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Major differences between the US and UK when it comes to Law

Although the origins and history of the law is same in case of both United Kingdom and United States, both these countries can have different takes on the same legal questions sometimes. The two countries have many different regulations and laws, however, we will highlight only the major differences in this write-up.

Online gambling 

One of the major areas where the laws of these two countries are different from each other is online gambling. Gambling on the Internet is commonplace and legal in the UK. It is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. You can play all kinds of games on various reputed casino portals, which even offer attractive free spins offers to new signups. 

On the other hand, online gambling is a fairly grey area in the United States. In general, placing bets at online portals and gambling at online casinos is considered illegal in the United States. However, it’s best to check the laws of a specific state before depositing any money with an online gambling website. Last year in May, Supreme Court of the United States struck down a federal law that had barred gambling on sports in most of the states, thereby paving way for legalization of sports betting.

Court systems

There are plenty of similarities between the court systems of the UK and the USA. The biggest differences in the existence of so-called niche courts at the federal level in the United States. Hence, issues related to bankruptcy are handled in a distinct type of federal court. On the other hand, in UK all legal issues are handled by the Tribunal system.

Federal vs the State laws

When it comes to the law, UK is said to comprise of 4 subdivisions – Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. In the same way, US comprises of 50 states, excluding a few territories overseas. All states have their own laws, however, in most cases the Federal Court has jurisdiction over them. While the minor criminal offences get taken care of by the magistrate courts in the United Kingdom, in the US, these are taken up by the state courts. However, there are some instances when federal government doesn’t have precedence over the laws of the state, something which is seen only in the United States.

The Congress

What Houses of Parliament is to England, Congress is to the United States. Congress comprises of two bodies – Senate and the House of Representatives. A law can come into power only after a bill is approved by majority of the members in the Congress, and is then signed by the POTUS. In the event that President doesn’t sign the law, two thirds of the Congress members can collectively overrule his decision. For instance, Trump recently rejected a bill to end national emergency declared by him at the southern US border, but the Congress didn’t have the required majority of two-thirds to override his decision.

Major differences between the US and UK when it comes to LawLawyer Practice

Upon gaining admission to the Bar Association of the state, a US lawyer receives the Juris Doctor degree and is free to practice any law, something that doesn’t happen in the UK. Separate licenses are given to the non-legislators and legislators in the UK, which is also the biggest difference when it comes to law practice in the two countries.

Law Education

Once you complete a 3 year course in a US law school, you must clear the bar exam of a specific state to be able to practice law in it. But in the UK, a lawyer must take additional courses after completing his/her law school, to become eligible for a degree.

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