chapter  1
14 Pages

Nature, Sources and Administration of Law

The law, by which is meant the body of rules whereby a civilized society maintains order and regulates its internal affairs as between one individual and another, and between individuals and the state, consists in the United Kingdom of common law, statute law and case law, or judicial precedent. Public law cases start with an application to the magistrates' family proceedings court, and may be dealt with there or transferred to a county court care centre or, exceptionally, to the Family Division of the High Court. Delegated legislation is subject to only cursory parliamentary scrutiny, although it has equal force in law to primary legislation. There is an elaborate system of referencing to enable lawyers and courts to keep track of developments in case law and to trace decisions relevant to particular situations or legal principles. In almost all cases, funding for legal services is dependent on financial eligibility determined through an assessment of income and capital resources.