• Robert Spicer

LAW: Major New Publication: Extract

In the interests of fairness and balance, what is good, in summary, about the English legal system?

  • The independence of the judiciary.

  • The incorruptibility of the judiciary in the sense of financial bribery. The English judiciary, unlike the legislature, has never been the subject of financial scandal.

  • The jury system, as the only democratic element in the system, which is constantly under attack.

  • The Human Rights Act 1998.

  • A general adherence to the rule of law.

  • A highly developed and sophisticated system of legal education.

  • The permitted scope for individualism in the legal profession, which results in a small number of highly committed progressive lawyers.

  • Law Centres.

  • The Legal Action Group and its publications.

  • The remnants of legal aid.

  • Health and safety law and some aspects of employment law.

  • The common law dealing with workplace stress.

  • Some other areas of substantive law, for example road traffic, food hygiene, environmental law and common law negligence. These areas are not generally concerned with commerce, property or money.

  • Progressive organisations, for example Liberty, the Haldane Society, Reprieve, Amnesty International and the Legal Action Group.

  • Resistance by the judiciary to the increasing power of the executive.

  • The intellectual achievements of the senior judiciary.

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