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Introduction to the English Legal System 2017-2018

Twelfth Edition

Martin Partington

May 2017

ISBN: 9780198802488

322 pages

In Stock

Price: £25.99

The most concise, annually updated introduction by an author active in law reform get students involved in debates from day one of their degree.



Introduction to the English Legal System is the ideal foundation for those new to the study of law. Writing in a highly engaging and accessible style, Martin Partington introduces the purposes and functions of English law, the law-making process, and the machinery of justice, whilst also challenging assumptions and exploring current debates.

  • Includes supportive features to help the development of critical thinking skills
  • Written in a clear and concise style which is accessible and easy to digest
  • User-friendly layout and text design makes for easy navigation
  • Thorough, annual updates ensure that readers stay abreast of the latest developments in English law
  • Draws upon the author's considerable experience as a barrister, law reformer, and law teacher
  • Perfect for introductory and foundation courses as well as pre-course reading

New to this edition

  • Implications of the EU referendum result and the UK's legal relationship with Europe
  • Coverage of developments in criminal justice reform, including implementation of the efficiency programme, use of problem solving courts and the introduction of online decision making
  • Exploration of administrative justice reform, including the digitization of social security appeals, the fees policy in administrative justice and increased tribunal judicial flexibility
  • Discussion of civil justice reform, including online dispute resolution, "pop-up courts", investment in IT and greater use of fixed fees
  • Introduction to the Transformation of our Justice System reform programme
  • Other topics, including: the Investigatory Powers Act 2016; Lammy inquiry into possible biases in the criminal justice system; next steps in increasing judicial diversity

About the Author(s)

Martin Partington, Emeritus Professor of Law and Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Martin Partington is a qualified barrister and Emeritus Professor of Law and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. For five years he was Law Commissioner and was retained by the Law Commission as a special consultant in order to complete its major programme of work on the reform of housing law until 2008. He was a special consultant to the Leggatt Review of Tribunals in 2001. He has been a member of numerous committees and bodies working within the English Legal System. In 2011-2012 he was a consultant to the Public Administration Select Committee of the House of Commons. He was appointed CBE in 2002, elected a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2006, and made an honorary Queens Counsel in 2008. He is the author of Spotlight on the Justice System, a blog created to accompany Introduction to the English Legal System.

Table of Contents

    Part I Introduction
    1: Aims, themes, and structure
    Part II Law, Society, and Authority
    2: Law and society: the purposes and functions of law
    3: Law-making: authority and process
    Part III The Structure of the Legal System
    4: Shaping the legal system: the role of government
    5: The criminal justice system
    6: The administrative justice system
    7: The family justice system
    8: The civil and commercial justice system
    Part IV The Delivery and Funding of Legal Services
    9: Delivering legal services: practitioners, adjudicators, and legal scholars
    10: Funding legal services
    Part V Conclusion
    11: The transformation of the English legal system: pressures and challenges

Additional Resources

The ORC for this book includes: web links; questions for reflection and discussion; multiple choice questions; a glossary; further reading materials; and a link to Martin Partington's blog, which covers his views on key developments in the English justice system.

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