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In the UK what is the difference between criminal and civil law?




In the UK what is the difference between criminal and civil law?

Criminal law, one of two broad categories of law, deals with acts of intentional harm to individuals but which, in a larger sense, are offences against us all. It is a crime to break into a home because the act not only violates the privacy and safety of the home's occupants - it shatters the collective sense that we are secure in our own homes. A crime is a deliberate or reckless act that causes harm to another person or another person's property, and it is also a crime to neglect a duty to protect others from harm. Canada's Criminal Code, created in 1892, lists hundreds of criminal offences - from vandalism to murder - and stipulates the range of punishment that can be imposed. Since crimes are an offence against society, normally the state or Crown investigates and prosecutes criminal allegations on the victim's behalf. The police gather evidence and, in court, public prosecutors present the case against the person accused of the crime. For someone to be convicted of a crime, it must be proven that a crime was committed and, for most offences, that the person meant to commit the crime. For instance, striking another person is the crime of assault but it is only a crime if the blow was intentional.

Civil law deals with disputes between private parties, or negligent acts that cause harm to others . For example, if individuals or companies disagree over the terms of an agreement, or who owns land or buildings, or whether a person was wrongfully dismissed from their employment, they may file a lawsuit asking the courts to decide who is right. As well, the failure to exercise the degree of caution that an ordinarily prudent person would take in any situation may result in a negligence claim. Depending on the circumstances, a person may be held responsible for any damages or injury that occurs as a result of their negligence. Family law cases involving divorce, parental responsibility for children, spousal support, child support and division of property between spouses or common law couples represent a large portion of the civil law cases presented to the courts. Challenges to decisions of administrative tribunals, allegations of medical malpractice and applications for distribution of the estates of deceased persons are other examples of civil cases. The party who brings the legal action is known as the plaintiff or applicant, while the party being sued is the defendant or respondent. The courts may dismiss a case, or if it is found to have merit, the courts may order the losing party to take corrective action, although the usual outcome is an order to pay damages - a monetary award designed to make up for the harm inflicted. The state plays no role in civil cases, unless the government launches a lawsuit or is the party being sued. Parties retain a lawyer - or may choose to represent themselves - to gather evidence and present the case in court.

Differing standards of proof: More evidence is needed to find the accused at fault in criminal cases than to find the defendant at fault in civil ones. To convict someone of a crime, the prosecution must show there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime and, in most cases, that they intended to commit it. Judges and juries cannot convict someone they believe probably committed the crime or likely is guilty - they must be almost certain. This gives the accused the benefit of any reasonable doubt and makes it less likely an innocent person will be wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Civil cases, in contrast, must be proven on a balance of probabilities - if it is more likely than not that the defendant caused harm or loss, a court can uphold a civil claim.

 

 

Tell about types of Legal Professions.

SOLICITORS.

There are about 50.000 solicitors, a number which is rapidlyincreasing, and they make up far the largest branch of the legal profession inEngland and Wales.

They are found in every town, where they deal with allthe day-today work of preparing legal documents for buying and sellinghouses, making wills, etc.

Solicitors also work on court cases for their clients,prepare cases for barristers to present in the higher courts, and mayrepresent their client in a Magistrates” court.

BARRISTERS.

There are about 5.000 barristers who defend or prosecute in thehigher courts.

Although solicitors and barristers work together on cases,barristers specialize in representing clients in court and the training andcareer structures for the two types of lawyer are quite separate.

In court,barristers wear wigs and gowns in keeping with the extreme formality of theproceedings.

The highest level of barristers have the title QC (Queen’sCouncil).

JUDGES.

There are a few hundred judges, trained as barristers, who preside inmore serious cases.

There is no separate training for judges.

JURY.

A jury consists of twelve people (“jurors”), who are ordinary peoplechosen at random from the Electoral Register (the list of people who can votein elections).

The jury listens to the evidence given in court in certain casesand decide whether the defendant is guilty or innocent.

