History UsefulNotes / BritishCourts

27th Nov '16 5:42:26 PM nombretomado
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** Inner Temple has been used as a filming location in a number of fictional dramas- such as ''The Brief'', ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'' and ''Series/TheBill''. [[http://www.innertemple.org.uk/filming/code_practice.html The website has a bunch of rules on the matter]].

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** Inner Temple has been used as a filming location in a number of fictional dramas- such as ''The Brief'', ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'' ''Film/TheDaVinciCode'' and ''Series/TheBill''. [[http://www.innertemple.org.uk/filming/code_practice.html The website has a bunch of rules on the matter]].
27th Nov '16 5:42:17 PM nombretomado
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** Inner Temple has been used as a filming location in a number of fictional dramas- such as ''The Brief'', ''TheDaVinciCode'' and ''Series/TheBill''. [[http://www.innertemple.org.uk/filming/code_practice.html The website has a bunch of rules on the matter]].

to:

** Inner Temple has been used as a filming location in a number of fictional dramas- such as ''The Brief'', ''TheDaVinciCode'' ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'' and ''Series/TheBill''. [[http://www.innertemple.org.uk/filming/code_practice.html The website has a bunch of rules on the matter]].
1st Jul '16 10:43:02 AM DaibhidC
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** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a criminal defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old BaileyBailey.

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** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a criminal defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old BaileyBailey.Bailey.



There are some specificially British terms used inside the courtoom.

* "My Learned (prounounced Learn-ed) friend" is how barristers will refer to each other. They will always use the third person, anything else is considered rude. Sometimes 'learned' is omitted in lower courts.

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There are some specificially specifically British terms used inside the courtoom.

courtroom.

* "My Learned (prounounced (pronounced Learn-ed) friend" is how barristers will refer to each other. They will always use the third person, anything else is considered rude. Sometimes 'learned' is omitted in lower courts.



* "If your Lordship pleases" is the equivelent of the American "If the Court pleases". Any reference to the Court is usually replaced with the Judge's title in the UK, likewise references to The State or The People will be replaced with reference to the Queen or the Crown.

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* "If your Lordship pleases" is the equivelent equivalent of the American "If the Court pleases". Any reference to the Court is usually replaced with the Judge's title in the UK, likewise references to The State or The People will be replaced with reference to the Queen or the Crown.



* Sherriff Court: More or less equivalent to the Magistrates Court in England, although for less serious crimes, the Sherriff (judge) may sit without a jury.

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* Sherriff Sheriff Court: More or less equivalent to the Magistrates Court in England, although for less serious crimes, the Sherriff Sheriff (judge) may sit without a jury.



There is no substantive difference between Not Guilty and Not Proven - both mean you are legally innocent. Originally the two verdicts were 'Guilty' and 'Not guilty. However--according to traditional account--in the early 17th century, [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart James VI of Scotland]] (also James I of England) faced a popular wave of rebellion by a Protestant sect called the "Covenanters", so he removed the right of juries to pronounce innocence and reduced them to finders of fact, giving them the verdicts 'Proven' and 'Not Proven'. However, in 1728, in the case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', the accused had accidentally killed the Earl of Strathmore, and the jury was persuaded by Carnegie's defence lawyer, Robert Dundas, to assert its "ancient right" to pronounce Carnegie "not guilty", as, while he patently performed the act accused of, they felt he had no moral guilt. After a while the original 'Proven' verdict was replaced by 'Guilty'. However, the 'Not Proven' verdict never went away and nowadays it has taken on a new meaning. Juries now use it to say that they think the defendant may well be guilty, but they can't be sure, whereas they often reserve the not guilty verdict for those they are more convinced is innocent. Regardless, the only way you become a criminal is if you are found 'Guilty'.

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There is no substantive difference between Not Guilty and Not Proven - both mean you are legally innocent. Originally the two verdicts were 'Guilty' and 'Not guilty.guilty'. However--according to traditional account--in the early 17th century, [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart James VI of Scotland]] (also James I of England) faced a popular wave of rebellion by a Protestant sect called the "Covenanters", so he removed the right of juries to pronounce innocence and reduced them to finders of fact, giving them the verdicts 'Proven' and 'Not Proven'. However, in 1728, in the case of ''Carnegie of Findhaven'', the accused had accidentally killed the Earl of Strathmore, and the jury was persuaded by Carnegie's defence lawyer, Robert Dundas, to assert its "ancient right" to pronounce Carnegie "not guilty", as, while he patently performed the act accused of, they felt he had no moral guilt. After a while the original 'Proven' verdict was replaced by 'Guilty'. However, the 'Not Proven' verdict never went away and nowadays it has taken on a new meaning. Juries now use it to say that they think the defendant may well be guilty, but they can't be sure, whereas they often reserve the not guilty verdict for those they are more convinced is innocent. Regardless, the only way you become a criminal is if you are found 'Guilty'.



