The Concept Of Laws & Civilization

Without laws, civilization cannot exist.  Humans need laws and rulers to prevent the breakdown of civil actions.  Societies that live in some form of civility have always had governments and rulers in different forms.  Kings, Queens, Bishops, Priests, Dictators and even Pharaohs.

In most cases, these leaders or rulers can be seen as human beings just like the citizens they are overseeing.  In rare cases, such as the Ancient Egyptians, their Pharaohs were seen as gods and yet managed to exist for well over 4,000 years.

In most societies and nations, the structure rests on rule of law vs rule of individuals.  Laws are the guideposts by which Presidents and Prime Ministers are allowed to support and rule their nations.  The English historian and churchman, Thomas Fuller, articulated his philosophy in respect to the rule of law as: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”.

Law is considered predominant because the written word is incorporated into law books and agreed upon by the ruling party of the nation.  Laws are created to bring an equality to the citizens.  This is true among nations that believe whether king or queen, prime minister or president, all people are equal in some form.  Unfortunately dictatorships usually create laws in order  to rule people but not their leaders.

Civilized people believe that laws are created in order to benefit the whole, while criminals choose to go against the written law in order to benefit their own desires.

If misused, laws can actually turn on a society, as a whole, imprisoning the very people they were meant to protect.  In some orders, laws can be so suffocating that even happiness and joy are either restricted or totally prevented.  Quite simply, if a citizen chooses to break the law, they will be punished for their actions.  The long arm of the law will remove these people from society for a given period of time.  Throughout history, people have suffered at the discretion of rulers simply for having an opposing belief or opinion on a given subject.

The greatest example:  Jesus was not crucified for claiming he was the son of God.  The High Priests of Rome did not truly believe in a singular God, only in themselves.  Instead, they felt he was a direct threat to their control over the citizens within the region.

How well laws are enforced and by whom, can dictate whether these laws are beneficial or destructive.  In reality, laws are not objects, remote of any human qualities or purposes.  Laws are, after all, written by people.  Staying within the boundaries, usually lies within a person’s understanding of these given laws.  Breaking this down, most people abide by the laws believing they are in place to protect most people and are considered friends to the majority.  Citizens within well developed nations find their laws a needed and a useful part of society; they believe without them there would be total chaos.

In general, people believe that if you abide by laws, your life and society will prosper and be a much happier environment.  Others regard laws as their enemy because they prevent these people from their own aspirations and beliefs.  Here is an excellent example of contradiction of law:

Known for his 1516 book “Utopia”, Thomas More was a very important counselor to King Henry VIII of England.  More refused to accept the king as head of the Church of England.  He was tried for treason and beheaded in 1535.  The irony, 400 years later, in 1935, he was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

In some countries, if you are poor, you are not considered the luxury of protection under the law. This is very common in dictatorships, socialism or fascism; due to their low position within society, citizens  are often breaking laws in order to survive.  Many will ignore the “so called” laws by doing as they will, such as stealing, in order to make a living.  At some point they will be arrested and imprisoned as criminals.

In most cases, laws are established as a guide for people to live by helping people understand the difference between right and wrong.  Those who follow the laws will usually be seen as good citizens while those who disagree will be perceived as the enemy.

Although there are probably thousands of laws, on many varying issues, there are common threads and philosophies.  Yes, laws do lean toward the philosophy of the people living within a particular country.  If you study the laws within a given country, you will discover the beliefs and philosophies of its citizens.  If a particular country uses capital punishment for murder, the citizens probably believe in this punishment vs those within a nation that do not believe it’s right.

Another philosophy of law lies in who or what control the laws.  Kings, politicians and the wealthy have an enormous control over the laws.  The biggest difference between a king and his subject is winner – loser, rich or poor.  Many who wield power are given the ability to use these laws for their own personal advantage.  Laws are not above the flaws of human beings; they can either become corrupt or stay above the fray in order to protect all. Understanding written laws will give you the insight into those who created them.  Throughout history there have been rulers who a tyrannical with their citizens, yet are loving caring fathers to their children.  Some would refer to this split in personality as an oxymoron.

If you possess the knowledge and understanding of the laws within your society, you will know how to use them to your advantage.  This could create a huge difference from becoming a master of given laws vs becoming a slave to the same laws.

Role of the Litigation Solicitor

The role of a litigation solicitor can be wide and varied; whilst one day they could be dealing with a probate dispute, the next they could be fighting for the protection of a contract.

However, there are two different types of litigation solicitor; Criminal Litigation and Civil Litigation. ‘Criminal’ relates to matter such as applications for bail whereas ‘Civil’ regards any dispute within a business.

