United Kingdom Law and Education

Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a parliamentary monarchy in Western Europe with the capital London. The United Kingdom occupies most of the British Isles. England is essentially a hill country. It is joined by west Wales and north Scotland with higher mountains. The climate with rapidly changing weather patterns is oceanic and becomes rougher towards the north.

Great Britain was the first country on earth to industrialize at the end of the 18th century. The industrial society also accentuated the social differences between upper class, middle class and working class. Before that, the rise to the world’s largest colonial power had begun. Efficient seaports were built and areas with a high population density emerged, especially in the Midlands. The metropolitan areas also attracted many immigrants, first from Ireland, after World War II from the Commonwealth of Nations and, since the 1990s, from East Central Europe, especially Poland. By the beginning of the 20th century, London had grown to become the largest city in the world.

Even today, the British capital is an important financial and cultural metropolis. The transition to the service society modernized the country, but led to major social upheavals due to the decline of the coal and steel industry. Agriculture has long been made up of productive large farms. Oil and gas from the North Sea and nuclear power plants made Great Britain energy self-sufficient.

England is the “motherland” of parliamentarism with the House of Commons representing the people, a two-party system and a strong culture of public debate. There is no such thing as a written constitution. The monarchy, represented by the House of Windsor, guarantees the cohesion of the nation and the Commonwealth of Nations. Although a member of the European Community from 1973 onwards, British policy towards European integration was mostly aloof. The decision in favor of Brexit resulted from a systemic crisis in British parliamentarism and brought about a domestic political confrontation that had hardly been known since the 19th century.


Great Britain and Northern Ireland do not form a single jurisdiction. In England and Wales (similar Northern Ireland) the common law (applicable common law), supplemented by the individual case-law of equity (equity). Both right components are case law (case law) and be judicially trained. Common law and equity are governed by the codified law (Statute Law) added, modified and expanded; it consists of the Acts of Parliament and subordinate law on a statutory basis. – Scottish law follows the tradition of the continental European systems influenced by Roman law. Even after the union of Scotland with England (1707), it largely retained its independent character, but at the same time adopted elements of English common law.

The structure of the court is multilevel and fundamentally differentiates between criminal and civil jurisdiction. The highest instance is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Jurisdiction for civil matters is the county courts, for criminal matters the magistrate courts (Magistrate Courts), some of which are lay judges (justice of the peace). Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own judicial system.

There are also numerous specialty dishes in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including: Administrative courts and ecclesiastical courts. There is no constitutional court; this is justified with the predominance of parliament. The independence of the judges appointed by the monarch on the proposal of the Lord Chancellor is guaranteed.


Education is decentralized and organized differently in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Schools have a high degree of autonomy. Higher education and training institutions are completely autonomous. School attendance is compulsory from 5 years (4 years in Northern Ireland) to 16 years of age. Attending pre-school facilities is voluntary and partly chargeable. In addition to the state schools, there are private schools (providers: mainly foundations or church organizations) that charge school fees and are attended by around 7% of the students. Some of the most renowned include Eton, Rugby and Winchester (Public Schools). The language of instruction is English, in Wales alternatively also Welsh and in some schools in Northern Ireland Irish. Gaelic can also be learned in some schools in Scotland.

As a rule, children move from Primary School to Secondary School at the age of 11 (Scotland 12). The dominant form of secondary school is comprehensive school, the only form of school in Wales and Scotland. There are also grammar schools in England, Secondary Modern Schools and City Technology Colleges. Some parishes in England have minor first schools (ages 5 to 8 or 9) and middle schools (ages 8 or 9 to 12 or 13). In Northern Ireland there are only grammar schools and secondary schools. Secondary school usually ends at the age of 16 with the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), in Scotland with the Scottish Qualification Certificate Standard Grade. Upper secondary education covers the age group from 16 to 18 years. In general education, the General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A-level) can be obtained at a secondary school or a Sixth Form College, in Scotland the Scottish Qualification Certificate at Higher Grade.

According to Topschoolsintheusa, the next level of education in the UK involves further education. Further Education Colleges and other tertiary educational institutions offer v. a. professional qualifications. Common degrees are Vocational A-levels (VCEs), National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and, in Scotland, Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). In addition, there are youth training programs and, to a lesser extent, in-company training courses for young people who do not attend secondary school. The Further Education Colleges, along with other institutions, also play an important role in adult education. The Open University (Fernuniversität) offers courses for adults at university level. The over 150 universities and other higher education institutions can choose their students. Tuition fees are charged. Common degrees are Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Philosophy. The oldest and most famous universities are Oxford and Cambridge. РPublic spending on education represents (2011) 5.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).

United Kingdom Law and Education

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