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The Judiciary: A comparative Approach. Overview: Outline the US and other Judicial Systems functions (Mind mapping with poster) -20 mins What Comparisons can be made of the US with other judiciaries? 40 mins Exam Paper Focus: What are exam questions asking you to do?

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The judiciary a comparative approach
The Judiciary: A comparative Approach

  • Overview: Outline the US and other Judicial Systems functions (Mind mapping with poster) -20 mins

  • What Comparisons can be made of the US with other judiciaries? 40 mins

  • Exam Paper Focus: What are exam questions asking you to do?

  • Timed Essay: Comparative Judicial Systems

  • Homework


Create a mind map outline poster of the us and uk judicial systems 40 mins
Create a Mind Map /Outline Poster of the US and UK Judicial Systems (40 mins)

  • Using books/net find out: What is a judicial System?

  • Create a mindmap poster and outline/describe the :

    a) US Judicial System

  • Follow:

  • Overview of the US Judicial System

    b) UK Judicial System:

  • The UK Judicial System


Similarities and differences of us with other modern judicial systems
Similarities and Differences of US with other modern Judicial Systems

  • High Value placed on the independence of courts

  • Allow Judges to interpret laws, Even strict legal systems (France) have situations where judges fill gaps’ (Hague, 1992)

  • Application of the law has been further obscured in all modern countries by expansion of administrative bureaucracy

  • Growth in ‘ quasi judicial admin tribunals’ Deal with employment law, social security, etc. Been heavily criticised as being politicised *

  • Both in US and UK judges hold office for life and ‘good behaviour’

  • Both the US and UK Judicial Systems are held to account much less than other European Courts


  • Selection of Judges: See table 11.3 (Hague, Judicial Systemsharrop book)

  • An independent judiciary is not neccesarily a neutral one *

  • European, UK/US Judges are known for their political stances *

  • Griffith (1977) argues British Courts are ‘Conservative’ and have unfavourable attitudes to workers rights, trades unions

  • Hague, Harrop, Breslin(1992) Point to mistakes made by senior judges over IRA terrorism –’judicial arrogance’

  • Schubert (1972) ‘Decisions in US courts are related to social background of judges’

  • ACTIVITY: SOCIAL BACKGROUND OF JUDICIAL SYSTEM:

  • Read the handout and highlight


  • All western judiciaries: Judicial Systems

  • Resolve conflicts between state and citizens over basic civil liberties

  • Rule whether laws are constitutional

  • Resolve conflicts between different institutions or tiers of government

  • US Supreme Court has biggest power of constitutional review of all western courts

  • US Supreme Court argued to be more powerful/ political than UK judicial system (Hague, 1992)

  • Can you think of cases that illustrate the Courts power?*

  • Germany and Canada also have strong Review Courts


Comparing with courts in non democracies
Comparing with Courts in non Democracies Judicial Systems

  • In former Soviet Union, courts were a tool to reconstruct a totalitarian society, not impartial.

  • In China, courts are dominated by the police who use legal system to control citizens behaviour

  • Activity: Read Handout ‘Google and Chinese Courts’

  • In many former East European States, the reconstruction of Courts and Judiciary has left a culture of ‘mafioso’ (Italy/Spain)

  • Many undeveloped countries are dominated by military rule, so courts have little/no role. (Waisman, 1989)

  • Mexicos’ judicial system is dominated by executive (politicised)


Summary courts in comparison
Summary: Courts in Comparison Judicial Systems

  • Overall: US Supreme Court is arguably more political/powerful than other western courts

  • Some European Courts are argued to be controlled more by other agencies and less political (France)

  • UK system is very out of date and powers of courts not separated from political system unlike US or European Union (House of Lords is equivalent to Supreme Court).

  • All western judiciaries have become very bureaucratic and more dominated by corporations.

  • All Judiciaries are some what political (backgrounds/selection)

  • Is there an alternative?


Timed essay
Timed Essay Judicial Systems

  • Compare and Contrast the power of the judiciary in different political systems

    -25 mins

    Plan your essay (5 mins)


Homework for 6 05 13
Homework for 6/05/13 Judicial Systems

  • Outline and mind map the differences and similarities between the US Supreme Court and UK House of Lords.

  • Complete the essay:

  • Compare and Contrast the roles and functions of the Supreme Court with the House of Lords? -40 mins

    3. Complete the exam paper to time


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