The UK legal system has many differences in comparison to the legal systems of different countries starting from the existing hierarchy of judicial precedents (Chadwick 26) and ending with the division of the English legal profession into several types (Quinn 13). The UK legal system is one of the three in the whole world where the profession of a lawyer can be divided into a solicitor and a barrister (Slapper and Kelly 530). This paper aims at discussing the differences between these two legal practitioners to clarify if they like to emerge in the future in the UK legal system.
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Several researchers and writers analyze the peculiarities and differences of barristers and solicitors to clarify if these two professions may be amalgamated in the future (Bond and Sandhu 111; Wilson et al. 302). The majority of discussions are based on the same meanings and explanations. First, any lawyer, either a solicitor or a barrister, focuses on providing people with legal pieces of advice. However, the ways of how solicitors and barristers offer their help differ in the UK legal system. Solicitors are characterized as the experts in particular areas and general practitioners, who deal with people directly until the cases of specialism and litigation occur, and the necessity to appoint a barrister comes (Slapper and Kelly 668). Solicitors can act on behalf of their clients as sole practitioners or in partnership in lower courts such as the Magistrates Court or the County Court (Oshundeyi 62). These lawyers can hardly be the participants in courts. Solicitors get the necessary preparations, gather the required court materials, and provide people with consultations. They should wear wigs as well as barristers, but the form and colors of their gowns differ from those worn by barristers.
In the UK legal system, barristers have to pass through a long dedication and the necessary academic study to get the necessary level of knowledge and learn how to use it in practice (Oshundeyi 60). Barristers perform the functions of a court advocate, visit courts, and represent a client. They are also responsible for pleadings’ preparations, the creation of legal opinions, and explaining people their legal rights, duties, and opportunities. As a rule, barristers work alone when they represent a client and work in groups when they should share facilities and expenses in special chambers (Bond and Sandhu 111). Only barristers have the right to appear in the higher courts wearing wigs and special gowns, and collars and provide people with the advocacy and advisory that are usually cheaper than those offered by solicitors.
The differences between solicitors and barristers are likely to emerge in the future within the UK legal system because, in this country, a significant division of the responsibilities of these two professions occurs. Many benefits may be observed in the split that exists between solicitors and barristers result in more options and opportunities available to people, more objective approaches to be adopted, and the presence of the competitions between solicitors and barristers.
In general, the duties of solicitors and barristers in the UK legal system differ and cannot be neglected because these differences influence the quality of legal help offered to people. Some researchers believe in a merger of these two legal professions, and the main task of the supporters of the existing differentiation is to introduce the duties of both professions that cannot be misunderstood or misused in the future.
Bond, Tim, and Amanpreet Sandhu. Therapists in Court: Providing Evidence and Supporting Witnesses, Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE, 2005. Print.
Chadwick, Anthony. The English Legal System, Brighton: Emerald Publishing, 2011. Print.
Oshundeyi, Moses. “The English Judicial System: Process of Becoming Legal Professionals.” Ankara Bar Review 4.1 (2011): 57-70. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.
Quinn, Frances. Law of Journalists, Essex, England: Pearson Education, 2007. Print.
Slapper, Gary, and David Kelly. The English Legal System, New York, New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print.
Wilson, Steve, Rebecca Mitchell, Helen Rutherford, Tony Storey, and Natalie Wortley. English Legal System, Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.