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Text 2 (B) Civil and Public Law



In many countries a distinction is made between private (or civil) and public law. Civil law concerns disputes among citizens within a country, and public law con­cerns disputes between citizens and the state, or between one state and another.

The main categories of English civil law are:

Law of Contracts; binding agreements between people (or companies);

Law of Torts: wrongs committed by one individual against another individual's person, property or reputation;

Law of Trusts, arrangements whereby a person administers property for another person's benefit rather than his own Land Law;

Probate Law: arrangements for dealing with property after the owner's death;

Family Law.

The main categories of public law are:

Criminal Law: wrongs which, even when committed against an individual, are considered to harm the well-being of society in general;

Constitutional Law: regulation of how the law operates and of the relation be­tween private citizen and government;

International Law: regulation of relations between governments and also be­tween private citizens of one country and those of another.

In codified systems there are codes that correspond to these categories, for example, France's Code Civil and Code Penal. Justinian's Roman codes covered such areas of law as contracts, property, inheritance, torts, the family, unjust enrichment, the law of persons, and legal remedies, but said little about criminal law. Conse­quently, most Continental criminal codes are entirely modern inventions.

Most countries make a rather clear distinction between civil and criminal proce­dures. Although some systems, including the English, allow a private citizen to bring a criminal prosecution against another citizen, criminal actions are nearly always started by the state. Civil actions, on the other hand, are usually started by the individuals.

In Anglo-American law, the party bringing a criminal action (that is, in most cases, the state) is called the prosecution, but the party bringing a civil action is the plaintiff. In both kinds of action the other party is known as the defendant. A criminal case against a person called Ms. Brown would be described as "The People vs.(= versus, or against) Brown" in the United States and "R. (Regina, that is, the Queen) vs. Brown” in England. But a civil action between Ms. Brown and Mr. White would be “Brown vs. White” if it was started by Brown, and “White vs. Brown” if it was started by Mr. White.

NOTES:

Family Law - семейное право.

Law of Contracts - договорное право;

Law of Torts - деликтное право;

Law of Trusts - доверительное право, правовые нормы о доверительной собственности

Probate Law - право о наследовании

Criminal Law - уголовное право

Constitutional Law - конституционное право

International Law - международное право

Text 2 (C) Constitutional Law

We considered how the state regulates the behavior of individuals in society by providing rules to be obeyed (criminal law) and procedures for them to solve disputes among each other (civil law). There are also laws which enable citizens to take legal action against the state - against, for example, a public authority or even against the government itself. These actions are part of constitutional law.

As knowledge of the law has increased among the general public, so have the number and range of constitutional law cases. In 1991, an unmarried couple complained in the Tokyo District Court that it was unconstitutional for the local authority to register their daughter as illegitimate. They said this could lead to discrimination and was against the equality of individuals guaranteed in the Japanese Constitution.

A constitution is the political and ideological structure within which a system of laws operates. Most countries have a formal written Constitution describing how laws are to be made and enforced. The French Constitution, for example, sets a seven year term of office for the president; the U.S. constitution sets a four уear term. In Switzerland, a referendum (national vote) must be held on any issue for which a petition signed by 10,000 people has been gathered; in Ireland, referenda are to be used only in the case of changes in the constitution itself. In Germany, a change in the constitution requires a special majority vote in parliament, not the simple majority necessary for other laws. Many other countries put the constitution above other laws by making it difficult to change.

One of the reasons for having special constitutional laws is to prevent governments from becoming too powerful and from interfering too much in the lives of individuals.

As a check, upon overpowerful government most modern constitutions have adopted the principle of separation of powers, developed in the 18th century by the French political philosopher Montesquieu.

Montesquieu argued that the functions of the state could be divided into policy formulation and direction (executive), — lawmaking (legislative), and interpretation and application of the law (judicial). To stop governments from becoming too powerful these functions should be carried out by separate institutions, and there should be a balance between them. In the United States, for example, the president (executive) is elected by the people and attempts to carry out his policy promises through a presidential office of advisers. The Constitution gives him many important powers, such as control of the armed forces and appointment of Supreme Court justices, but many of his decisions and all new legislation must be approved by a majority in Congress (legislature), which is also elected by the people. Many presi­dents have had important policies blocked by Congress. The Supreme Court (judi­ciary) has the task of interpreting laws which have been disputed in lower courts, and of deciding whether a law passed by Congress or by one of the individual states is in keeping with the Constitution.

ВАРИАНТ I

1. Перепишите предложения. Подчеркните глагол-сказуемое в каждом из них и определите его видо-временную форму и залог. Переведите предложения на русский язык. Например: will be said – Future SimplePassive.В разделе (B) обратите внимание на особенности перевода пассивных конструкций.

А). 1. The doctrine of judicial review is the heart of the concept of separation of powers. 2. Local officials are reminding people to obey the law and not sell fireworks to children under sixteen. 3. I just assumed that life was fair but of course there’s no justice in this life. 4. Continental systems are sometimes known as codified legal systems.

B). 1. The expert supposes that both crimes might have been committed by the same person. 2. All institutions of Law of Contracts of England developed mainly due to the court practice. 3. The advice of your solicitor should not be ignored. 4. The judge will have been appointed by the beginning of the trial. 5. The Scots proclaimed James Stuart as the legitimate heir to the British throne. 6. The Parliament had been dissolved before the general election. 7. Today his appeal has been rejected by the higher court. 8. All marks of identification had not been destroyed; the investigation was in progress 9. It means that the contractor has the right to sue, i.e. the agreement is binding in law. 10. When the policemen were in the room, an envelope was brought to the owner of the room.

 

Перепишите предложения; подчеркните Participle I, Participle II и установите функции каждого их них, т.е. укажите, будет ли оно определением, обстоятельством или составной частью глагола-сказуемого. Предложения переведите.

1. The information provided by him is very reliable. 2. Returning home he was arrested. 3. They reached the scene of crime deserted by the criminals. 4. The jury are reaching the verdict. 5. The wounded man bound his cut with a piece of cloth.





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