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Judicial System of the USA and Great Britain




The Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ and the Supreme Court Building is in Washington. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the US and eight Associate Justices. They are all appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The Supreme Court has the right to declare unconstitutional any law passed by Congress or any order issued by the President. This right of veto is widely used to block the passage of any progressive bills. The USA is divided into eleven judicial circuits and each one is served with a Federal Court of Appeals. As a rule the Court of Appeals sits with three judges on the bench. There are about 90 district courts in different parts of the US. The district courts are the lowest ones in the Federal court system. Most of the criminal and civil cases are tried by these courts. The district court is the only Federal court where trials are held, juries are used, and witnesses are called. There are about two hundred district judges in the USA. Cases tried in the district court may be appealed in one of the eleven Courts of appeal and in the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court is final. In the USA the judiciary is divided into the federal and state judiciary. Jurisdiction of particular courts or judges is determined by either national or state constitutions and laws. The state courts are organized in a system that looks like the system of Federal Courts with a Supreme Court at the top. In most of the states the lowest courts are the magistrates, or police courts.

The most common type of law court in England and Wales is the magistrates' court. There are 700 magistrates' court there.

More serious criminal cases then go to the Crown Court, which has 90 branches in different towns and cities. Civil cases (for example, divorce or bankruptcy cases) are dealt with in County courts.

Appeals are heard by higher courts. For example, appeals from magistrates' court are heard in the Crown Court, unless they are appeals on points of law. The highest court of appeal in England and Wales is the House of Lords. Certain cases may be referred to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg or to the European Court of Human Rights set up in Strasbourg.

The legal system also includes juvenile courts (which deal with offenders under seventeen) and coroners' courts (which investigate violent, sudden or unnatural deaths).

 

 







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