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New PDF release: AS law

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Example text

The rule of law theory, like the separation of powers, emphasises the need for keeping the institutions and their processes within reasonable limits so as to avoid totalitarianism. 10 A S L A W The development of the British constitution The constitution has evolved over time, with two main strands of historical development: first, the changing relationship between the monarchy, executive and Parliament; and, second, the landmark reforms that have extended rights and liberties and delimited constitutional powers.

This is the process of litigation. The person who takes out the lawsuit (a ‘litigant’) is called the claimant, and he or she will sue the party he or she believes to be responsible, known as the defendant. The claimant will be seeking a remedy for the dispute or problem. The most common civil remedy is in the form of financial compensation and is referred to as damages. However, sometimes other civil remedies might be sought: for example, an injunction might be applied for in order to stop the defendant from carrying out a certain activity or practice if it is causing a nuisance.

Public concern about dangerous dogs, for example, led to swiftly made – and now often criticised – legislation (the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991). A more recent example, responding to media coverage and concerns about arranged marriages in some communities, is the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007. Campaigns by pressure groups Pressure groups are those organisations that seek to influence the direction of law and policy on the basis of particular interests or causes. The pressure groups that most readily spring to mind are those that support certain causes: these will often be seen in newspapers or on television campaigning about issues such as health, human rights, consumer protection and the environment.

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