For a thriving legal system which continues to serve the country effectively both Parliament and the judges must work cooperatively together. It is their cooperation which should constitute the real definition of law.

UK legal system is classified into two categories: Public Law and Private law.

Public law is made by and on behalf of the state

For example: The state prosecutes criminals, Constitutional & Administrative

Private Laws or Civil Laws which gives an individual a right to sue privately.

For example: Contract, Tort, Property, Family issues & Trusts

A brief comparison between the criminal and civil justice systems

The criminal justice system

The criminal law is a form of public law designed to prevent certain types of behaviour and punish offenders. Criminal cases are heard first in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

The civil justice system

The civil law is a form of private law because it governs the relationships between individuals in society e.g. contract law, planning law, company law. Civil cases are heard principally in the High Court and the county courts where allocation usually depends upon the size and complexity of a particular case.

The sources of UK laws

Following are a number of law making institutions:

  1. The courts;
  2. International institutions
  3. Regulatory bodies
  4. Institutions within the European Union (EU);
  5. The UK Parliament and government;

European Union Law

The EU was founded in 1957 and currently has 25 Member States with two more countries, Bulgaria and Romania, joining on 1 January 2007. The UK joined in 1973 and since then, the UK Parliament has bound itself to incorporate EU law into national law. While the UK remains a member of the EU, EU law takes precedence over national law. This means that the UK Parliament is no longer the supreme law-maker and, for the time being at least, it has limited its sovereignty.

The UK Parliament and government

Parliament examines what the Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. The House of Commons and House of Lords each play an important role in Parliament’s work.

-Parliamentary Sovereignty: Before joining the EU, Parliamentary Sovereignty meant that the law made by the UK Parliament could not be challenged. When the UK joined the EU (then known as the European Economic Community or ECC) in 1973 it did so by passing the European Communities Act 1972. This effectively ended Parliamentary Sovereignty so that EU law now takes precedence over national law.

-Primary legislation: In Britain, primary legislation is statutory and takes the form of an Act of Parliament. Usually, about 80 or so Acts of Parliament receive Royal Assent each year. Before it becomes law, an Act is called a Bill and passes through the parliamentary process in draft form being subject to debate, amendments and scrutiny by both Houses of Parliament. Once the Bill has been given the assent of the Monarch it becomes an Act of Parliament

-Secondary legislation: Many people do not realise the huge amount of secondary legislation made under the authority of an Act of Parliament. The Act gives authority to a person e.g. a Secretary of State or other body to make the detail of the law on Parliament’s behalf. For this reason, secondary legislation is also known as delegated legislation each year.

UK Court System

The courts are arranged in a hierarchical structure, an outline of which is illustrated in the following diagram:

International Institutions

There are a number of international institutions whose policies and rules can become part of national laws e.g. shipping law, conventions of warfare, use of the internet.

Development in communications, transport and the increasing awareness of issues which affect everyone on the planet e.g. climate change, global terrorism and genetic research will inevitably result in calls for law to be made increasingly on an international rather than national basis.

Regulatory bodies

There are a number of national regulatory bodies which have the power to make rules and regulations which are binding on citizens in certain circumstances. Usually, this rule making power is conferred by Act of Parliament so the regulatory body becomes an agent of the government. Such bodies include:

  1. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) – regulates the UK’s financial markets and other financial activities in an attempt to ensure fairness and transparency for investors and those who buy financial products.
  2. The Law Society – regulates the provision of legal services by the solicitors’ profession, especially professional conduct.
  3. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – regulates e.g. airports, air traffic services and safety.

Travel & Tourism Industry

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries. It is also one of the most fragmented which determined two aspects of the industry can be viewed separately, as many of the players are involved in both. Organisations in travel and tourism have a responsibility to the entire industry because:

  1. It is a highly valuable industry
  2. Consumers’ confidence is vital
  3. Many firms’ growth and survival are inter-linked

This industry classified into following two categories:

  1. Travel Agents makes an arrangements on behalf of clients
  2. Example: Flight Booking & Accommodation Arrangement
  3. Tour Operators may provide single service which may develop a link between customer & service provider.

Example: Short stay at an island/resort.

There are five major role players providing following services:

  1. Travel agents provide the link between tour operators and customers
  2. Range from large national chains to small independents
  3. Leisure travel agents provide services to holiday destinations
  4. Business travel agents provide services for commercial consumers

There are eight major role players providing following services:

  1. Hotel chains
  2. New trends, such as budget hotels
  3. Bed and breakfast
  4. Youth Hostel Association
  5. Villas and country houses
  6. Tourism packages

Roles & Responsibilities

Travel and tourism organisations have responsibilities to:

  1. Customers
  2. Other businesses that depend on them
  3. The whole industry

Products & Services

Customers Have expectations like:

  1. Good service
  2. Quality products and services
  3. Effective complaints procedures and standards
  4. Protection from improper business practice

Regulatory Bodies: Travel Agents & Tour Operators

Organisations set up to oversee the industry, either:

  1. Trade associations such as ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents)
  2. Statutory bodies such as the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents)

Formed in 1950 by 22 leading travel companies, ABTA – The Travel Association – now represents over 5,000 travel agencies and more than 900 tour operations, throughout the British Isles.

