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THE COURT SYSTEM OF ENGLAND AND WALES

 

I. Read the text and translate it into Ukrainian:

The most common type of law court in England and Wales is the magistrates' court. There are 700 magistrates' courts and about 30,000 magistrates.

More serious criminal cases then go to the Crown Court which has 90 branches in different towns and cities. Civil cases (for example, divorce or bankruptcy cases) are dealt with in County courts.

Appeals are heard by higher courts. For example, appeals from magistrates' courts are heard in the Crown Court, unless they are appeals on points of law. The highest court of appeal in England and Wales is the House of Lords. Scotland has its own High Court in Edinburgh which hears all appeals from Scottish courts. Certain cases may be referred to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. In addition individuals have made the British Government change its practices in a number of areas as a result of petitions to the European Court of Human Rights.

The legal system also includes juvenile courts which deal with offenders under seventeen and coroners' courts which investigate violent, sudden or unnatural deaths. There are administrative tribunals which make quick, cheap and fair decisions with much less formality. Tribunals deal with professional standards, disputes between individuals and disputes between individuals and government departments (for example, over taxation).

II. Find in the text English equivalents for the following expressions:

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

- .

III. Answer the following question:

1. Who is responsible for making laws in Britain?

2. What is the difference between criminal and civil law?

3. What is the most common type of law court in England and Wales?

4. Name three other types of British courts.

IV. Try to present information on judicial organizations in UK:

 

V. Read and memorize the following words and word combinations:

Offence , prosecution , , punishment , justice of the Peace , minor crime , imprisonment , to appeal , to convict .

THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN GREAT BRITAIN

I. Read and translate the text.

The court system in Britain is divided between civil and criminal cases, though many courts hear both types of cases. Criminal law defines offences against the state and regulates their prosecution and punishment. Civil law is connected with relations between private parties.

In criminal cases, there are two main types of courts: magistrates' courts (or courts of first instance), which deal with about 95 per cent of criminal cases, and Crown Courts for more serious offences. In civil cases, magistrates' courts deal with certain minor questions, while more important matters are dealt with in the County Courts.

There are about 700 magistrates courts in the country, served by approximately 28 000 unpaid magistrates or justices of the Peace (JPs). JPs are ordinary citizens chosen from the community, who often have no legal qualifications, although they are advised on points of law by a legally qualified clerk. They may not impose a sentence of more than six-month imprisonment or a fine of more than 2 000 pounds, and may refer cases requiring a heavier penalty to the Crown Court (in criminal cases) or the County Court (in civil cases).

A Crown Court (or a High Court) is presided over by a judge, but the verdict is reached by a jury of twelve citizens, randomly selected from the local electoral rolls. The judge must make sure that the trial is properly conducted. Underlying the whole process lies the assumption that a person charged with an offence is presumed to be innocent until the prosecution can prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.

A person convicted in a magistrates' court may appeal against its decision to the Crown Court (the County Court). The highest court in the land is the House of Lords. In practice the Lords are represented by five or more of the Law Lords.

II. Agree or disagree with the statements:

1. The court system in Britain is divided between civil and criminal cases

2. Civil law defines offences against the state and regulates their prosecution and punishment.

3. Civil law is connected with relations between private parties.

4. In criminal cases, there is one principal type of courts - magistrates' courts.

5. Important civil cases are dealt with in the County Courts.

6. Justices of the Peace are ordinary citizens chosen from the community and often have no legal qualifications.

7. A Crown Court is presided over by the Queen.

8. A jury of twelve citizens is selected from the local electoral rolls.

9. Every person charged with an offence is presumed to be innocent until the prosecution can prove guilt.

10. The highest court in the land is the House of Commons.

III. Answer the questions:

1. What are the main types of courts in Britain?

2. What are the criminal offences?

3. Is civil law connected with relations between private parties?

4. What are the qualification and the powers of the justices of the Peace?

5. What should a person convicted in a magistrates' court do?

IV. Match the first part of the sentence (1-5) with the second one (a-e).

The highest court in the land a relations between private parties.
A person convicted in a magistrates' court b and regulates their prosecution and punishment.
Civil law is connected with c between civil and criminal cases.
Criminal law defines offences against the state d is the House of Lords.
The court system in Britain is divided e may appeal against its decision to the Crown Court.

 

V. Make up a plan of the text.

THE COURT SYSTEM OF THE USA

I. Read and memorise the following words:

Alongside, burglary, murder, tier, jurisdiction, agency, circuit, feature, procedure, claim, violate.

II. Read and translate the text.

The American court system is complex, mainly because of the federal system of government in the USA. Each state runs its own separate system of courts. In addition, there is a separate system of federal courts, which operates alongside the state courts.

