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THE CONCEPT OF LAW. THE ORIGIN OF LAW. THE PRESENT TIME LEGAL SYSTEMS. THE FORMS AND NORMS OF LAW.

What is law?

I. Transcribe and memorise the following words:

Prescriptive, custom, accept, particular, penalty, ridicule, maintain, preserve.

 

II.Read and translate the text.

What is the law?

The English word law refers to limits upon various forms of behaviour. Some laws are descriptive: they simply describe how people, or even natural phenomena, usually behave, other laws are prescriptive they prescribe how people ought to behave.

In all societies, relations between people are regulated by prescriptive laws. Some of them are customs that is informal rules of social and moral behaviour. Some are rules we accept if we belong to particular social institutions, such as religious, educational and cultural groups. And some are precise laws made by nations and enforced against all citizens within their power.

Customs need not to be made by governments, and the need to be written down. We learn how we are expected to behave in society through the instruction of family and teachers, the advice of friends, and our experiences in dealing with strangers. Sometimes, we can break these rules without suffering any penalty. But if we continually break the rules, or break a very important one, other members of society may ridicule us, act violently toward us or refuse to have anything to do with us. The ways in which people talk, eat and drink, work, and relax together are usually called customs.

Members of every community have made laws for themselves in self-protection. If it were not for the laws, you could not go out in daylight without the fear of being kidnapped, robbed or murdered. In the absence of law you could only rely upon the law of the jungle.

Every country tries, therefore, to provide laws, which will help its people to live safely and comfortably. This is not at all an easy thing to do. No country has been successful in producing laws, which are entirely satisfactory. But the imperfect laws are better than none.

Word list

law ;

custom ;

penalty , ;

property ;

community , ;

self-protection ;

kidnap ;

kidnapper ;

kidnapping ;

rob ;

robber ;

robbery , ;

murder ();

murder ;

murderer ;

rely on/upon , ;

the law of jungle ;

imperfect .

 

III. Read the text again and decide whether these statements are true or false. Give reasons.

1. Government usually establishes customs.

2. Some laws prescribe how people ought to talk, eat, work and relax.

3. No matter how generous and kind people may be they need laws.

4. There cannot be perfect laws.

5. The law enables us to go out in daylight without fear of being robbed, kidnapped or murdered.

6. Some laws are descriptive, other laws are prescriptive.

IV. Circle a), b) or c) to answer the questions.

What is the main function of law?

a) To protect our life.

b) To protect our property.

c) To protect our reputation.

What threatens a person who continually breaks the rules?

a) A strict penalty.

b) Severe criticism and isolation.

c) Indifference.

What should we do in the absence of law?

a) We should be happy.

b) We should rely on our friends.

c) We should rely on the law of jungle.

What law can be characterized as a perfect one?

a) There cant be perfect laws.

b) The law which protects private property.

c) The law which preserves life.

 

V.Match each word on the left with the correct definition on the right.

1. Law a) an official rule that all citizens of the country must obey
2. Benefit b) to take something that doesnt belong to you
3. Protection c) the crime of taking money or other things from a bank, shop, especially by using threats or violence
4. Murderer d) advantage, profit, help
5. Jungle e) generally accepted behaviour in a social group
6. Imperfect f) keeping safe from harm, illness or danger
7. Custom g) land covered thickly with growing underwood, tangled vegetation
8. Robbery h) someone who has deliberately killed another person
9. Steal i) not complete
10. Rely on j) depend on with confidence.  

VI. Give the English equivalents for:

; ; / ; ; ; , , ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

 

VII. Agree or disagree with the statements. Give your reasons.

1. We dont need laws because no country can provide its citizens with perfect laws.

2. Without laws and customs people would live like predators.

 

VIII. Answer the questions:

1. Are laws for ordinary people or for lawyers?

2. Do you always observe the law?

3. Do you think laws change in the course of time?

 

IX. Explain the meaning of the following words: order, chaos, laws and customs. Is there any difference between them?

 

X.Practice the following for pronunciation.

Legal, prosecute, Commonwealth, value, current, Cambridge, procedure, Equity, area, circumstance, culture, statue.

 

XI. Read and translate the text.

Classification of law

Each country in the world has its own system of law. Law is an important part of culture of any society. Like its language, law reflects values, history and current problems of a society. Law is found in constitutions, statues, cases decided by courts, regulations and ruling of administrative agencies.

