Justice and Courts


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Justice and Courts in the United Kingdom


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I. Прочитайте и переведите текст.
Justice and Courts in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom judiciary is in entirely independent of the Government. There is no minister of justice. The Lord Chancellor is the head of the judiciary. Although the United Kingdom is a unitary state, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own legal systems and law courts, and considerable differences remain in law, organization and practice. However, a large volume of modern legislation applies through the United Kingdom.
The main sources of law are legislation, common law and European Community law.
Legislation consists of Acts of Parliament, orders (rules and regulations made by ministers under the authority of an Acts of Parliament) and by laws, made by local government or other authorities exercising powers conferred by Parliament. 
Common law, the ancient law of the land deduced from customs and interpreted in court cases by the judges, has never been precisely defined or codified but forms the basis of the law.
European Community Law is confined mainly to economic and social matters.
The legal system of the United Kingdom distinguishes between criminal and civil law. The criminal law is concerned with wrongful acts harmful to the community. The civil law is concerned with individuals' rights, duties and obligations towards one another.
British criminal justice comprises four stages:
1 – making laws which define illegal actions;
2 – preventing crime and enforcing the law – largely matters for the police;
3 – determining in the courts the guilt or innocence of the people accused of crimes and sentencing the guilty;
4 – dealing with convicted offenders.
The criminal law is government-sponsored, but there is usually consultation between government departments and the legal profession, the police, probation and prison services and voluntary bodies.
Crime statistics are published annually and further information about crime trends is contained in the annual reports of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
A wide range of research into criminal and social policies is carried out in-university departments, much of it financed by the Government. The principal university criminological research establishment is the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge.
The civil law of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is subdivided into: family law, the law of property, the law of contract and the law of torts.
Other branches of the civil law include constitutional and administrative, industrial, maritime laws. Scottish civil law has its own, often analogous branches.
There are Magistrates' Courts and the Crown Courts in Britain. The courts of the United Kingdom are the Queen's Courts since the Crown is the historic source of all judicial power. The Queen, acting on the advice of ministers, is responsible for all appointments to the judiciary.
Magistrates' courts deal with nearly all less criminal cases and conduct preliminary investigations into offences. Magistrates are sitting in courts without a jury.
The Crown Courts take all criminal work above level of Magistrates's courts. The Crown Court deals with trials of more serious criminal cases and the trials are held before a jury. A jury is completely independent of the judiciary.

2. Ответьте на вопросы.
1. Is the United Kingdom judiciary independent of the Government?
2. What are the main sources of law?
3. What is legislation?
4. What is common law?
5. What is European Community law?
6. What is criminal law?
7. What is the civil law concerned with?
8. What stages does British criminal justice comprise?
9. Whom is the criminal law sponsored by?
10. What University carries out criminological researches?
11. What branches is the civil law subdivided into?
12. What courts do you know in the United Kingdom?
13. What cases do Magistrates' courts deal with?
14. Are magistrates sitting in courts with a jury?
15. Does the Crown Court deal with more serious criminal cases?
16.Are the trials of the Crown Court held before a jury?
17. Is a jury dependent or completely independent of the judiciary?

3. Закончите предложения, выбрав соответствующее по cмыслу определение.
1. The criminal law deals with ....
a) individuals' rights and obligations.
b) serious criminal cases.
2. The civil law is concerned with ....
a) individuals' rights and obligations.
b) serious criminal cases.
3. Magistrates's Courts deal with ....
a) preliminary investigations and less criminal cases (without a jury).
b) trials of more serious criminal cases (and before a jury).
4. The Crown Courts deal with ....
a) preliminary investigations and less criminal cases (without a jury).
b) trials of more serious criminal cases (and before a jury).