The nature of law. Criminal courts and criminal processes

This unit will count towards the OCR GCSE in Law and involves studying the following areas of the law.

This unit is in two parts. The first part is a basic introduction to the nature of law, why we have law, law making and the basic classifications of law. The second part is based on areas of knowledge and understanding of criminal courts and processes within the English legal system.

Candidates are expected to have an appreciation of the role of the police, their powers and the protection of individuals; the basic structures and processes in the criminal justice process; an understanding of the role played by lay people (both magistrates and juries) in the criminal justice system, and the aims/purpose and practice of sentencing.

Candidates are expected to be able to apply principles to factual situations and also to show a critical awareness. Whereas candidates are encouraged to be aware of the changing nature of law, they are not required to be familiar with innovations coming into effect in the twelve months immediately preceding the examination.

The nature of law. Criminal courts and criminal processes
• What is law?
• Why we need law?
• Where we find the law
• Classifications of law
• Police powers and individual rights
• Court structure, types of offence and provision of legal services
• Sentencing
• Use of lay magistrates and juries


© OCR 2009

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