Our Members range from small, specialist tour operators and independent travel agencies through to publicly-listed companies and household names; from call centres to internet booking services to high street shops.

ABTA’s main aims are to maintain high standards of trading practice for the benefit of its Members, the travel industry at large, and the consumers that they serve, and to create as favourable a business climate as possible for its Members.

CAA (Civil Aviation Authority)

The CAA is the UK’s specialist aviation regulator. Through its skills and expertise ,it is recognised as a world leader in its field.

Its specific responsibilities include:

  1. Air Safety
  2. Economic Regulation
  3. Airspace Regulation
  4. Consumer Protection
  5. Environmental Research & Consultancy

The CAA:

Ensures that UK civil aviation standards are set and achieved (SRG)

Regulates airlines, airports and National Air Traffic Services economic activities and encourages a diverse and competitive industry (ERG)

Manages the UK’s principal travel protection scheme, the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme, licenses UK airlines and manages consumer issues (CPG)

Government departments with responsibility for the industry:

  1. Department for Transport (DfT)
  2. Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  3. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Insurance firms and car hire companies:

  1. Insurers provide cover for goods, services and people
  2. Car hire providers meeting onward travel needs of business and leisure customers

ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licensing)

  1. ATOL is a financial protection scheme for holidaymakers.
  2. If an ATOL tour operator fails, the ATOL scheme ensures customers contracted with the ATOL holder for an air package or a flight, do not lose the money paid over or are not stranded abroad.

ATOL may include following:

Air Passenger Rights

The European Commission has launched its Your Passenger Rights At Hand campaign that will enable passengers to enjoy easier access to information about their rights when travelling by air. Air passenger rights deal with the following issues:

  1. flight delays, cancellations and denied boarding
  2. package holidays
  3. lost or damaged baggage
  4. price transparency
  5. identity of the airline

Consumer Protection Group

The responsibilities of the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) are as follows:

  1. To regulate the finances and fitness of travel organisers selling flights and package holidays in the UK.
  2. Manage the UK’s largest system of consumer protection for travellers i.e.: Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL).
  3. License UK airlines and European Council requirements in relation to their finances, nationality, and liability of passengers for death and insurance.
  4. Enforce certain other legal requirements for protection of airlines’ customers.

Airline Licensing

In order to carry passengers, cargo for payment, air operators based in the European Economic Area (EEA) must hold an Operating License granted by the Member State in which they have their principal place of business.  For UK airlines, licensing is undertaken by the CAA.

In order to qualify for an Operating License, an operator must meet a number of requirements, including those in respect of its safety and insurance arrangements and its nationality of control; for operators of larger aircraft with 20 or more seats.

Operators who hold Operating Licenses are able to operate within the European Economic Area (EEA) without the need to hold further licenses.

The legal framework for licensing is contained in a number of separate pieces of legislation, regulations and other sources.

Problems & Complaints

There are several types of issues which may create problems & the customer start complaining such as:

  1. Problem with Airline
  2. Problem with Tour Agent
  3. Problem with Travel Agent

Passenger Experience

  1. The CAA has reviewed the passenger experience at major UK airports.
  2. Top of Form
  3. Bottom of Form
  4. The Secretary of State for Transport has welcomed the CAA’s advice on improving the passenger experience at major UK airports.
  5. In November 2007, the Secretary of State commissioned advice from the CAA on improving the through-airport passenger experience, especially any pinch points where there was potential for delay for delivering a good service lies with a combination of bodies.

Recommendations for the Improvement

  1. Customer service
  2. Airline procedures for baggage delivery;
  3. Airline procedures affecting on time departures;
  4. Industry complaints handling.
  5. Procedures for capacity forecasting information received from the airlines.


Society needs both a robust and yet flexible legal system which can maintain public confidence and also adapt to new challenges. To make a new business plan for new wings (Travel & Tourism organisation) it is essential to follow all the regulations tailored by different bodies according to the requirement of Consumer/Supplier.

By considering all the regulatory bodies and their practices in terms of Passenger rights as well duties which imply on Travel agents & Tour operator companies, to precede the business of new air wings which can be extension or advancement all the matters discussed in the report should be fulfil to ensure high standard of the product and effective services.

We have examined the sources of English law and also seen something of how those laws are applied, interpreted and enforced in practice, particularly through the criminal and civil justice systems. This short explanation of English law system which actually demonstrates Travel & Tourism industry in terms of regulatory bodies & their functions hopefully helped to demonstrate the necessity of such a system in a thriving democracy.