However, Northern Ireland being the [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles wonderful peaceful land of fun that it is]], takes a slightly different spin on things. Until 2007, certain criminal cases would not be tried with a jury. Judgements were made by the judge (a "bench trial" rather than "jury trial", and that was that. These were known as ''Diplock Courts'', after Lord Diplock, who recommended their introduction in the 1970s. This all sounds bad on paper, but with the sectarial turmoil sweeping Northern Ireland at the time, they weren't necessarily a bad idea, and were mostly employed for use with paramilitaries and terrorism-related offences to prevent jury members being intimidated by the prospect of the accused's "friends" turning up at their houses in the middle of the night with balaclavas and baseball bats if they voted the wrong way. Additionally, it prevented sectarian bias from influencing a juror's decision[[note]]i.e. a strongly-republican juror might vote guilty on a unionist defendant simply for ideological reasons regardless of their actual guilt, and vice versa with unionist jurors and nationalist/republican defendants[[/note]].

Generally those who ended up in one (or whose colleagues ended up in one) tended to argue against their use. Coincidentally enough, many high ranking paramiliary members from both sides were tried in these courts. One is left to draw their own conclusions as to whether bench or jury trial would have worked better.

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However, Northern Ireland being the [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles wonderful peaceful land of fun that it is]], takes a slightly different spin on things. Until 2007, certain criminal cases would not be tried with a jury. Judgements were made by the judge (a "bench trial" rather than "jury trial", and that was that. These were known as ''Diplock Courts'', after Lord Diplock, who recommended their introduction in the 1970s. This all sounds bad on paper, but with the sectarial sectarian turmoil sweeping Northern Ireland at the time, they weren't necessarily a bad idea, and were mostly employed for use with paramilitaries and terrorism-related offences to prevent jury members being intimidated by the prospect of the accused's "friends" turning up at their houses in the middle of the night with balaclavas and baseball bats if they voted the wrong way. Additionally, it prevented sectarian bias from influencing a juror's decision[[note]]i.e. a strongly-republican juror might vote guilty on a unionist defendant simply for ideological reasons regardless of their actual guilt, and vice versa with unionist jurors and nationalist/republican defendants[[/note]].

Generally those who ended up in one (or whose colleagues ended up in one) tended to argue against their use. Coincidentally enough, many high ranking paramiliary paramilitary members from both sides were tried in these courts. One is left to draw their own conclusions as to whether bench or jury trial would have worked better.
13th May '16 2:53:31 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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** If you're a good enough barrister, you can be appointed King's or Queen's Counsel, called "taking silk". This is now done by a nine-member panel, rather than the Government. A famous QC is Cherie Booth, better known by many as Cherie Blair, the wife of the former Prime Minister TonyBlair.

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** If you're a good enough barrister, you can be appointed King's or Queen's Counsel, called "taking silk". This is now done by a nine-member panel, rather than the Government. A famous QC is Cherie Booth, better known by many as Cherie Blair, the wife of the former Prime Minister TonyBlair.UsefulNotes/TonyBlair.
28th Sep '15 12:01:05 AM karstovich2
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* Court records are historical documents. What might be bloody obvious right now may well be a minor footnote of popular culture twenty years later (or have vanished entirely, few kids in the playground these days would be familiar with the term Linford's Lunchbox for example), thus it needs to be explained for the sake of future readers (since the UK is a precedent-based judicial system this is rather important), and also noted in case of an appeal at a later date. [[note]]"Who is Gazza?" is actually a good example of precedent in action. The judge's ''next'' question was whether Gascoigne was as widely known as UsefulNotes/TheDukeOfWellington had been in 1815... which was, in fact, quite a relevant question: Gascoigne was asking the court to ban an unauthorized biography of him, but there was a precedent that public figures had limited rights to privacy, which stemmed from a lawsuit brought by the Duke of Wellington.[[/note]]


to:

* Court records are historical documents. What might be bloody obvious right now may well be a minor footnote of popular culture twenty years later (or have vanished entirely, few kids in the playground these days would be familiar with the term Linford's Lunchbox for example), thus it needs to be explained for the sake of future readers (since the UK is a precedent-based judicial system this is rather important), and also noted in case of an appeal at a later date. [[note]]"Who is Gazza?" is actually a good example of precedent in action. The judge's ''next'' question was whether Gascoigne was as widely known as UsefulNotes/TheDukeOfWellington had been in 1815...[[UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars 1815]]... which was, in fact, quite a relevant question: Gascoigne was asking the court to ban an unauthorized biography of him, but there was a precedent that public figures had limited rights to privacy, which stemmed from a lawsuit brought by the Duke of Wellington.[[/note]]

17th Aug '15 9:04:05 PM karstovich2
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* The High Court of Justiciary: Generally called the High Court. It's a peculiar court in that its members are always the same as those of Scotland's highest civil appeals court, the Court of Session, but the two courts are still legally distinct. Tries the most serious offences. There are permanent sittings in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and it is also a circuit court, visiting other Scottish cities and large towns. Always has a jury when sitting as a trial court; however, it also sits as an appeals court for appeals from the lower criminal courts. Uniquely in the UK, there are no appeals from the High Court of Justiciary; every other court's decisions are subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, but not this one's. Judges here are referred to as My Lord.

