The law - The legal profession

10 important questions on The law - The legal profession

Name 2 kinds of lawyers in Britain:

1. Solicitor
2. Barrister

What is the abbreviation QC after a persons name?

It means Queens Counsil (his or her Majesty's Counsil learned in the law.)

Point out some of the differences between the Scottish legal system and that of England and Wales.

  • The basis of its law is closer to Roman and Dutch law.
  • The names of officials  are different (barristers = advocates)
  • There are three (not two) possible verdicts: Guilty, not guilty or not proven, which means the accused person cannot be punished but is not completely cleared of guilt either.
  • Highest court in UK = Supreme Court, in Scotland = High Court of Justiciary
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Is there a Ministry of Justice in Britain?

Yes there is. It works to protect the public and reduce reoffending, and to provide a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public.

How do you become a judge in Britain?

By achieving the rank of Queen Court, from which the judges are appointed.

What is 'to talk silk' and 'to be called to the bar' ?

To talk silk means that a barrister has become so senior that he or she is appointed QC (Queens Counsel) It is a status conferred by crown, recognized by courts. The members wear silk gowns of a particular design, therefore the award of Queens counsel is known informally as 'talking silk'.
Being called to the bar means that a person is qualified to argue in a court of law

What two things are supposed to emphasize the impersonal majesty of the law?

1. Archaic gowns
2. wigs

When was the death penalty abolished in Britain?

In 1969. For murderers, there is an obligatory life sentence

How can a judge be dismissed?

when both Houses of parliament want to dismiss him/her. This has never happened.

Ladder of sentences: minimum to maximum penalties

  1. unconditionally discharged without punishment
  2. conditional discharge and/or suspended sentence or put on probation (regular meetings with a social worker)
  3. a fine
  4. community service
  5. imprisonment
  6. life sentence

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