The Supreme Court of England and Wales play several roles as part of the English Judiciary, one of them being the final court of appeal in the region. This aspect means that the court makes the final decisions regarding all criminal and civil matters. In most cases, people and institutions bring matters to the court due to dissatisfaction with decisions made in lower courts and higher courts comprising of the high court and court of appeal.
However, every litigation process has an end regardless of the resultant level of satisfaction to the litigants. In England and Wales, the Supreme Court marks the end of that process. The court also contributes to the development of the English law through hearing appeals on arguable points of law of importance to the public. It maintains the role of the highest court, especially about the development and maintenance of common law. Lastly, the court is often involved in matters of constitutional importance, often after matters follow the right order through the hierarchy of courts in England and Wales.
The High Court of Justice of England and Wales, or simply the High Court, serves the role of a court of the first instance for all high value and high importance cases such as those dealing with constitutional matters. This aspect is important in limiting the number of cases that the court deals with at any one time. Thus it promotes the development of objective decisions with the option of appeal to the Court of Appeal in instances of dissatisfaction with the decisions made. The court also bears supervisory powers over subordinate courts by ensuring that the courts uphold the rule of law depending on circumstances surrounding some cases. The court is a major source of case law in the region, and it must abide by its decisions.
The county court serves the area in which it is based, and sometimes it has jurisdiction over other areas, often in one or more counties. The court’s jurisdiction often extends within a defendant’s area of residence, with the role of making decisions falling on district or circuit judges. County courts deal with matters where the controversial amounts of the claims amount to ten thousand Euros and below. The courts deliver judgments in debt cases, most of which involve legal orders to pay the debt amount in full using methods such as attachment of income or seizure and sale of property amounting to the debt amount.
Magistrate Courts are lower courts in England. This assertion means their main role involves dealing with minor cases and ensuring the resolution of such cases speedily. Magistrate courts are courts of the first instance in family and criminal proceedings. The courts have limited sentencing powers and usually handle summary offenses with fines, community service, and short custodial sentences. The courts can listen to capital offenses, but only to establish the existence of a solid case.