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СодержаниеThe Federal Court System.
The Senior Courts of England and Wales
Court of Appeal
The Crown Court
|5. The court structure|
Judicial system of the Russian Federation
The Russian judicial system consists of the Constitutional Court, courts of general jurisdiction, military courts, and arbitrage courts (which hear commercial disputes). The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation arbitrates disputes between the executive and legislative branches and between Moscow and the regional and local governments. The court also is authorized to rule on violations of constitutional rights, to examine appeals from various bodies, and to participate in impeachment proceedings against the president.
The system of general jurisdiction courts includes the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, regional level courts, district level courts and justices of the peace.
The judicial system of the Russian Federation consists of:
▪ four-tiered system of courts of general jurisdiction. Three-tiered system of the military courts is an integral part of it . The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is the supreme judicial body of this branch ;
The system of general jurisdiction courts has the following structure:
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is the supreme judicial body for all courts of general jurisdiction, both civil and military.
Rayon courts form the basis of the system of general jurisdiction courts of the Russian Federation.
The law attributes to the jurisdiction of rayon courts all civil cases, overwhelming majority of criminal cases and cases relating to administrative offences.
Rayon courts act as a higher judicial instance for the Justices of the Peace operating on the territory of the appropriate judicial district.
Justices of the Peace are judges of the subjects of the Russian Federation and form an integral part of the system of courts of general jurisdiction.
The law entrusts the Justices of the Peace with functions and duties equal for all the judges of Russia: to exercise justice observing precisely and strictly the requirements of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, generally recognized rules , norms and principles of the international law and international agreements concluded or joined by the Russian Federation.
The Justices of the Peace are included into the structure of general jurisdiction courts and participate in the work of its bodies.
Courts of general jurisdiction: of kray , oblast, city, of autonomous oblast and autonomous districts act as higher instance courts for rayon courts.
The courts of this tier of the judicial system are empowered to carry out all the powers of a judicial instance, namely to examine cases as a first instance court in the order of cassation, by way of supervision and upon newly discovered evidence. They work in the following composition: presidium of the court, judicial panel for civil cases and judicial panel for criminal cases.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is the supreme judicial body for civil, criminal, administrative and other cases under the jurisdiction of courts of general jurisdiction, carries out judicial supervision over their activities according to the federal law-envisaged procedural forms and provides clarifications on the issues of court proceedings (Article 126 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation). It heads the judicial system of general jurisdiction, representing a supreme tier of this system.
The Supreme Court of Russian Federation has the right of the legislative initiative. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation acts as a court of first instance for cases of special importance or special public interest when it accepts them for consideration according to the legislation. The law determines a category of cases which are included in the sphere of activities of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation as a court of first instance .
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is a cassation instance in relation to the federal courts of general jurisdiction of republics or oblast.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supervises legality, validity and substantiality of sentences and other decisions of courts of lower level.
Court system in the United States
The U.S. court system is divided into two administratively separate systems, the federal and the state, each of which is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government.
At the bottom are the federal district courts, which have original jurisdiction in most cases of federal law. Made up of 92 districts, the federal district court system has at least one bench in each of the 50 states.
There are from 1 to more than 20 judges in each district, and, as with most federal jurists, district court judges are appointed by the President and serve for life. Cases handled by the federal district courts include those relating to alleged violations of the Constitution or other federal laws, maritime disputes, cases directly involving a state or the federal government, and cases in which foreign governments, citizens of foreign countries, or citizens of two or more different states are involved.
Directly above the district courts are the United States courts of appeals, each superior to one or more district courts. There are from 6 to 27 judges in each circuit. In addition to hearing appeals from their respective district courts, the courts of appeals have original jurisdiction in cases involving a challenge to an order of a federal regulatory agency, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The highest court in the federal system is the Supreme Court of the United States, the only federal court explicitly mandated by the Constitution. The Supreme Court sits in Washington, D.C., and has final jurisdiction on all cases that it hears. The high court may review decisions made by the U.S. courts of appeals, and it may also choose to hear appeals from state appellate courts if a constitutional or other federal issue is involved. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in a limited number of cases, including those that involve high-ranking diplomats of other nations or those between two U.S. states.
State Court Systems
The lowest level of state courts, often known generically as the inferior courts, may include any of the following: magistrate court, municipal court, justice of the peace court, police court, traffic court, and county court. Such tribunals, often quite informal, handle only minor civil and criminal cases. More serious offenses are heard in superior court, also known as state district court, circuit court, and by a variety of other names. The superior courts, usually organized by counties, hear appeals from the inferior courts and have original jurisdiction over major civil suits and serious crimes such as grand larceny. It is here that most of the nation's jury trials occur. The highest state court, usually called the appellate court, state court of appeals, or state supreme court, generally hears appeals from the state superior courts and, in some instances, has original jurisdiction over particularly important cases. A number of the larger states, such as New York, also have intermediate appellate courts between the superior courts and the state's highest court. Additionally, a state may have any of a wide variety of special tribunals, usually on the inferior court level, including juvenile court, divorce court, probate court, family court, housing court, and small-claims court. In all, there are more than 1,000 state courts of various types, and their judges, who may be either appointed or elected, handle the overwhelming majority of trials held in the United States each year.
Courts of England and Wales
Her Majesty's Courts of Justice of England and Wales are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in England and Wales; they apply English law, the law of England and Wales, and are established under Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom does not have a single unified legal system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. There are exceptions to this rule; for example in immigration law, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal's jurisdiction covers the whole of the United Kingdom, while in employment law there is a single system of Employment Tribunals for England, Wales, and Scotland (but not Northern Ireland).
The Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court, the Magistrates' Courts, and the County Courts are administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice.
The Senior Courts of England and Wales were originally created by the Judicature Acts as the "Supreme Court of Judicature". It was renamed the "Supreme Court of England and Wales" in 1981, and again to the "Senior Courts of England and Wales" by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It consists of the following courts:
Court of Appeal
High Court of Justice
The Court of Appeal deals only with appeals from other courts. The Court of Appeal consists of two divisions: the Civil Division hears appeals from the High Court and County Court and certain superior tribunals, while the Criminal Division may only hear appeals from the Crown Court connected with a trial on indictment (i.e. trial by judge and jury (the jury is only present if the defendant pleads "not guilty")). Its decisions are binding on all courts apart from the House of Lords.
The High Court of Justice functions both as a civil court of first instance and a criminal appellate court for cases from the subordinate courts. It consists of three divisions: the Queen's Bench, the Chancery and the Family divisions. The divisions of the High Court are not separate courts. Although particular kinds of cases will be assigned to each division depending on their subject matter, each division may exercise the jurisdiction of the High Court. However, beginning proceedings in the wrong division may result in a costs penalty.
The Crown Court is a criminal court of both original and appellate jurisdiction which in addition handles a limited amount of civil business both at first instance and on appeal. It was established by the Courts Act of 1971. It replaced the Assizes whereby High Court judges would periodically travel around the country hearing cases, and Quarter Sessions which were periodic county courts. The Old Bailey is the unofficial name of London's most famous Criminal Court, which is now part of the Crown Court. Its official name is the "Central Criminal Court". The Crown Court also hears appeals from Magistrates' Courts.
The most common subordinate courts in England and Wales are the
Family Proceedings Courts
Magistrates', Family Proceedings and Youth Courts
Magistrates' Courts are presided over by a bench of lay magistrates (aka justices of the peace), or a legally-trained district judge (formerly known as a stipendiary magistrate), sitting in each local justice area. There are no juries. They hear minor criminal cases, as well as certain licensing applications. Youth courts are run on similar lines to Adult magistrates' courts but deal with offenders aged between the ages of 10 and 17 inclusive. Youth courts are presided over by a specially trained subset of experienced adult magistrates or a district judge. Youth magistrates have a wider catalogue of disposals available to them for dealing with young offenders and often hear more serious cases against youths (which for adults would normally be dealt with by the Crown Court). In addition some Magistrates' Courts are also a Family Proceedings Court and hear Family law cases including care cases and they have the power to make adoption orders. Family Proceedings Courts are not open to the public. The Family Proceedings Court Rules 1991 apply to cases in the Family Proceedings Court. Youth courts are not open to the public for observation, only the parties involved in a case being admitted.
County Courts are statutory courts with a purely civil jurisdiction. They are presided over by either a District or Circuit Judge and, except in a small minority of cases such as civil actions against the Police, the judge sits alone as trier of fact and law without assistance from a jury. County courts have divorce jurisdiction and undertake private family cases, care proceedings and adoptions.
County Courts are local courts in the sense that each one has an area over which certain kinds of jurisdiction—such as actions concerning land or cases concerning children who reside in the area—are exercised. For example, proceedings for possession of land must be started in the county court in whose district the property lies. However, in general any county court in England and Wales may hear any action and claims are frequently transferred from court to court. it sits in 92 different cities of UK.
The House of Lords is the highest appeal court in almost all cases in England and Wales. The judicial functions of the House of Lords are entirely separate from its governmental role with only the Law Lords hearing the appeals from the Court of Appeal and the High Court. It's decisions are binding on all lower courts.
There are two kinds of criminal trial: 'summary' and 'on indictment'. For an adult, summary trials take place in a magistrates' court, while trials on indictment take place in the Crown Court. Despite the possibility of two venues for trial, almost all criminal cases, however serious, commence in the Magistrates' Courts. It is possible to start a trial for an indictable offence by a voluntary bill of indictment, and go directly to the Crown Court, but that would be unusual.
A criminal case that starts in the Magistrates' Court may begin either by the defendant being charged and then being brought forcibly before Magistrates, or by summons to the defendant to appear on a certain day before the Magistrates. A summons is usually confined to very minor offences. The hearing (of the charge or summons) before the Magistrates is known as a "first appearance".
Offences are of three categories: indictable only, summary and either way. Indictable only offences such as murder and rape must be tried on indictment in the Crown Court. On first appearance, the Magistrates must immediately refer the defendant to the Crown Court for trial, their only role being to decide whether to remand the defendant on bail or in custody.
Summary offences, such as most motoring offences, are much less serious and most must be tried in the Magistrates' Court, although a few may be sent for trial to the Crown Court along with other offences that may be tried there (for example assault). The vast majority of offences are also concluded in the Magistrates' Court (over 90% of cases).
Under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, civil claims under £5,000 are dealt with in the County Court under the 'Small Claims Track'. This is generally known to the lay public as the 'Small Claims Court' but does not exist as a separate court. Claims between £5,000 and £25,000 that are capable of being tried within one day are allocated to the 'Fast Track' and claims over £25,000 to the 'Multi Track'. These 'tracks' are labels for the use of the court system – the actual cases will be heard in the County Court or the High Court depending on their value.
For Personal Injury, Defamation cases and some Landlord and Tenant disputes the thresholds for each track have different values.
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions. They can be contrasted with solicitors — the other class of lawyer in split professions — who have more direct access with clients, and may do transactional-type legal work. Barristers are rarely hired by clients directly but instead are retained (or instructed) by solicitors to act on behalf of clients.
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