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Musings of a Bleeding Heart Liberal...

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My Apologies

For those of you that care; sorry that I've been a little absent since the start of the weekend. For those of you that don't care... .   The reason is that I've got mock exams all this week, so I needed the time to make some revision. My last mock in on Friday, so I'll be back and ready to dance come the weekend.





We finished a topic in Psychology today, which of course means that we're moving onto a new one next lesson. As homework, we're to read up on the topic in advance in our textbooks. Just started reading it a few minutes ago...   Now I'm not sure if anyone reading this is familiar with the "Psychodynamic Approach" of pyschology, but I gotta' ask, the the flying *CENSOR*?! I swear, the writers of this textbook must have put it all in as a joke.




The Supreme Court

Note On The Text
I don't actually expect anyone to really read this properly, unless of course they have an interest in the subject. As such I don't anticipate any comments either, though they're certainly not un-welcome. The reason that I'm doing this is twofold; primarily it's because it helps me to memorise and organize the thoughts contained within and that are important to me and my education, but it's also a means by which I'm expressing my opinions, even if no-one reads or understands them... All of these are basically the 'Profound Essays of Nonsense' that the name of my blog refers to. So read on folks, if you dare; I can't guarantee your sanity by the end of it though...

Some of you may be aware that on the 1st of October 2009 the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 took effect in regards to abolishing the judicial functions of the House of Lords. Perhaps, for those of you who know nothing about the UK Court System but are still interested, some explanation might be in order.

The UK Court system is split into two sections; 'Courts of first instance', and the 'appellate courts'. The courts of first instance are effectively where court proceedings first take place and where claims are first issued. These courts are the Magistrates Court, the County Court, the Crown Court and the 3 divisions of the High Court (The high court is a rather interesting one, as it serves both as a court of first instance and as an appellate court). Appellate courts deal with appeals of decisions that have been decided in the lower courts. Appellate courts are the High Court, the Court of Appeals and the House of Lords ("HoL").

However, to fully understand why the judicial functions of the HoL have been transferred to a new "Supreme Court", some explanation is needed as to how the UK legislative process works. Typically there are 3 branches of government; the 'Legislature' (The branch that makes laws. Basically Parliament, including both the House of Commons & House of Lords), the Executive (The branch that enforces laws, such as the civil service), and the Judiciary (The branch that interprets laws; that is to say, decides what the laws actually mean). The UK political system works mainly on a doctrine of a 'Fusion of Powers'. That means that all of the branches are connected in some way. For example the legislature consists of MPs (Members of Parliament), and the Executive is formed by select MPs that the Prime Minister chooses from his/her own party (The cabinet, who will also by rule have to hold a seat in the House of Commons). In the past, this was also demonstrated in the HoL; as 12 most senior members of the judiciary ("Law Lords") sat in the HoL, though their input in the political process was restricted purely to points of law. The HoL was also the final court of appeal to which claimants or defendants could take their cases to (Though is some cases, further appeal may be possible to the European Court of Human Rights, or the European Court of Justice).

What the Constitutional Reform Act essentially did was sever some of that fusion; the section that concerns the Legislature and the Judiciary. One of the primary functions of the judiciary has always been to remain independent of any political bias and to protect citizens from the abuse of power by the government. I quote the late Lord Denning when I say that the most important function of law should be "to restrain the abuse of power by those that hold it". Before the birth of the Supreme Court, there had been some confusion as to how the judiciary was supposed to remain independent of political bias or threat when its 12 most senior and learned brothers sat the HoL itself. By removing all judicial functions from the HoL, judicial independence has been significantly strengthened. What we're essentially witnessing is another step forward towards true democracy and a strengthened line of defence against threats towards civil liberties; such is the role of the judiciary. However, it should be noted that Parliament is supposed to have total legislative sovereignty, but this is weakened in that ultimately, it is up the judges to decide what any law passed by Parliament means, but that can wait for another time.

If you've read this all the way through and have found it somewhat interesting or informative, then please drop me a small comment, perhaps voicing your own opinions as the what the effects of this may be. If you haven't read it, then I can't really blame you, I probably wouldn't have myself either. Until next time folks...




Me, Myself & I

I suppose some explanation is needed as to my absence; though I daresay that the ones who know who I am are used to it, and the ones who don't know me simply won't care. Still, I feel it's a responsibility that I should take to heart.   Before I last left Sal's without any warning or goodbye, I was... confused to say the least. Though the fact that I logged onto my account to find that I have no PM's from my friends asking where the hell I am did wound my ego a little :lol:; still, the thing's big enough anyhow so I think it can take a little of the edges. Anyhow, back on track... The past few months I've totally cut myself off from the internet. I woke up one morning and realised that I had absolutely no idea what I planned to do with myself, and so resolved to cut myself off from all of the pointless things that had totally occupied my life.   Well, what did I do? It was far too late to start taking my GCSE's seriously, with mere weeks from the exams, so I had to do the best that I could given the time. It went okay, in the grand scheme of things. I should have been achieving As & A*s; but my 2 As, 8 Bs and 1 C were sufficient enough to get me into the college of my choice. I'm now studying Law, Politics, Psychology and English Literature; and I'm happy to report that I'm well up to my standards with top marks in each. So, I'd sorted out the "here and now" part of my life, but I then had to consider my future.   I've always held a great interest in law, even though in the past I've never fully understood what it means. In America, law and litigation are in fact a favourite pastime of most citizens, I believe; never passing up a chance to take someone to court (I'm joking, of course). It required little debate on my part to decide that law was the career pathway that I wished to pursue. I still feel confident of my choice at this moment, though I do have some debate as to which branch to take. Whether to take the Legal Practice Course and become a solicitor, or to take the Bar Vocational Course and become a barrister; this is a dilemma that still plagues me. If nothing else can be said about the Americans and their approach to law, they must be commended for their common sense in having a fused legal system. Though admittedly, the restraints placed upon solicitors over rights of audience in the Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeals and House of Lords (Now the Supreme Court, since the reforms) have lessened somewhat; with solicitors being heard in increasing numbers in the higher courts. Perhaps this means that the English legal system is finally catching up? But that's a debate for another time, I suppose. I don't really have to decide until after I obtain a law degree.   The reason I'm here again, I think, is that I simply needed a place to express myself properly; a place to talk to people in words, rather than with speech. Forums really are a great thing, all in all; and in my opinion, Sal's is one of the best!   Well, that's me, in a nutshell. I should thank you, I suppose, for taking the time to read this lengthy and frankly tiresome drivel, and hope that you'll have me back as enthusiastically as I wish to come back. That's all for now folks. Expect regular entries to this blog, though I doubt it interests a great many people. Oh, and drop me a note in the comments section of this entry, if you would. It's always nice to see that people are actually paying attention.



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