There are two main traditions of law in the world. One is based on English Common law and has been adopted by many Commonwealth countries and most of the USA. The other tradition, or Roman law, has developed on most continental Europe, Latin America and many countries in Asia and Africa.

At an English university Law is divided into different subjects or branches for study. There is a list of subjects students study in the Law Faculty at Cambridge University: Roman Law (Civil Law), Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Land Law, International Law, Commercial Law, Labour Law, Conflict of Law, E. E. Law, Criminology, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Evidence, Equity.

Administrative Law is the area of Law relating to the functions and powers of government organizations and how they operate in practice to administer government policy.

Constitutional Law is the law relating to the legal structure of government in a State. It defines the principal organs of government and their relationship to each other and to the individual.

Private Law. In general, private law is the part of the law which deals with relations between ordinary individuals and also between ordinary individuals and the State in circum stances where the State has no special rights or powers.

Public Law. In general, public law is the part of legal system which deals with the State and also with relations between the State and ordinary individuals in circumstances where the State has special rights or powers.

Family Law is the area of law relating to the organization of the family and the legal relations of its members.

Labour Law is the area of law relating to the employment of workers. It includes their contracts and conditions of work, trade unions and the legal aspects of industrial relations. It is also called Industrial Law.

Criminal Law is the law relating to crime. It means illegal conduct for which a person may be prosecuted and punished by the State.

Land Law is the area of law which deals with rights and interests related to owning and using land. Land is the most important form of property.

International Law is the system of law which regulates relations between states. It is a special system of legal rules which is not part of any nation system of law.

The Law of Contract is the law relating to contracts.

The Law of Tort is the law relating to torts.

Comments

1. E. E. Law .

2. Conflict of Law .

3. Equity .

4. Commonwealth , .

5. Roman civil law

6. Law of Tort .

7. Case Law .

Word List

Statute , ;

case ;

English Common Law ;

branch ;

criminal evidence , ;

prosecute ;

to punish ;

to divide into ;

regulations ;

statutory law .

 

XII. Give the English equivalents for:

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

 

XIII. Fill in the blanks

1. Law is an important part of

2. Like its language, law reflects

3. Law is found in

4. Continental or Roman Law has developed

5. Private Law is

6. Family law is area of law

7. International Law is the system of law

8. The law of Tort is

 

XIV. Read the following sentences and decide if they are true or false.

1. A particular legal system is closely connected with the history, political structure and social values of the country.

2. The legal system is fixed once and forever.

3. The law system is a universal thing.

4. Roman law has developed in the United States.

5. Each country in the world has its own system of law.

6. Law is found only in constitutions and statutes.

7. Family Law is the area of law relating to the organization of the family.

8. Constitutional Law deals with relations between ordinary individuals and the state.

 

XV. Ask questions to get the following answers.

1. Law reflects values, history and current problems of a society.

2. There are two main traditions of law in the world.

3. Law is found in constitutions, statutes, cases decided by courts and regulations.

4. Constitutional or Roman law has developed in most of Continental Europe, Latin America and many countries in Asia and Africa.

5. Constitutional law defines the principal organs of government and their relationship to each other and to the individual.

6. Land is the most important form of property.

 

XVI. Match the following.

1. Constitutional law a) law connected with public wrongs against society
2. Case law b) a supreme source of law for a government
3. Civil law c) law enacted by a state or federal legislature
4. Common law d) law created by appellate courts
5. Criminal law e) body of regulations imposed by emperors of ancient Rome
6. Roman Civil law f) law reflecting customs of the people
7. Constitution g) law created by appellate courts.  

XVII. Answer the questions.

1. How do the two great systems of law, Common law and Roman civil law, differ?

2. What documents is law found in?

3. How can you define the term Administrative law?

4. What is Family law? What is it connected with?

5. What does International law regulate?

6. How can you define the term Criminal law? What are its main purposes and principles?

7. What do you suppose Labour law could be?

8. Define the concept tort. What are the main purposes of Tort law?

9. Do you know what the letters EEC stand for? Is Ukraine a member of the EEC? What is EE law?

10. What area of law interests you most?

 

XVIII. Write down a summary of the two texts on what law is.

XIX. Read, translate into Ukrainian and prove that the proverbs have sense.

1. Customs are as old as Adam.

2. Life is not a bed of roses.

3. Murphy's Law.

 

UNIT 4

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