The structure of state courts varies from state to state. Usually there are minor trial courts for less serious cases, major trial courts for more serious cases, intermediate appellate courts and courts of last resort. The state's minor trial courts have various names: justice courts, small-claims courts, traffic courts, police courts, municipal courts, mayors' courts. The judges in these courts arc usually quite professional, but some states still have Justices of Peace - men and women who have never gone to law school and never taken the bar exam.The next level of the pyramid is made up of state's courts of general jurisdiction, which are the basic trial courts. These courts hear civil cases involving larger amounts of money than in minor trial courts. They also handle cases of serious crime, such as burglary, rape and murder. The judges are always lawyers.In states with small population the loser of the trial court can appeal directly to the state's top court usually called the Supreme Court. In other words, these states have "two-tier" court systems. The states with big or middle-sized populations have a "three-tier" system. Most appeals go to the middle level, and there they end.Federal courts are also organized in three tiers: district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. All federal judges are appointed for life. A case which falls within federal jurisdiction is heard first in one of the ninety-four district courts. Every state has at least one, in the larger states there are more than one district court. Each case is tried by a single judge, sitting alone.All cases resolved in the district courts and all decisions of federal administrative agencies can be appealed to one of the thirteen federal circuit courts. There are no jurors, witnesses, cross-examinations and other features of the trial courts here. The judges sit in panels made up of three judges each, examining rulings made and procedures followed in the trial courts. For most cases the circuit courts are the end of the line, but in some cases an appeal may be made to the highest court in the land: the U.S. Supreme Court. This court hears cases in which someone claims that a lower court ruling is unjust or in which someone claims that Constitutional law has been violated. The U.S. Supreme Court has only nine justices, headed by Chief Justice. The decisions of this Court are final and become legally binding.

 

Vocabulary list

to run

trial court ,

trial jury

jury

juror

claim ,

circuit

tier

to appeal a case

cross-examination

minor trial court

major trial court

burglary

witness

violate (, )

violation (, )

handle ,

justice

chief justice ,

administrative agency

bind

III. Read and translate:

a) Court, trial court, district court, minor trial court, major trial court, state courts, federal courts, court of appeals, circuit court, criminal court, supreme court, bankruptcy court, court of primary, jurisdiction, court house, court room, court procedure, court decision.

b) Judicial, judicial circuit, judicial district, judicial code, judicial power, judicial precedent, judicial procedure, judicial statistics, judicial system, judicial investigation.

IV. Find the Ukrainian in the right-hand column for the following:

1. to hear a case a)
2. to review a case b)
3. to appeal a case )
4. cross-examination d)
5. court appeals )
6. chief judge f)
7. civil case g)
8. panel of judges h)
9. Supreme Court i)
10. judicial review g)

 

V. Complete the following sentences:

1. Each state runs

2. The structure of state courts varies

3. The states courts handle cases of serious crime, such as

4. Federal courts are organized

5. All federal judges are appointed

6. There are no and other features of the trial courts here.

7. The US Supreme Court has

8. The decisions of the US Supreme Court are

9. In the larger states there are more

10. Each case is tried by

VI. Complete the following sentences by translating the words and expressions in brackets:

1. In addition, there is a separate system of ( ) which operates alongside the state courts.

2. The next level of the pyramid made up of states courts of ( ).

3. Every state has at least one, in the large states there are more than one ( ).

4. The U.S. Supreme Court has only nine justices, headed by ( ).

5. The American ( ) is complex.

6. The basic trial courts hear ( )

7. Federal courts are also organized in three ()

VII. Match the following:

judge a)a lawyer appointed by the President, in each judicial district, to prosecute cases for the federal government
jurisdiction b)the law as laid down in the decisions of the courts
trial jury c)an agency of government authorized to resolve legal disputes
U.S. Attorney d) a government official with authority to preside over and decide lawsuit brought to courts
case law e) the legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case
court f)a group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both side at trial and determine the facts in dispute

 

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

1. The structure of state courts varies from state to state.

2. Each state has at least one district court.

3. District courts handle both civil and criminal cases.

4. There are forty-nine district courts in the court system of the USA

5. All cases resolved in the district courts can be appealed to one of the federal circuit courts.

6. Each case in the district courts is tried by three judges.

7. Federal courts are organized in two tiers: district courts and courts of appeals.

8. All federal judges are appointed for eight years by the President.

9. The US Supreme Court is the highest tribunal in the United States.

10. The US Supreme Court includes a Chief justice and six associate justices.

IX. Answer the questions.

1. What kinds of courts are there in the USA?

2. What disputes do state courts decide?

3. How many federal judicial districts are there in the country?

4. What is the highest federal court in the USA?

5. What cases does the Supreme Court hear?

6. What cases are heard by federal courts?

7. What is a trial court?

8. What do the circuit courts do?

9. What cases do the federal courts hear?

THE US ATTORNEYS

I. Read and translate the text.

The Justice Department is responsible for faithful execution of the laws under the president's authority. The main administrators of federal law enforcement are the ninety-four US attorneys, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. Unlike federal judges, these appointees serve at the pleasure of the president and are expected to relinquish their positions when the reins of government change hands.

There is a US attorney in each federal judicial district. Their staffs of assistant attorneys vary in size with the amount of litigation in the district. US attorneys have considerable discretion, which makes them powerful political figures in any community. Their decision to prosecute or not affects the wealth, freedom, rights, and reputation of individuals and organizations in the district.

