Slapper, Gary and Kelly, David eds.
The English legal system. 7th edition.
London: Cavendish Publishing, p. 776.
A good comprehension of the English legal system requires knowledge and skill in a number of disciplines. The system itself is the result of developments in law, economy, politics, sociological change and the theories which feed all these bodies of knowledge.
This book assists students of the English legal system in the achievement of a good understanding of the law, its institutions and processes and sets the law and system in a social context, presenting a range of critical views. Being proficient in this subject also means being familiar with contemporary changes and proposed changes, and this new edition has been comprehensively revised and updated to take these into account.
Since the last edition of this book in 2003, the changes to the English legal system have been major and manifold. This new 7th edition includes all the significant changes introduced to the civil and criminal courts by the Courts Act 2003. The book also incorporates the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and its scores of key changes including those to trials, the appeal system, the double jeopardy rule, PACE powers, cautions, juries, bail, and the magistrates' court system. Additionally, the new edition includes the constitutional changes consequent upon the creation of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, and the plans for a Supreme Court.
In other areas, new rules relating to solicitors, costs and publicly-funded law are included as are the case of Dr David Kelly and the law and politics of judicial inquiries. The plans for a European constitution are also digested. Many new cases are incorporated including the House of Lords' decision in Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and its implications for statutory interpretation and the Human Rights Act.
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