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Published: Fri, 02 Feb 2018

Explain the roles of solicitors, barristers, judges and magistrates

This assignment will consider the differences in Civil and Criminal law. It will explain the roles of solicitors, Barristers, Judges and Magistrates. It will also critically look at the features of the European Court of Human Rights

Civil law is a private law settles matters between two individual and organisations. It still has the roman standard in many countries because it was originated from the Roman law. The end result is mostly damages in civil law. Example of civil cases includes Donoghue v Stevenson [193] where Donoghue sued Stevenson for damages of £500 for drinking contaminated ginger beer which had a negative effect on his health, Millar v Taylor (17690) is another example of civil case

Criminal law considers crimes committed against the public. Government identifies and criminalises behaviour that is considered wrong, damaging to individuals through criminal law Jacqueline Martin and Chris Turner define crime as “a conduct forbidden by the state “ when a conduct is regarded by the state as being criminal, there is always a punishment attached to it . i.e. murder and theft. Example of criminal case includes R v Wilson (1994) and R v Brown (1991) where R stands for the Crown or the State. Criminal law was made to protect organisations, individuals, the society and their properties. They are also made to punish offenders. The aim of sentencing offenders also include reparation, incapacitation, deterrence and reformation


Criminal law is drafted by the government. It is made by the crown ( R ) and passed by Parliament before it goes to the monarch for “rubber-stumping” as law. (this process is called ‘Royal Assent’). Offenders are prosecuted by the Crown when they commit crimes against citizens. It is the duty of the police to enforce the law.

Civil law applies to the principals of common law but in civil actions unlike criminal proceedings, the Crown takes no sides. The crown supplies the court, the judge and if necessary the enforcement of the judge’s rulings.


Criminal law punishes guilty defendant by either incarceration in a jailed. There are also fine paid to the government in exceptional cases. Community service could be the punishment on offenders depending on the type of crime committed. Contrary to criminal law, defendant in civil law is not imprisoned when found liable but reimburse the claimant for losses by the defendants act.

Burden of proof

In criminal law, one can never be guilty without “proven 99 percent guilty beyond reasonable doubt “as per Lord Denning. When one feels that the crime committed is due to his or her insanity then the burden lies on the defendant to prove it. The Crown has the right to punish criminal offenders because all crimes are against the state. For example, if one commits the crime of burglary by breaking into a house and steal, the state will prosecute the offender when even the victim brings private proceedings against the burglar.

In civil law, the burden of proof is initially on the claimant. There are a number of factors which could make the burden shift to the claimant. For example, the defendant in a prima facie case will have to refute the claimants evident. Lord Denning said “there should be51 percent balance of probability in civil cases to be a winner.

European court of human rights

The European court of human rights (ECtHR) is an international judicial body established under the European Convention on human rights of 1950 to monitor respect of human rights by states. It was established in1959 and fully came into practice in the United Kingdom in 1966. It is made up of 47 judges, one for each member state and sits full-time in Strasbourg-France. It decisions binds all lower courts in its member states. There were an increasing number of cases being taken to the European court of human rights in 2008 which caused a backlog of cases, with over 90,000 cases to with, in 2009.


The Court accepts applications of instances of human rights violations from individuals as well as states. However, it is rare for a state to submit allegations against another state, unless the violation is severe. In order for an application to be accepted by the Court, all domestic legal remedies available to the applicant must have been exhausted. Example of individual cases to the court the case the case of S and Marper v UK (2008) regarding indefinite retained of DNA on the database of police without being found guilty of an offence. Additionally:

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