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.  

1 comment:

  1. It was very interesting actually getting to experience London's supreme court in action! It did not seem as if it was established only 9 years ago. Knowing that the UK does not have a constitution is different but they do have the Magna Carta which is comparable in a sense. It was a great to go to their courts and have the opportunity to compare what we believe to be issues with their justice system and what we need to improve on as well.