Criminal Litigation – The main difference between the laws of criminal and civil can be found when it comes to ‘burden of proof’. This means, what has to be proven in order for one party or another to be found guilty; in criminal law this is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ but in civil law it is ‘balance of probabilities’. This ultimately means that criminal cases are somewhat harder to prove as the defendant has to be found guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If this does not happen, the conviction will fail.

Many criminal litigation solicitors often have to make a decision as to what direction they want to go and there are advantages to both; a ‘specialist’ deals with one particular area whereas a ‘general practitioner’ offers services on a much broader spectrum including theft, fraud, etc. On the whole, solicitors generally choose to focus their attentions in more than one area and few actually spread their time between criminal and civil law.

Civil Litigation – This type of solicitor deals with civil matters such as the falling out of two business partners; someone in an organisation may feel as though they are owed a certain amount of compensate and it would be the solicitor’s job to prove them right or wrong. Civil litigation can split off into a number of different sub-sections which is why many choose to hone their talents further and become experts in one particular area such as business partnerships or commercial litigation. There are still some who choose to cover a wider spectrum but these are generally smaller firms with little reputation who need a bigger client base.

Civil litigation doesn’t only deal with problems within the business though, it covers many areas such as employment issues, insurance, commercial, disputes over properties, professional negligence, and more, which is why there is a good opportunity for solicitors to become specially trained in one particular area.

Ultimately, the role of a solicitor is to represent its clients to the best of their ability by keeping their best interests in mind throughout the process. If someone has requested a solicitor, it means that they need help in a legal matter which sees them place a certain level of trust in them to help win the case. This has to be done to a high standard regardless of what area the solicitor specialises in.

Hadaway & Hadaway are Solicitors in the North East of the UK.

Getting on the property ladder in the UK

In the UK, the traditional home buying strategy has been changing for young first-time buyers and millennials. How so? They are asking mum and dad for a loan before going to the bank.

Buying a home is more expensive than ever, reaching the home price rates of 2007 all across the country. People are staying in their parent’s home longer, renting, and sharing prices with room mates over buying a house and this has actually made lending standards more difficult to reach, especially with the high deposit standards.

The average price for a first time home purchase in 2014 has risen 10.5% over 2013, bringing the price to £192,000 (with a 10% deposit around £20,000). Many of Britons young are borrowing from their parents to cover that deposit and get them started, a Shelter UK polls estimates that the average loan parents give their children at about £23,000 so those numbers match what some may expect.

If this is something you yourself are considering doing to help your child (or other family member) in their first home purchase, the below options are good ways to feel secure in this high loan expenditure without denying your child or loved one the help they may need.

1. No matter what, have your family loan written out in some sort of legal agreement. While it may seem awkward to do to your children, it can also help them learn more about different financial options, help them feel a sense of responsibility in paying you back, and also help ease any worry you may have in giving a loan to a family member. These legal documents should share how much you are loaning, if there are any below-market interest rates applied, and if there is a specific date you expect the loan to be paid out.

2. If you don’t have the funds to give the money to your child but you’d still like to help out, you have the option of taking a loan against your house and then giving that money to the family member in question. This does make your own home collateral for the loan, which is riskier if your child ends up not having the money to pay you back (due to job loss or health emergency, whatever the case may be) but it is an option to consider if you think your child is responsible enough to trust with this risk.

3. If you work with a solicitor, you can create a deed of trust with the borrower. This would mean that in return for the loan, your family member would pay you back a certain amount when they eventually sell the house. You could set a flat fee or a percentage of sale purchase, whatever you think would be the most beneficial for your loan situation.

4. If you are lending money to an only child, a Lifetime Mortgage can be used to give your child an early inheritance. This is a great way to give your child the money they need now for their home, but it also prevents them (in most cases) from getting any additional money from the sale of your home when you pass away or join an assistive living (or long term care) facility. This can be complicated if you have more than one child, however.

5. If you can’t give your young home buyer the money, you can help them get a loan from the bank with a guarantor mortgage. This means that if your child falls behind on payments, you agree to cover their payments until they can start paying again.

While an increase in home productions could help ease these difficult barriers to entry for new home-buyers, it’s not something we see happening soon since the building of homes has stayed steady at less than 100,000 new residences per year over the past decade. This is hurting entrepreneurs as well, who have been moving their officers away from the city so that they can afford to hire more employees in areas that don’t require higher salary commitments to meet the cost of living.

Until the price to buy for first time home-buyers decreases (as well as the cost of living in the UK), Britons may have to continue to rely on the support of people that have a longer standing credit and earning history – their family.