If the person is foundguilty, the punishment is passed by the presiding judge.

Juries are rarely usedin civil cases.

MAGISTRATES.

There are about 30.000 magistrates (Justices of the Peace orJPs), who judge cases in the lower courts.

There are usually unpaid and haveno formal legal qualifications, but they are respectable people who are givensome training.

CORONERS.

Coroners have medical or legal training (or both), and inquireinto violent or unnatural deaths.

CLERKS OF THE COURT.

Clerks look after administrative and legal matters inthe courtroom.

 

What are two main jobs of a solicitor?

Solicitors provide expert legal support and advice to clients. They take instructions from clients and advise on necessary courses of legal action. Clients can be individuals, groups, public sector organisations or private companies.

Depending on their area of expertise, solicitors can advise on a range of issues, including:

· personal issues: buying and selling residential property, landlord and tenant agreements, wills and probate, divorce and family matters, personal injury claims and criminal litigation;

· commercial work: helping new enterprises get established, advising on complex corporate transactions (including mergers and acquisitions) and business-related disputes;

· protecting the rights of individuals: making sure they receive compensation if unfairly treated by public or private bodies.

Solicitors may use some of their time to give free help to clients who are unable to pay for legal services themselves.

Typical work activities

Once qualified, solicitors can work in private practice, in-house for a commercial or industrial organisations, in local or central government or in the court service.

The actual work carried out varies depending on the setting, the solicitor's specialist area and the nature of the case. In general however, tasks can include:

· meeting and interviewing clients to establish the firm's suitability to provide the necessary advice and services, based on the firm's specialism and likely cost;

· taking a client's instructions;

· advising a client on the law and legal issues relating to their case;

· drafting documents, letters and contracts tailored to the client's individual needs;

· negotiating with clients and other professionals to secure agreed objectives;

· researching and analysing documents and case law to ensure the accuracy of advice and procedure;

· supervising the implementation of agreements;

· coordinating the work of all parties involved;

· corresponding with clients and opposing solicitors;

· attending meetings and negotiations with opposing parties;

· acting on behalf of clients in disputes and representing them in court, if necessary;

· instructing barristers or specialist advocates to appear in court for the client in complex disputes;

· preparing papers for court;

 

Introduction

A bill is publicly available after its introduction. Introduction is an administrative process that is later announced in the House. A bill has no formal existence until it is introduced.

First reading

A first reading debate provides the first chance to debate a bill in the House. It can occur no sooner than the third sitting day after a bill’s introduction. This delay allows members time to look at a bill and decide if they agree with it.

At the end of the debate the House decides if a bill should progress and votes on whether it should be ‘read a first time’. If a bill is defeated in the vote, that is the end of the bill. If the ‘first reading’ is agreed, the bill is usually referred to a select committee to be considered in more detail.

Select committee

Once a bill is referred to a select committee, the committee usually has 6 months to examine the bill and prepare a report for the House.

Select committees normally invite public submissions on a bill. Then they hold public hearings to listen to some of those who made submissions. After hearing submissions they work through the issues raised, and decide what changes, if any, should be made to the bill.

The select committee’s report contains:

· a reprint of the bill with recommended changes (known as amendments)

· a commentary in which the committee explains its recommended changes and the issues it has considered.

Second reading

A bill can be read a second time no sooner than the third sitting day after the select committee reports to the House. Members can then debate the main principles of a bill, and any changes recommended by the select committee in its report.

Changes not supported by every committee member are subject to a single vote at the end of the second reading debate.

Changes that are supported by every committee member are automatically included in the bill if the second reading is agreed.

If the vote is lost, that is the end of the bill. If the second reading is agreed, the bill is ready for debate by a committee of the whole House.

Third reading

This is usually a summing-up debate on a bill in its final form.

The vote at the end of the debate is the final vote in the House to either pass the bill or reject it. Bills are rarely rejected at this stage. If the bill is passed there is one final step before it becomes law — Royal assent.

