Medical Negligence How Does English Law and Scots Law Differ?

There are three legal systems that make up the legal system within the United Kingdom; English law, Scots law and the law of Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom as a whole does not have one particular legal systems as it is made up of different political unions that have merged together over time. It was the Treaty of Union under the Act of Union 1707 that created the Kingdom of Britain but allowed Scotland to have their own judiciary system however it must be stressed that the UK Parliament have the overall power especially when making legislation that effects the UK as a whole. A later Acts of Union in 1800 brought about the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland however they did not have the same provisions of a separate legal system but the right to have their own courts.

The English law covers England and Wales in reference to both civil and criminal matters and is said to be the leader of common law setting preference to other legal systems. English law which in principle is quite contrasting to civil law and has been since 1189 it is fundamentally its own legal doctrine with judges who sit in courts making the law of the land through decision made in court that in fact set precedent for future cases. As time has progressed and parliaments have been seen to have more influential power, the past law making which was created by judges transformed and it leaned more against parliaments making legislation. The Senior Court of England and Wales heads all the courts in England and in Wales which includes the Crown Court, High Court Justice and the Court of Appeal. What is medical negligence? visit Medical Negligence to find out what medical negligence is explained.

It is fair to say that for two countries to be part of the same nation they have contrasting legal structures with the Scottish having what can only be called as a unique legal system compared with the legal system of other countries. What sets it apart from other legal systems is the fact that a verdict can be, guilty, not guilty and not proven where as in most courts its either guilty or not guilty. It’s fundamentally based on a legal precedent that was around during Roman times that said it has areas of common law along with legal law that dates back to medieval times combined within it legal system. The Acts of Union 1707 mentioned above meant that both England and Scotland saw their legal systems mixing although each legal system remained separate to their own country. Major influences on Scottish law have come from legislation set by the European Parliament and of course the devolution of powers when Scotland was granted the rights to have their own Parliament in 1999.
There are two senior courts within the legal system of Scotland, the Court of Sessions which deals with civil matters and the High Court of Judiciary for cases of a criminal nature. The Sheriff court in Scotland is used for most civil and criminal cases with the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom that is set as the highest court of appeal for civil cases.

Medical Negligence and Scots Law medical and law imageWhether medical negligence takes place within England or Scotland what defines it remains the same. Both legal systems define medical negligence as the below standard of treatment or service provided by a health care professional that has in some way caused further harm or injury to a patient that they are responsible for. It must be proven that a health care professional of a similar ability would not have acted in the same way. Medical negligence is a very serious matter as it can have severe repercussions on its victims. Medical staffs are there to assist those who fall ill or injure themselves and although no medical professionals cause harm deliberately the fact that standards fall is a breach of their duty. As with English law Scots law also has a strict and often unchangeable time limit meaning that any person who feels they have been victim of medical negligence must pursue a claim for medical negligence within three years. There are exceptions to the rule and in some cases it is down to the judge’s discretion.

How Does England and Scotland Differ in Terms of Medical Negligence?

Currently there is a scheme run in Scotland known as Clinical Negligence and Other Risk Indemnity Scheme (CNORIS) which tries to manage damage control when it comes to how much compensation should be awarded in medical negligence cases so that a disproportional amount of funds are not taken from the Scotland. As with law set in England the amount of compensation is decided by the court or by a settle amount agreed on by the two parties, the defendant and the prosecution as a out of court settlement. Those that are directly employed by the health board are covered under the scheme in case of any liability that should be brought against them. The scheme that was created in 1999 but was not enforced until 2000 was quite different to what had been implemented in a medical environment before. It meant that strategies were formed so that in the event of a medical negligence law suit cost effective procedures could be easily put in place. The scheme meant that financial risk factors were taken into consideration when judging how effectively to handle the case. Calculating the risk factor even before an incident of medical negligence has taken place is key to the scheme working efficiently so that plans can be put in place before hand also very importantly to reduce the amount of negligence that may take place if procedures can be implemented to protect patients.