older than the US one. Does it mean that it is better? What laws can be considered out-of-date ones? The second aspect under discussion is the basis of laws. What laws can be considered fair? I am not going to write about judicial ethics of different countries. This aspect concerns the single law for all citizens regardless of wealth and social status. The third aspect concerns the integrity of the court system, the number of courts, and hierarchy of the court systems of two countries.

Historical background

History plays one of the fundamental roles in the development of the human society because we, members of this society, try to take into account experience of previous generations; we try to make fewer mistakes; we try not to start wars; we try to solve our problems amicably. We try to use historical experience, though often we do not manage to succeed. History of every country is an integral part of its citizens’ life. Moreover, historical background of the court system is a disputable issue which influences contemporary citizens of the country. Think about the United Kingdom Court System taking into consideration the age of the country. It should be one of the most advanced ones, though the law cannot be perfect because it does not correspond to all demands of the illegal part of the society. Laws of the country cannot be perfect; and I am not going to talk about fair and cruel laws. The most important issue that should be discussed is the history of two countries with a view to their laws. What law decisions can be considered the basis for creation of law precedents in the United Kingdom?

What aspect of the US history can be considered the most important in terms of significance for the whole nation? You know the answer; adoption of the US Constitution can be considered the brightest event in the history of the country. This document became the basis for all laws and decisions. It contains enumeration of human rights and duties; all amendments were made to facilitate laws and adjust them to the people’s demands. The Constitution of the United States of America can be considered one of the most perfect documents of the court system.

The United Kingdom has a long history as a country; nevertheless, it does not have a single legal code. The UK court system is based on the scope of common laws. “Common law, which is based on custom and interpreted in court cases by judges, has never been precisely defined”. It is obvious that Scotland has its own law system; Northern Ireland is autonomous and is governed with help of Irish laws; Wales and England possess a common legal system. Thereby, the court system of the great country with a long history consists of laws based on judicial precedents, acts, bills, and charters. The court system has developed in the course of developing the country. I should say that this process was based on feudal acquisitiveness which was aimed at passing the laws related with the rights of rich people and church authorities. It did not seem logical for English governors to think about their people and ways civil cases could be solved.

The American court system history originated from the English one. The United States is a former English colony as well as India, Canada, and New Zealand. Consequently, the American court system has to be based on the English one. However, the history of the United States of America took a new way. This phase began with adoption of the US Constitution. As the constitution is the basic legal document, it stipulated the further progress of the legal system in this country. Thus, the court system of the United States can be considered as progressive as its constitution. The US Constitution is a vivid example of laws passed for people and with a thought of people. This document has numerous amendments which were made with a view to the progress of life.

Priority of the US court system

Age and experience as conditions of success

Age can be considered a sign of success if we take into consideration experience and maturity. On the other hand, court system which has existed for many centuries and had not changed its basic principles cannot be considered a successful one. This is my personal claim; I do not think that any out-of-date information within legal system can be used without being harmful. What is the best way to make law issues adapted for modern law cases without changing everything? To my mind, the court system of the USA is a vivid example of modern approach to conservative issues.

Conservatism can be considered an integral part of stability and wealth; moreover, Great Britain is famous for its traditions and firmness. However, its court system should not be considered a successful one. The legal system which is based on law cases cannot provide genuine legal assistance to its citizens. The US court system was changing as the legal system progressed. It is obvious that people change their country; consequently, all areas of human activity and government should be changed as well. The US court system succeeds in changing its views and ideas. Taking into consideration the date of birth of the US Constitution and the number of articles and amendments, we can conclude that the court system of the United States has been changing a great number of times. Moreover, it means that the authorities of the American states think about wealth and happiness of their citizens and introduce changes into all spheres of the human lives. The first section of the third amendment states the position of the court system of the United States of America, “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish”. Consequently, the United States court system is a unique one and is submits to a single Supreme Court, which is divided into federal and state courts. All the courts are subordinated to the Supreme Court.

The UK court system cannot be considered as structured as the US one. It is obvious that there can be no changes aimed at improving people’s life. Every person who is a citizen of the United Kingdom can be tried in accordance with the law cases existing in this country. Consequently, the country with ancient traditions tries its citizens taking into consideration ancient traditions. It does not change anything in its court system. It has a great number of courts of different kinds of instances; each of them is subordinate to the decisions of the House of Commons. Every court has its own history and its laws are based on law cases from its history. History is an important part of our life, but we do not have to be ardently devoted to it. Traditions are a distinctive feature of the United Kingdom, but people do not have to be tried traditionally. Every law case is specific; it has to be based on a single law instead of taking into consideration traditional approaches and methods. The US court system is not as traditional as the English one, but it has its advantages. Moreover, people can be tried according to a single law for all people.

Priority of the US Court System

Basis for laws

All court systems have to be based on certain principles and ideas. It is impossible for court systems to be based on some laws that are not considered single for the whole country. Consequently, the UK court system cannot be considered an integral system based on common laws. English laws are based on previously decided law cases. It means that decisions of the courts that were made in some law cases are taken as a norm and used in all successive cases. Thereby, I do not want to be tried in the United Kingdom because I do not want to be a victim of the UK court system. All law cases are different with a view to motivations, methods, and consequences; all law cases are unique. It is strange that a great country with a long history and well-known traditions introduces court system with ambiguous laws. Every decision made by modern courts is based on decisions made by other courts long time ago. It is interesting if the UK court system provides new laws with a view to the progress of human activities. For example, the internet databases can be broken and this case would be the first in the history of the UK court system. What should people do? How can teenage hackers consult with their attorneys and ask for help? What is a possible decision? Citizens cannot be tried in accordance with law cases which became the basis for creation of the common laws. Every county has its own laws and law cases; how can one know all the laws of different territories?