Royal assent

A bill is not a law until it is signed by the Sovereign or the Sovereign’s representative in New Zealand, the Governor-General. This is called the Royal assent.

 

Vocabulary

1. to date from - брать начало
2. seat - место
3. принципиально - главным образом
4. to be registered - быть зарегистрированным
5. to be recognised - быть признанным
6. depend on - зависеть от
7. existence - существование
8. elections - выборы
9. support - поддержка

 

What is the Bill of Rights?

Bill of Rights,

Rights, Bill of [Credit: National Archives—Time Life Pictures/Getty Images]in the United States, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which were adopted as a single unit on December 15, 1791, and which constitute a collection of mutually reinforcing guarantees of individual rights and of limitations on federal and state governments.

The Bill of Rights derives from the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the colonial struggle against king and Parliament, and a gradually broadening concept of equality among the American people. Virginia’s 1776 Declaration of Rights, drafted chiefly by George Mason, was a notable forerunner. Besides being axioms of government, the guarantees in the Bill of Rights have binding legal force. Acts of Congress in conflict with them may be voided by the U.S. Supreme Court when the question of the constitutionality of such acts arises in litigation.

The Constitution in its main body forbids suspension of the writ of habeas corpus except in cases of rebellion or invasion (Article I, section 9); prohibits state or federal bills of attainder and ex post facto laws (I, 9, 10); requires that all crimes against the United States be tried by jury in the state where committed (III, 2); limits the definition, trial, and punishment of treason (III, 3); prohibits titles of nobility (I, 9) and religious tests for officeholding (VI); guarantees a republican form of government in every state (IV, 4); and assures each citizen the privileges and immunities of the citizens of the several states (IV, 2).

Popular dissatisfaction with the limited guarantees of the main body of the Constitution expressed in the state conventions called to ratify it, led to demands and promises that the first Congress of the United States satisfied by submitting to the states 12 amendments. Ten were ratified. (The second of the 12 amendments, which required any change to the rate of compensation for congressional members to take effect only after the subsequent election in the House of Representatives, was ratified as the Twenty-seventh Amendment in 1992.) Individual states being subject to their own bills of rights, these amendments were limited to restraining the federal government. The Senate refused to submit James Madison’s amendment (approved by the House of Representatives) protecting religious liberty, freedom of the press, and trial by jury against violation by the states.

Under the First Amendment, Congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, or abridging freedom of speech or press or the right to assemble and petition for redress of grievances. Hostility to standing armies found expression in a guarantee of the people’s right to bear arms and in limitation of the quartering of soldiers in private houses.

The Fourth Amendment secures the people against unreasonable searches and seizures and forbids the issuance of warrants except upon probable cause and directed to specific persons and places. The Fifth Amendment requires grand jury indictment in prosecutions for major crimes and prohibits double jeopardy for a single offense. It provides that no person shall be compelled to testify against himself, forbids the taking of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. By the Sixth Amendment, an accused person is to have a speedy public trial by jury, to be informed of the nature of the accusation, to be confronted with prosecution witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel. Excessive bail or fines and cruel or unusual punishment are forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment protects unenumerated residual rights of the people, and by the Tenth, powers not delegated to the United States are reserved to the states or the people.

After the Civil War, slavery was abolished, and the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) declared that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens thereof. It forbids the states to abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. After 1924 the due process clause was construed by the Supreme Court as guaranteeing that many of the same rights protected from federal violation were also protected from violation by the states. The clause finally made effective the major portion of Madison’s unaccepted 1789 proposal.