US attorneys are political appointees who often harbour political ambitions. Their position commands media attention and can serve political goals. In 1983 President Reagan appointed Rudolph Giuliani as US attorney for the Southern District of New York (covering a large portion of the New York metropolitan area). Over the next five years, Giuliani notched his briefcase with dozens of successful prosecutions of elected officials, judges, organized crime figures, and Wall Street inside traders. Giuliani's activities generated reels and reams of favourable press coverage, he even appeared on a Newsweek cover. This kind of public exposure can help a US attorney launch a successful career in elected office. As a powerful prosecutor or potential opponent, Giuliani's name must make some politicians shudder.

II. Paraphrase the following expressions:

1. faithful execution of laws;

2. under somebody's authority;

3. consent;

4. appointee;

5. to relinquish;

6. amount of litigation;

7. to prosecute;

8. elected office;

9. inside traders;

10. press coverage;

11. to harbour political ambitions;

12. to launch a career.

III. Answer the questions:

1. What is an attorney in the US? How is he appointed?

2. When does an attorney resign?

3. What does the number of assistant attorneys in federal judicial districts depend on?

4. What makes attorneys so important in American communities?

5. How do attorneys in the US realize their political ambitions?

6. What example in the text proves that US attorneys harbour political ambitions?

 

THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY

I. Read and translate the text.

The third branch of government, in addition to the legislative (Congress) and executive (President) branches, is the federal judiciary. Its main instrument is the Supreme Court, which watches over the other two branches. It determines whether or not their laws and acts are in accordance with the Constitution. Congress has the power to fix the number of judges sitting on the Court, but it cannot change the powers given to the Supreme Court by the Constitution itself. The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices. They are nominated by the President but must be approved by the Senate. Once approved, they hold office as Supreme Court Justices for life. A decision of the Supreme Court cannot be appealed to any other court. Neither the President nor Congress can change their decisions. In addition to the Supreme Court, Congress has established 11 federal courts of appeal and, below them, 91 federal district courts.

The Supreme Court has direct jurisdiction in only two kinds of cases: those involving foreign diplomats and those in which a state is a party. All other cases which reach the Court are appeals from lower courts. The Supreme Court chooses which of these it will hear. Most of the cases involve the interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court also has the "power of judicial review," that is, it has the right to declare laws and actions of the federal, state, and local governments unconstitutional. While not stated in the Constitution, this power was established over time.

II. Explain the meanings of the following expressions from the text and make sentences with each of them:

Chief Justice; Associate Justice; federal court; district court; direct jurisdiction; lower court; to be unconstitutional.

III. Answer the questions:

1. What are the functions of the Supreme Court of the USA?

2. Who does the Supreme Court consist of?

3. How long do the Supreme Court Justices serve?

4. Are the Supreme Court Justices elected?

5. Who can change the decisions of the Supreme Court?

6. What lower courts, besides the Supreme Court, are there in the USA?

7. In what kinds of cases does the Supreme Court have direct jurisdiction?

8. What is the "power of judicial review"?

 

GROWTH OF THE PROFESSION

I. Read and translate the text.

Today, the number of lawyers in the United States exceeds 675,000. This translates to one lawyer for every 364 people. Twenty-five years ago, there was one lawyer for every 700 people. The rate at which the legal profession is growing will probably continue to outpace rate of population growth through the end of the century.

Why is a career in law so popular? Market forces account for some of the allure. We know that in 1984 the average salary of experienced lawyers was 88,000 dollars. If we could include in this average the salaries of all lawyers, whatever their experience, the figure would probably be much lower, certainly well below the 108,000 dollars average salary of physicians. But lawyers' salaries are still substantially greater than those of many other professionals. Salaries for newly minted lawyers heading for elite New York law films exceeded 71,000 dollars in 1987; some firms offered additional clerkship experience in the federal courts and state supreme courts. The glamour of legal practice strengthens the attraction of its financial rewards.

There are other reasonsfor the popularity of the legal profession and the unquenchable demand for legal services. Materialism and individualism in American culture encourage dispute. Federalism gives separate legal systems for each state plus the national government. Advertising can now create demand for legal services too. Finally, the principles of separation of powers and of checks and balances make governing difficult and sometimes impossible. When political institutions act, they often are forced to compromise, deferring critical issues to the courts. Pluralist democracy operates when groups are able to press their interests on, and even challenge, the government. The expression of group demands in a culture that encourages lawsuits thrusts on the courts all number of disputes and interests. Is it any wonder that America needs all the lawyers it can train?

II. Find the English equivalents for the words below in the text:

- ;

- ;

- ;

- ;

- ;

- ;

- ;

- ;

- -.

III. Answer the questions:

1. Why is the number of lawyers in the US increasing?

2. What factors create demand for legal services?

 

 

UNIT 12

CRIMINAL LAW

CRIMINAL LAW

I. Read, translate and memorize the following words:

Omission , injure , injurious ,treason, misdemeanor, license , failure, vengeance, discretion, perpetrate .

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