Courts in the United States and England and Their Functions : A Practical Guide to the Legal Profession in some English-speaking countries and Ukraine - С.М. Воронин и др : Книги по праву, правоведение

Courts in the United States and England and Their Functions

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Vocabulary

to file a case (in the court) – направляти справу в суд / направлять дело в суд

intermediate – проміжний / промежуточный

to examine (cross-examine) witnesses – допитувати (та піддавати перехресному допиту) свідків / допрашивать (подвергать перекрёстному допросу) свидетелей

exhibits – речові докази / вещественные доказательства

to find guilty – визнати винним (судом) / признать виновным (судом)

to plea guilty – визнати себе винним / признать себя виновным

liability – відповідальність / ответственность

Magistrate (Justice of the Peace)court – мировий суд / мировой суд

Mayor’s court – суд мерії / суд Мерии

to pass a sentence – винести вирок / вынести приговор

Court of Federal Claims – Cуд федеральних позовів / Суд федеральних исков

the doctrine of judicial review – доктрина судового перегляду / доктрина судебного пересмотра

Crown Court – Cуд Корони / Cуд Короны

County Court – (англ.) Суд графства, (амер.) окружний суд / (англ.) Суд графства, (амер.) окружной суд

High Court of Justice – Високий суд / Високий суд

Queen’s Bench Division – Суд Королівської лави (відділення Bисокого суду) / Суд Королевской скамьи (отделение Високого суда)

Chancery Division – Канцлерське відділення Високого суду / Канцлерское отделение Високого суда

What are some of the most noteworthy facts and concepts you should remember about American courts?

As a federal republic, the United States has both a state and federal court system.

The state court system consists of variety of state courts in each of fifty states. These courts have responsibility for interpreting and applying laws in accordance with each state’s constitution. Each state is free to determine its own particular kind of court structure. No two states have exactly the same system. State courts decide almost every type of case. They are located in many towns and almost all counties and are the courts with which most citizens have contact.

The federal courts system has responsibility for interpreting and applying the laws created by the federal, government under the authority of the Constitution of the United States.

There are far fewer federal courts, and most of them are located in the larger cities.

A case may be filed in federal court only if there is a specific federal statute or a provision in the United States Constitution granting the federal courts jurisdiction to hear the case.

The state courts differ from each other and from the federal courts in many aspects of their procedure.

What is the structure of courts in the USA?

Basically, the courts in the USA are divided into three layers:

“limited” or “general jurisdiction” courts, where cases start (trial courts)

“intermediate” (appellate) courts, where appeals are first heard; and

“supreme” courts which have final judicial authority.

This division is generally true of both state courts and federal courts.

What are the functions of trial courts?

Trial courts are the courts most familiar to the general public. It is in trial courts that evidence is taken, witnesses examined and cross-examined, and exhibits introduced. It is in trial courts that a determination of the facts is made, and judges and juries make their decision. It is in trial courts that a defendant is found “guilty” or “not guilty” in criminal cases and liability is decided in civil cases.

What trial courts are there in every state?

a) Most states have some trial courts with limited jurisdiction. The names of these courts vary widely: “Magistrate courts” and “Justice of the Peace courts, “Mayors” courts, Traffic courts, etc.

In many of these courts, however, procedures are formal (in a traffic court, for example, the entire case may be over in a few minutes. The police officer reads a charge in formal language, a judge asks the accused for a plea and, if the plea is “guilty”, then passes sentence immediately.)

b) The next group of courts goes by a variety of names: “superior” or “sircuit” courts, or “courts of Common Pleas.” They generally try only the more serious criminal cases above a certain dollar amount. Procedures in these courts usually are quite formal.

5) What federal trial courts are there in the country?

Trials in federal courts are generally held in U.S. district courts. That is the only name they have, wherever they sit. They all are governed by the U.S. Constitution and specific federal laws.

There are 94 federal judicial districts in the country. The federal district courts receive more civil than criminal matters.

6) What is the role of “intermediate” or appeals courts?

Appeals courts in the state and federal systems alike, sit to review the procedures of trials held in lower courts. They do not retry the cases they hear. The role of appeals courts is to make sure that trial courts have followed the procedural law correctly.

7) Do all states have intermediate appellate courts?

About three quarters of the states have intermediate appellate courts. The remaining states, which are generally small, have no level of court between trial courts and the highest court in the state.

8)    How many appeals courts are there in the federal court system?

There are thirteen intermediate courts of appeals in the federal system.

9) What is the court of appeals for the Federal Circuit?

The court of appeals for the Federal Circuit has national jurisdiction. Located in Washington, D.C., it hears appeals in patent law from all district courts, as well as appeals from the Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of International Trade, and a number of federal agencies.

10) What are the highest courts in the USA?

At the top of every state court system is the court of last resort, the state “supreme” court. In all state systems and in the federal system, the highest court has the final authority to interpret the law. The supreme courts of the 50 states do not conduct trials. Their function is appellate – reviewing the legal procedure and rulings of courts below them. They review all types of cases.

What is the U.S. Supreme Court?

In America, there is only one court created by the U.S. Constitution. It is the Supreme Court of the United States. It serves the entire United States and is located in Washington, D.C. It is one of the three great branches of the U.S. government.

The Supreme Court of the United States serves as the final interpreter of the Constitution of the United States under the doctrine of judicial review.

In what way does the English court system differ from American?

In general, the division between civil and criminal law is reflected in this system. The Crown Courts, for example, deal exclusively with criminal matters, the County Courts – with civil.

Are they the lowest courts in the hierarchy of English courts?

No. A criminal case usually begins in a Magistrates Court. As the lowest criminal court, a Magistrates Court is empowered to hear certain cases only. Some minor cases, such as parking violations, are dealt with only by the magistrates. Some serious crimes, like murder, cannot be heard by the magistrates and go to the Crown Courts.

What is the High Court of Justice?

The High Court of Justice is made up of three Divisions:

the Queen’s Bench Division (mostly concerned with criminal cases, also deals with some civil matters);

the Chancery Division (deals primarily with company work and intellectual property);

the Family Division (deals with all jurisdiction affecting the family).

However, the Queen’s Division of the High Court considers appeals from lower criminal courts, as well as civil matters, and the Magistrates Courts.

What is the highest appeals court in England?

The Court of Appeal is for most cases the court of final appeal. It consists of two Divisions: the Criminal Division and Civil Division. The Privy Council is the last court of appeal from certain Commonwealth countries and Dependent Territories.


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