Assessment of the American Court System - Running head AN...

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Running head: AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW OF THE AMERICAN COURT SYSTEM HISTORY 1 An Analytical Review of the American Court System History Name Institutional affiliation Course Date Introduction Common law is a type of law that is formulated by the judges, through judicial processes and tribunals. They are laws that are not enacted by means of the legislative processes. In this regard, judges formulate laws based on their discretion. “The origins of the common law lay in the justice of the king, exercised through his curia Regis, rather than the customary law exercised in the old communal courts of shire”[Smi00]. Common laws emerged in England, and they were later adopted by many territories, which were under the governance of England. For example, the commonwealth countries added the English laws into their legal frameworks. “English law prior to the American Revolution is still the part of the law of the United States through reception statutes, though it has no superseding jurisdiction”[Wal97]. The application of common law is technical. For example, the
AN ANALYTICAL REVIEW OF THE AMERICAN COURT SYSTEM HISTORY 2 courts verdicts are obligatory only in a given jurisdiction. Nonetheless, some courts may exhibit more authority within a particular jurisdiction. Case-based reasoning is a model of judgment applied in the common law. Adversarial system refers to a kind of procedure applied when common law is practiced. The organization of courts has remained unique in various countries. Therefore, it is never easy to find two or more countries that exhibit similar judicial structures. This means that various countries might only share some aspects of the judicial processes. In the USA, a given state can formulate its judicial structure according to its own desire and organizational scheme. For instance, a state may have numerous courts with different jurisdictions. Thus, “the organization of state courts does not necessarily resemble the clear-cut, three-tier system found at the federal level”[Pos72]. For example, the trial courts are termed district courts in the federal structure, while the appellate tribunals are called circuit courts. The arrangement of state courts is marred with a lot of confusion, but it remains important. The statutory law is applied less at the federal level, but more at the state level. Statutory law also has a wide scope of application. This is because it encompasses both private and public legal issues and policies. Consequently, state courts have a wider scope of jurisdiction than federal courts. The number of disputes and cases they ratify annually also exceed those handled by federal courts. In America, the colonial administration was mainly managed by an appointed governor that was answerable to the administration of England. Both executive and judicial duties were bestowed on the governor. This meant that an elaborate court structure was not important. The colonial judiciary was comprised of magistrates who occupied junior positions. The colony’s governor selected the magistrates. The county courts were responsible for handling ordinary

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