Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking forward to all the things London has to offer!

With less than a month left till I embark to London, I am excited to see their culture and all the wonderful things London has to offer. I will have the opportunity to see many great things such as: Windsor Castle, a Criminal Courts tour, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, the Supreme Court, London Legal Walk, and Oxford. Along with all of those great outings I will have the incredible opportunity to visit a history museum, art museum, and a park. Paris will be a day excursion in itself. I am so thrilled to see the Eiffel Tower in person! With a different country comes different cuisine, I am a true American and I like ice in my drinks, so I am not looking forward to drinks without ice. I am also not looking forward to the direct 9 hour flight but hopefully I will be able to get some rest because as soon as we land the adventure begins! London here I come!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Justice Systems: Similarities and Differences

I am so excited to see all the different justice systems in London and see how they differ from the United States. Among the two countries, there are similarities and differences between the justice system.  The Supreme Court in the United States is a separate branch of government and has final jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. The Supreme Court in the US was established in 1787 whereas the UK did not establish a separate branch until 2005. Another difference between the two, is that in the UK the Supreme Court does not have the power to overturn policies passed by the legislative branch.
Our legal statues differ as well as those in the UK. In England the laws are not officially codified whereas in the US the laws are codified and are many times are signed by an executive such as the state governor or the President.
In the US jury selection is so important. The attorneys on the case are allowed to analyze and help with the selection of the jury. In the UK jurors are selected at random and a cross-examination to determine if they are suitable or not is not required. The type of selection that the UK uses is to create a jury that is fair and democratic. I find this so interesting because the time that is spent on jury selection in the US is very consuming but I think it is important.
The way criminal cases are handled in the US and the UK differ as well. Around 95% of the criminal cases in the UK are handled in lower courts and by unpaid judges that are not certified to practice law, only the most serious cases are heard before a professional judge. In the US both civil and criminal cases are treated the same. The UK does not have a written constitution. That is so mind boggling to me because in the US we do the best in our justice system to make sure that we uphold the Constitutional rights of our citizens.
After doing research on the similarities and differences between the UK and the US Justice systems I am so excited to see it in person. I hope to have an open mind about the way the justice system works in London and come back with ideas to help better the justice system in the states. Only 30 more day!!!

Chile.Patricio. Differences between the American & the English Court System.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ethnocentrism: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

While getting ready to study abroad I have thought about the positive and negative viewpoints on ethnocentrism. Many people have told me while preparing to go abroad to enjoy the culture over there and be ok with it not being American. One of the advantages of ethnocentrism is that the group or individual is immune to external influences. The positive part about that is that people that value their traditions will not be influenced or accept practices that they do not believe in. There are negative viewpoints as well. There is no diversity in the group. Another negative consequence is that the group or individual may miss out on the positive aspects of other people or groups because they choose to evaluate or judge another person or group. I think it is ok to have your own beliefs but they should be balanced and that you should be open to other peoples' views and values.
As I think about going, I am excited to see the way of life over there and even the girls that I am going to room with since I have only met them via the internet. It will also being interesting to see how the people in London view us as a group and individuals since we are from America. I look forward to stepping out of my own box and be willing to try new things and listen to the viewpoints and values that people have on life in London.