English (UK) Legal System – Introduction [Part 2]

Court’s system

A courts system is structured for the civil and criminal cases.

Courts are developed from where the people get justice and equity. Judges are there to hear the arguments from both parties and take the decision at last.

Separate courts are developed to deal the civil and criminal issues.

Civil and criminal court structure

Civil court structure comprises the following courts.

  • Magistrates’ court deals small domestic matters.
  • County court deals the matters of property under the law of contract and tort.
  • Crown courts deals with unresolved matters from magistrates’ court.
  • High court is divided into three divisions;
  • Queen bench
  • Family division
  • Chancery division

Court of appeal:  As the name shows this court is developed to hear the appeal from high court and county court. Because some people are not ready to accept the decision and want to appeal for more fairness and justice.

Supreme Court for the United Kingdom:              Is the highest court from all the previous and deals with large matters and issues and also hears appeals from high court and court of appeal.

Criminal court structure

Criminal court structure is developed to deal the criminal offenses under the criminal law.

It is also composed of following courts and people may apply to the courts according to the nature of issue or case.

Magistrates’ court deals with the summary offenses and the mistakes which are not so much serious.

Crown court deals with the more serious issues and crimes and also hears the appeal from the magistrates’ courts.

The divisional court of QBD is developed to hear the appeal from the previous two courts if the nature of offense becomes more serious.

Court of appeal hears appeal from crown court.

Supreme Court of united Kingdome is the largest court developed to hear appeal from all other courts and takes the final decision which is binding.

The supreme court of United Kingdom

The supreme court of United Kingdom was developed under the Constitutional reform Act 2005. And its personnel consist of 12 judges known as justices of the Supreme Court.

Its main function is to serve for both appeals of civil courts as well as criminal courts.

The case is discussed and then groups of justices give their views and finally take the decision which is binding because there is no court to hear the appeal of Supreme Court.

But some other courts are developed for United States to protect them from injustice.

Tribunal system

We can define tribunal as a local group of judges to resolve the issue at a specific place.

In other words we can say that tribunal system is a traditional system of resolving issues in comparison to the courts system. But now in United Kingdom this system developed with ore formal regulations of administrative justice.

So tribunals are the other source for the people who want to resolve their issues with justice.

This system was developed under the courts and enforcement act 2007.


Tribunals are composed of two parts usually which is known as two-tier system each with a panel of three judges. One is mostly a qualified lawyer and other two are not so qualified but experienced.

The decisions of upper tiers are binding which are finally taken after the review of decisions by first tier.


Tribunals are usually developed for the issues regarding employment law in which disputes of employees with employers or vice versa may be solved. Moreover some disputes regarding the government cases and social security are also heard and solved.

Following are some examples of disputes resolved under employment tribunal system.

  • Complaints of unfair and wrongful dismissal
  • Issues about trade union membership
  • Complaints about the discrimination of work and duties at job
  • Disputed about the equal pay and other monitory benefits and allowances
  • Health and safety issues at work

Employment appeal tribunal

Employment appeal tribunal (EAT) is developed to hear the appeal from different employment tribunals. The status and purpose of EAT is same like the High Court.

In this tribunal a qualified lawyer takes the final decision after hearing the facts from both parties. But if the matter remains unresolved then the parties may have to go to the high court where the matter discussed and resolved under the legal framework.

Advantages and disadvantages of tribunal system


  • This system is cheap and less costly as compared to courts system.
  • They allow flexibility in their decisions.
  • Senior tribunal members have more experience and knowledge.
  • This system reduces the workload of judges.
  • Prompt decision making.


There may be some drawbacks also by using this tribunal system

  • Judges may have low independence.
  • Some judges who are not qualified also involved in it so it may increase the chances of wrong decision making.
  • Lack of legal aid.