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2.3 Application of the ECHR

The ECHR places an important emphasis on individual rights whilst trying to strike a balance between individual and collective rights.

Activity 1 Drafting a charter of rights

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2.2 The Convention itself

The ECHR is essentially a charter of rights. Any charter of rights represents a consensus, a negotiated agreement between the drafters. Every state intending to adopt a charter will have its own vision and aims, and the drafters have to find a way of accommodating these visions and aims. This often results in the creation of provisions that are a compromise and are drafted in the widest possible terms. The ECHR is drafted in such a way. It is a vaguely worded aspirational charter inten
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2.1 History

The Council of Europe was set up in 1949. It is an intergovernmental organisation (based in Strasbourg, France) set up to protect human rights, promote cultural diversity and to combat social problems such as intolerance. Its creation was seen as a way of achieving a European approach to the protection of certain individual rights. Although presented now as historical events, the horrors of what had taken place in the Second World War were then fresh in the minds of the governments and
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1 Unit overview

Apart from the English Parliament and common law, there are other major sources of legal rule-making that impact on English domestic law. These are the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and European Union (EU) law.

In comparison with parliamentary legislation and common law, these sources are a recent development. In fact, both the ECHR and EU are just over 50 years old, having emerged as sources of legal rule making in the mid-twentieth century. This makes them relatively dev
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10 Review of the learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

Part A

  • explain what the common law is and how it developed:

    • In 1154 Henry II institutionalised common law. Judges travelled throughout the country bringing consistent justice to every citizen, and the practice developed where past decisions would be cited in argument before the courts and would be regarded as being of persuasive authority.


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9 Part H Consolidation

The purpose of this part is to bring together your knowledge of law making in the English legal system. Through a series of activities you will be provided with the opportunity to review and consolidate your knowledge of the English legal system gained so far.

Activity 18 Common law


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8.2 Summary of Part G

In Part G you have explored the difference between common law and civil law systems.


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8.1 The differences between common law and civil law systems

Having explored the origins and development of the common law and its characteristics, the final part of this unit will compare and contrast the common law with civil legal systems.

The terms common law system and civil law system are used to distinguish two distinct legal systems and approaches to law. The use of the term ‘common law’ in this context refers to all those legal systems which have adopted the historic English legal system. Foremost amongst these is, of course, th
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7.3 Summary of Part F

In Part F, we have compared and contrasted:

  • common law and equity

  • common law and statute law.

7.2 Statute law and common law

The ‘common law’ means the substantive law and procedural rules that have been created by the judges through the decisions in the cases they have heard. I have here lumped together two types of common law: substantive law and procedural law. Let me explain the difference between them.

A substantive rule is a rule about our behaviour, for example, that we cannot commit murder or that we will be forming a contract if we do such-and-such on an email exchange. These substantive rul
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7.1 Equity

This term refers to a particular division within the English legal system. As the common law progressed, there developed a formality among judges, typified by a reluctance to deal with matters that were not or could not be processed in the proper form of action. Such a refusal to deal with injustices because they did not fall within the particular procedural and formal constraints, led to much dissatisfaction with the legal system. A modern analogy would be with a company or Government depart
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6.9 Summary of Part E

Rule, approach or aid Comment Cases
The literal rule Uses plain ordinary grammatical meaning of words and avoids judicial law making, but can lead to absurd decisions and injustices and assumes unattainable perfection in draftsmanship Fisher v Bell (1960)
The golden rule This start
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5.5 Security
Are you a technophobe? Bluetooth, Ethernet WiFi – are they terms that mean nothing to you? This unit will gently guide you to an understanding of how devices 'talk' to each other and what technologies and processes are involved. You will also look at wired and wireless communication technologies, introducing you to some of the key methods involved.
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4.8 WiFi – a summary
Are you a technophobe? Bluetooth, Ethernet WiFi – are they terms that mean nothing to you? This unit will gently guide you to an understanding of how devices 'talk' to each other and what technologies and processes are involved. You will also look at wired and wireless communication technologies, introducing you to some of the key methods involved.
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