Category Archives: Relations Between Branches

How significant are public inquiries in the UK?

Public Inquiries are becoming increasingly common.

Public inquiries are quasi-judicial proceedings that investigate an issue, usually one that is politically controversial. The purpose of referring the issue to a public inquiry is to try to take the issue out of the political arena and allow it to be independently investigated. In recent years the number of public inquiries in the UK has grown, so what have some of the prominent ones been and how significant have they been?

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How does the UK judicial system work?

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The Courts system in England and Wales. Scotland retains its own distinct system.
The ongoing ‘Wagatha Christie’ case involving Colleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy is about alleged defamation, a civil issue.

There are two types of law in the UK, criminal and civil. Criminal Law is where the state (or a private individual) seeks to punish a crime (something that the state has decided is prohibited). For example, murder is a criminal offence and necessitates a criminal trial if someone is suspected of having committed it. Civil law is where courts adjudicate on disputes between parties and allows for parties to seek compensation and damages. For example, defamation is not a criminal offence, but is a civil wrong, and can therefore only be adjudicated in the civil courts.

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