A query came up on a mailing list today from an attorney qualified in the USA who is about to have to teach something on English law. He wanted to know sources for the courts and the basics.
I will list a few sources here. I go for the briefest and simplest, because I find it easier to learn about a foreign legal system that way. This list is not exhaustive, of course.
Via Delia Venables, a lot of links can be found. Delia was a very early aficionado of law on the internet. It’s necessary to click on Primarily for students, then Resources for law students, then Introductory material. (Via Information for lawyers, you can find a list of legal newspapers and journals, too).
One of the links Delia gives is to a set of resources for school students studying A Level Law: A Level Law Notes prepared by staff at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Bristol. These were always useful, but they have not been updated since September 2008.
She also links to a barrister called Nik Nicol, who has elementary materials online (also in Spanish).
Two other learning sites that were new to me and look good are LoretoLore – from Loreto College in Manchester, actually a blog, so you can follow its RSS feed – and Lawbore, the site of the City University in London.
Another good place to start with the basics is Wikipedia, for example the entry on English law.
Another suggestion made on the mailing list was the site of Translegal, who have a lot of teaching resources. They publish books on International Legal English, which are used by many EFL-trained teachers.