The other side of the Atlantic Ocean seems to be luckier. It is obvious that the US court system does not have to be afraid of some new crimes. All criminals are tried in accordance with a single law system. “When people are arrested, they enter the court system, where the decisions of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys largely determine their fate”. People become a part of the court proceedings and are aware of their rights and duties. It is obvious that people consult with their attorneys and are waiting for specific decisions. I think that if you know what to expect from the court system, you can defend yourself (or your attorney can defend you). An American court system is aimed at making people guilty if they are guilty; and claims that people are not guilty if they are not. “When people are arrested, they enter the court system, where the decisions of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys largely determine their fate”. It is obvious that people do not want to be claimed guilty if they are not. It is strange when people start talking about things irrelevant in the court. Every member of the modern society has to be aware of all possible consequences of the crimes he/she may commit. The constitution of the United States guarantees to provide help to its citizens if they need. It also claims that all human rights cannot be infringed.

Priority of the US Court System

Integrity of the court system

The integrity of the court system is one of the basic principles that can be considered a distinctive feature of the whole nation. The success of the maintenance of the court system as a whole depends on the integrity of the laws and court decisions. It is necessary to discuss the importance of integrity of the court systems with a view to its history and basis previously discussed. One should realize that a court system of any country is an integral part of this country’s law making system, a distinctive feature of its traditions, and a significant element of the entire chain of laws and decisions which are aimed at giving a trial. It is necessary to mention that the US court system can be considered a single system concerning laws and human fates. The US court system possesses a single law which is based on the Constitution of the United States of America:

“As we have seen, the United States has a dual court system, with separate federal and state court systems. Other countries have a single national court system, but American rules and traditions permit states to create their own court systems to handle most legal matters, including most crimes”.

The United Kingdom does not have a single law system. Moreover, England and Wales have the same laws, whereas Scottish, and Irish laws differ in many respects from those of the English and Welsh ones. Consequently, American laws are more unified in terms of their integrity than the English ones.

It is obvious that a court system of any country can be divided into several districts or states each having its own laws and making its decisions taking into consideration the distinctive features of the specific case. Nevertheless, the US court system is more advanced in this issue because it has a dual court system. Both pat of this system maintain their activities on different levels and only the Supreme Court of the United States of America is entitled to decide upon previously made actions of both federal and state courts. Thereby, English court system cannot be considered a successful one because of the great number of courts concerning different instances and spheres. A court system has to be a unified one; the English court system is too non-centralized to be unified. All disputable issues are solved by the House of Commons. However, it is impossible to appeal to every court to have the issue solved.

The integrity of the US court system cannot be considered disputable. It is centralized and advanced. The American court system is one of the most fundamental issues for discussion in the academic paper. I think that the relevance of this research is small because of my adherence to the legal principles of the US constitution. It is unnecessary to discuss issues that are not disputable. The American court system is an advanced one; it has a profound basis and is aimed at serving people’s demands.

Dependence of the UK Court System

The US court system can be considered a good one in comparison with the court system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, the UK court system is changing. It is not a secret that the United Kingdom became a member of the European Union. As the EU consists of more than one country, it is necessary to meet the requirements of all members of this union of independent countries. All countries are a geographical part of the European continent. All these countries have common history and traditions (at least they are similar). Consequently, the laws have to be common for all members of this union.

People are free to go where they want and do what they want to do; the only reservation concerns the adherence to the legal principles which became common for all countries of the European Union. Since the United Kingdom became a part of the European Union, its laws has become dependent on the laws of the European Community court system. Moreover, the UK court system has to decide upon law cases taking into consideration the legal principles of all European countries. “Under UK constitutional law, it is recognized that Parliament has the power to enact, revoke or alter such, and any, law as it sees fit”. There exists one small reservation: if the UK court system is dependant on laws of other countries without having a unified court system how can it be fair and unprejudiced. How can a country be independent if it is not responsible for its laws? I think it great that the UK has entered the European Union; this fact acts in favor of the court system which is ready to accept changes. However, the UK court system cannot be considered a single one.

Conclusion

Every part and every branch of the state has to be maintained in accordance with its laws and legal decisions. It is impossible for people to act without taking into consideration legal matters of all actions. To conclude, I would like to express my personal opinion with a view to the issues discussed. The court system of every country has to be unique, integral, and independent at the same time. Consequently, the US court system can be considered a good one; whereas the UK court system is not independent as it has entered the European Union. Moreover, the UK court system cannot be considered a unique and integral one because it cannot accept changes necessary for its further successful maintenance.

The US court system is based on the Constitution of the United States of America, whereas the UK court system is based on the law precedents. Every law case is unique and has to be discussed in a specific way irrelevant of the previous decisions made on similar cases. The word ‘similar’ should be underlined or highlighted because al cases are different with a view to motivations, conditions and consequences. The US court system is more advanced in this matter because it has a legal system common for all territories dependent from the United States of America. Every decision of the court is unique and should not be based on dogmas and stereotypes. I cannot tell that the English court system is free of stereotypes and prejudices if it tries every person in accordance with law precedents existing in the history of the country.

Works Cited

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