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* The High Court of Justiciary: Generally called the High Court. It's a peculiar court in that its members are always the same as those of Scotland's highest civil appeals court, the Court of Session, but the two courts are still legally distinct. Tries the most serious offences. There are permanent sittings in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and it is also a circuit court, visiting other Scottish cities and large towns. Always has a jury when sitting as a trial court; however, it also sits as an appeals court for appeals from the lower criminal courts. Uniquely in the UK, there are no appeals from the High Court of Justiciary; every other court's decisions are decisions--including those of the Court of Session (which, you will recall, is composed of the same people as the High Court of Justiciary)--are subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, but not this one's. Judges here are referred to as My Lord.
17th Aug '15 8:49:20 PM karstovich2
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** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old BaileyBailey.
** ''Series/GarrowsLaw'': Centers on a defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old Bailey. The difference is that it's [[RecycledINSPACE IN GEORGIAN TIMES!]], and the barrister in question more or less ''invented'' defence work.

to:

** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a criminal defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old BaileyBailey.
** ''Series/GarrowsLaw'': Centers on a criminal defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually at the Old Bailey. The difference is that it's [[RecycledINSPACE IN GEORGIAN TIMES!]], and the barrister in question more or less ''invented'' defence work.
17th Jul '15 6:47:21 AM Ciara25
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The whole court dress thing can be dispensed with in very hot weather or if minors are being tried, since it could be intimidating.

Gavels are not used, contrary to popular portrayal. British courts are notably more orderly than their American counterparts. The sight of men in horsehair can intimidate the most hardened criminal and the most irascible plaintiff. In addition, while barristers can object to a line of questioning, they do not yell "Objection!"

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The whole court dress thing can be dispensed with in very hot weather weather, or if minors are being tried, since it could be intimidating.

intimidating. Also, since 2007 both judges and lawyers no longer wear wigs during non-criminal trials such as family or civil cases, although they do still wear the gowns.

Gavels are not used, contrary to popular portrayal. British courts are notably more orderly than their American counterparts. The sight of men and women in horsehair can intimidate the most hardened criminal and the most irascible plaintiff. In addition, while barristers can object to a line of questioning, they do not yell "Objection!"
27th May '15 2:21:52 PM Exxolon
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You also do not get the somewhat lurid speculation on new evidence that you find in the US. This is because of the rules of contempt of court. When a paper reports a criminal court case, it usually has to break out the NewspaperSpeechMarks, so you'll get things like "Smith 'spent hours on porn sites'" or "Mandy's 'secret drug deals'".

Newspapers will not give an opinion on the case during the trial, either in headlines or editorials. They cannot discuss the past record of the defendant and the jury are not told this either.

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You also do not get the somewhat lurid speculation on new evidence that you find in the US. This is because of the rules of contempt of court. court - as soon as someone is arrested, charged, has a warrant issued for their arrest or has a summons issued against them the entire case is considered "sub judice" and strict rules are applied as to how cases are reported on. When a paper reports a criminal court case, it usually has to break out the NewspaperSpeechMarks, so you'll get things like "Smith 'spent hours on porn sites'" or "Mandy's 'secret drug deals'".

deals'". Newspapers will not give an opinion on the case during the trial, either in headlines or editorials. They cannot discuss the past record of the defendant and the jury are not told this either.
25th May '15 7:49:32 PM notriddle
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** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin at the Old Bailey]].

to:

** ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Centers on a defence barrister who mostly does Crown Court work, usually [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin at the Old Bailey]].BaileyBailey.



This is the extent of criminal trial courts; however, some of the "civil" courts might appear in matters related to criminal prosecutions. The Crown Court is, with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales; High Court judges sit on the Crown Court (about which more below). The High Court's Queen's Bench Division, whose main duty is hearing civil cases in "law" (contract and tort, basically; the latter overlaps with crime a bit, since some crimes are also torts), also serves as a supervisory court, which includes hearing some criminal appeals from the Magistrates' Court and Crown Court. The High Court's Chancery Division and Family Division are ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, with the Family Division having far more to do with the Crown Court's criminal business (since criminal trials often end up causing family trouble; not a few British legal dramas have made occasional forays into its precincts) and thus appearing in media far more often than Chancery (which mostly involves corporations and rich people suing each other over property, as well as tax cases).

to:

This is the extent of criminal trial courts; however, some of the "civil" courts might appear in matters related to criminal prosecutions. The Crown Court is, with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales; High Court judges sit on the Crown Court (about which more below). The High Court's Queen's Bench Division, whose main duty is hearing civil cases in "law" (contract and tort, basically; the latter overlaps with crime a bit, since some crimes are also torts), also serves as a supervisory court, which includes hearing some criminal appeals from the Magistrates' Court and Crown Court. The High Court's Chancery Division and Family Division are ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, with the Family Division having has far more to do with the Crown Court's criminal business (since criminal trials often end up causing family trouble; not a few British legal dramas have made occasional forays into its precincts) and thus appearing appears in media far more often than Chancery (which mostly involves corporations and rich people suing each other over property, as well as tax cases).
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