The objective of this written assignment is for you to provide a comprehensive description of the court structure in England and Wales and the common law doctrine of binding precedent.

You should present the assignment in the form of an essay of not more than 1500 words. You will be expected to refer to the recommended textbook, Law for Business Students, Adams, A. (8th Edition). Credit will be given where you have clearly shown independent research by reference to other relevant textbooks, internet resources and legal journals/articles – In such event you should provide a detailed bibliography identifying your sources. The bibliography does not form part of the overall word count.


The written assignment will be marked out of 100. Your assignment counts towards 50% of the overall mark for the LAW4A1 Module.

Marks will be given for:

• Quality of response to the presented question coupled with critical analysis.
• Demonstrating a broad knowledge and general understanding of the main areas covered by the presented question.
• Demonstrating awareness and understanding of the specific issues raised by the presented question.
• Collection, comparison and synthesising relevant information from different sources.
• Presentation of an analytical conclusion in response to the presented question.


You should identify the main courts and assess their individual function and status within the overall court hierarchy. An analysis of each of the principal courts in England and Wales should be undertaken with an emphasis on civil courts as opposed to the criminal courts. You can also refer to other mechanisms for dispute resolution, such as the tribunal system, but you should be aware of the parameters of the overall word count.

It is permissible to identify and discuss courts outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales. One example of such a court would be the European Court of Justice. However your analysis of external courts should be confined to how these engage with the English and Welsh court system.

You will then be expected to explain the common law and the doctrine of binding precedent. You should analyse how this doctrine engages with the hierarchical structure of the court system. You are additionally expected to provide a conclusion which addresses both parts of the question and assesses the extent to which the doctrine of binding precedent is dependent upon the hierarchical structure of the court system.