Through history there has been many comparisons made between the United Kingdom and America both being leading countries in many aspects of life. At a glance England and America do not seem all that different however when we look deeper in to the two countries a world of differences appear even the language we speak in many areas resembles each although when examined closely it is not hard to figure out the differences. Culturally, the British are massively different as they are less out going, a more reserved type of folk with a keep calm approach even when disaster strikes while Americans population is bigger, taller and heavier in terms of physical appearance as is their personalities and their likeliness for a joke rather than sarcasm. There is no denying apart from the geographical differences as America is vastly bigger than the UK that they also have a vast economy and are the leading country when it comes to economics while the UK still shows strength the Americans have the biggest national economy worldwide. It is not hard to see the differences there are between the two countries. Above has been mentioned the most obvious and recorded contrasts, however this article is set to focus on the diversities of the legal system in both countries.
How the Legal System of the United Kingdom and America Differ?
Firstly let’s look at how the courts reside within the countries, minor offences and civil disputes are handled by smaller courts known as a magistrate court. In regards to more serious crimes and matters that outweigh the ruling of a magistrates court the case will be referred to a senior court which consist of a three court hierarchy. The Crown Court for the UK and the District Court for the US are where most cases are heard which are considered of a serious nature and in most incidents this is where the case will reside, however there are two further courts; the Courts of Appeal and further up the hierarchy to the Supreme Court.
The British court uses Common Law, it uses past cases to make decisions and judgements, however after American independence, America was set to be governed by the Constitution. A major difference within the legal system of the United Kingdom and America is that of the legal representation, in America a Lawyer can represent just about any kind of defendant where in the United Kingdom a solicitor can deal with most matters however when it comes to trivial advocacy a barrister is needed as representation.
Medical Negligence and Common Law
Although thus far we have examined differences it is important not to forget that America is in fact a British Colony and much of the British heritage have evolved there over time. What might be shocking of all is the fact that Medical Negligence or Medical Malpractice a well used term in America is in fact derived from British Common Law. There is no denying that medical malpractice is a common occurrence on US soil many being under the perspective that suing medical staffs for poor substandard treatment was introduced by America, however this cannot be further from the truth. The actual legal system within the United States of America is to say somewhat experienced when dealing with matters of medical malpractice. In recent times Britain has seen a sharp increase in the amount of medical negligence cases being pursued by those who feel they have fell victim to substandard treatment by medical professionals and have been caused further ill health. Those who feel they have suffered at the hands of a physician have the option to make a claim for compensation by contacting a legal law firm such as MedicalNegligenceAssist.co.uk who can offer free legal advice. Claiming compensation for medical negligence may seem quite a difficult task but often one is left no choice especially if the consequences are so severe that it has affected many aspects of life and if the correct representation is chosen all the hassle and hard work will be done by them.
There is an unwritten rule that those who enter in to a profession of a certain statue must at all times have a respect for that profession and offer a standard of practice and care, a concept that was introduced as far back as Ancient Rome and England. Codes of practice concerning medical responsibility and care can be thought to go back as far as 2030 BC to the Code of Hammurabi. Astonishing to say the least, what many people thought as a relatively new term to derive from the Americans is in fact almost the opposite and has been recognisable since Roman times when even then it was recognised as an unforgivable wrong. As far back as the end of the 12th century records were kept regarding Common Law and cases of medical malpractice however it wasn’t until the 1800’s when the first case of medical malpractice is recorded in the United States. Cases where not common before the 1960’s, it is fair to say that since then they are not as rare with 70 per cent of medical physicians having been sued within their time of practice.
When talking about the differences of the legal systems within the two leading countries of this era it is important to remember how firstly the countries are governed and of course by whom. Both the United Kingdom and America are made up of different parts, the UK has England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and America has its 51 states. Both countries are governed and represented in a different way also while America has no Monarchy the government elected by the people of the US and a President along with representatives are chosen and must follow a set constitution which is quite similar to the system in the UK. However, in the United Kingdom the country has a Monarch and a Government which combined make a monarchy-parliament governed country. Although the monarchy is leader of the state they do not have absolute power as a government is elected in to run the country by the people of the United Kingdom. And if not already slightly confused what makes it more difficult to comprehend is that within the different countries that make up the United Kingdom they too have their own powers and governance as America has many different states which may consist of their own laws, judiciary and legal system.