 

Department of Defense (DOD)

The DOD is the largest employer and hires civilians worldwide to support military facilities and operations. You will find all occupations in this group from blue-collar trades jobs to white-collar professional, administrative and management occupations. Be aware that the DOD accepts only electronic resumes in formats that are unlike anything used in the private sector; you must provide all of the requested information or your application will be rejected.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

The VA manages and administers aid to veterans and their family members. In addition to 100,000 medical specialists, the VA also employs more than 125,000 support personnel at more than 1,000 facilities, including 163 hospitals, nationwide.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces federal laws, operates federal prisons and prosecutes federal cases in court. Even with the transfer of Immigration and Naturalization services to the Department of Homeland Security, this department remains in the top five. It too employs more than 16,000 in the legal and kindred group and thousands of investigators, and also provides the staff for federal courts and prisons.

Treasury Department

The Treasury Department regulates all financial institutions, manages the public debt, prints currency and provides law enforcement for the department. According to OPM’s publication Full-Time Civilian White-Collar Employment by Occupation, the Treasury employs 24,000 investigation personnel, including 10,373 criminal investigators, 6,662 internal revenue officers, more than 16,000 in the legal and kindred occupational group including 2,407 attorneys, 38,396 in accounting and budget, 13,276 internal revenue agents, and approximately 36,000 in general administration, clerical and office services positions.

These five departments are the largest in government and offer a full spectrum of occupations nationwide and overseas.

Be sure to pay close attention to required information when applying for these jobs and completing your application or resume. If you exclude required information, your application will be rejected. Some departments offer online applications and others require the standard OF-612 application or a federal-style resume.

 

In the UK what is the difference between criminal and civil law?

Criminal law, one of two broad categories of law, deals with acts of intentional harm to individuals but which, in a larger sense, are offences against us all. It is a crime to break into a home because the act not only violates the privacy and safety of the home's occupants - it shatters the collective sense that we are secure in our own homes. A crime is a deliberate or reckless act that causes harm to another person or another person's property, and it is also a crime to neglect a duty to protect others from harm. Canada's Criminal Code, created in 1892, lists hundreds of criminal offences - from vandalism to murder - and stipulates the range of punishment that can be imposed. Since crimes are an offence against society, normally the state or Crown investigates and prosecutes criminal allegations on the victim's behalf. The police gather evidence and, in court, public prosecutors present the case against the person accused of the crime. For someone to be convicted of a crime, it must be proven that a crime was committed and, for most offences, that the person meant to commit the crime. For instance, striking another person is the crime of assault but it is only a crime if the blow was intentional.

Civil law deals with disputes between private parties, or negligent acts that cause harm to others . For example, if individuals or companies disagree over the terms of an agreement, or who owns land or buildings, or whether a person was wrongfully dismissed from their employment, they may file a lawsuit asking the courts to decide who is right. As well, the failure to exercise the degree of caution that an ordinarily prudent person would take in any situation may result in a negligence claim. Depending on the circumstances, a person may be held responsible for any damages or injury that occurs as a result of their negligence. Family law cases involving divorce, parental responsibility for children, spousal support, child support and division of property between spouses or common law couples represent a large portion of the civil law cases presented to the courts. Challenges to decisions of administrative tribunals, allegations of medical malpractice and applications for distribution of the estates of deceased persons are other examples of civil cases. The party who brings the legal action is known as the plaintiff or applicant, while the party being sued is the defendant or respondent. The courts may dismiss a case, or if it is found to have merit, the courts may order the losing party to take corrective action, although the usual outcome is an order to pay damages - a monetary award designed to make up for the harm inflicted. The state plays no role in civil cases, unless the government launches a lawsuit or is the party being sued. Parties retain a lawyer - or may choose to represent themselves - to gather evidence and present the case in court.

Differing standards of proof: More evidence is needed to find the accused at fault in criminal cases than to find the defendant at fault in civil ones. To convict someone of a crime, the prosecution must show there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime and, in most cases, that they intended to commit it. Judges and juries cannot convict someone they believe probably committed the crime or likely is guilty - they must be almost certain. This gives the accused the benefit of any reasonable doubt and makes it less likely an innocent person will be wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Civil cases, in contrast, must be proven on a balance of probabilities - if it is more likely than not that the defendant caused harm or loss, a court can uphold a civil claim.

 

 





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