By: Simon B
Share This Post
Legal differences in the UK
England and Wales share the overall legal system in the United Kingdom and the same court structures such as magistrates and crown courts have the same laws. However, since the establishment of the Welsh Assembly, Wales does have limited powers to make some of its own laws, which is why some law or policy differences may exist. For example, prescription charges for medicines are different in Wales.
Northern Ireland also has its own Assembly, but due to political disagreements, it’s often suspended, and so government reverts to Westminster. As a result, Northern Ireland and England have some differences between laws – for example, in Northern Ireland, you have to be married for two years before you can apply for divorce, whereas in the rest of the UK it’s only one year, and the High Court in Northern Ireland deals with divorce instead of the country court. (For more information on the Northern Ireland system, visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/browse/ni.)
Scotland has its own parliament, consisting of Scottish MPs who can pass legislation for Scotland. The education system is different in Scotland, and University students there don’t have to pay fees. In addition, the rules on paying for long-term care for elderly people, and the house buying and legal systems are substantially different. (You can find more information on the Scottish legal system at https://www2.gov.scot/.)