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English Legal System

Fourth Edition

Steve Wilson, Helen Rutherford, Tony Storey, Natalie Wortley, and Birju Kotecha

May 2020

ISBN: 9780198853800

752 pages

Price: £37.99

Takes students on a journey through the English legal system, inviting them to read, understand, see the law in practice, and then think for themselves



Clear, complete, and contextualized; this guide to the English legal system provides the strongest foundation for students at the start of their studies. Straightforward explanations of key topics are paired with learning features showcasing the law in its everyday context to give students a firm grasp of the fundamentals of the legal system.

  • Covers a wide range of topics without overwhelming students with detail, allowing students to feel confident in their understanding of the essentials
  • An introductory chapter provides valuable advice on studying the English legal system and making the transition from school to university, helping students to adapt quickly to their new studies
  • Carefully designed learning features enable the student to consider a thought-provoking or controversial topic, and form their own views on potential areas of reform, giving them a good grounding for the rest of their studies
  • Examples throughout the text put the law in its everyday context and show students the practical implications of the concepts they study
  • Also available as an ebook enhanced with self-assessment activities and multi-media content to offer a fully immersive experience and extra learning support

New to this edition

  • Now includes even more extensive, valuable advice on approaching the study of the English legal system and the transition to university
  • Increased coverage on the criminal process, including the latest developments on the use of stop and search powers by the police, changes to the law governing police bail, disclosure issues in criminal cases, and proposals to abolish short prison sentences
  • Includes updates on legal aid reforms; legislation such as the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018; and diversity in the judiciary, including the new Pre-Application Judicial Education Programme initiative which was launched in April 2019
  • Coverage of recent key cases including Lee v Ashers Baking Company (2018) on discrimination, RR v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2019) on incompatible subordinate legislation, and In the Matter of an Application by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for Judicial Review (2018) on abortion in Northern Ireland

About the Author(s)

Steve Wilson, Former Principal Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Helen Rutherford, Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Tony Storey, Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Natalie Wortley, Associate Professor, Northumbria University, Newcastle, and Birju Kotecha, Senior Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle

Steve Wilson is a Former Principal Lecturer at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Helen Rutherford is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Tony Storey is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Natalie Wortley is an Associate Professor at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Birju Kotecha is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Table of Contents

    1:Studying the English legal system
    2:An overview of the English legal system
    3:Legislation and the law-making process
    4:The interpretation of statutes
    5:The doctrine of judicial precedent
    6:The law and institutions of the European Union
    7:Human rights in the United Kingdom
    8:The judiciary
    9:The legal profession
    10:The jury
    11:Access to justice
    12:The criminal process: the suspect and the police
    13:The criminal process: pre-trial and trial
    15:The civil process
    16:Alternative dispute resolution
    18:Criminal and civil appeals

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources
The fourth edition is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

  • The ebook is enhanced with embedded self-assessment activities, and multi-media content including video clips from a range of sources, to offer a fully immersive experience and extra learning support. www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
  • These study tools that enhance the ebook, along with web links to guide further reading, and a guide to reading cases, are available as stand-alone resources for use alongside the print book. Lecturers can access the diagrams from the book for use in their teaching.

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