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Module 3 Legal Professionals





Module 1 History of Law

Unit 1 Laws of Babylon

Unit 2 Ancient Greece and Rome

Unit 3 The Foundation of British law

Unit 4 The European law in the 19th century

Unit 5 Russkaya Pravda

Unit 6 Russian law in 15th-16th centuries

Unit 7 Russian law: Romanov dynasty

Module 2 Legal Structure

Unit 1 The legal structure

Unit 2 Sources of law: legislation

Unit 3 The court system

Unit 4 Criminal justice and criminal proceedings

Unit 5 Civil procedure

Unit 6 Tribunals

Module 3 Legal Professionals

Unit 1 Solicitors

Unit 2 Barristers

Unit 3 Working lives

Unit 4 Judges

Module 4 Crime and Punishment

Unit 1 Crimes and criminals

Unit 2 Theft, murder, drugs and other crimes

Unit 3 Economical crimes

Unit 4 Punishment


Module 5 Law Enforcement

Unit 1 Traffic and vehicles

Unit 2 Crimes against property

Unit 3 Out in the community: anti-social behaviour

Unit 4 Drugs & alcohol

Unit 5 At the station

Unit 6 Crime scene investigation

Unit 7 Criminal justice systems

Unit 8 Organized crime

Unit 9 International cooperation: interpol

Unit 10 Civil and criminal penalties







The Birth of Law

Rules and laws – and the conventions or customs from which they are descended – have been a part of human life ever since our ancestors first began to live in large and settled groups. But our knowledge is vague of laws that were in effect before the invention of writing in about 3500 B.C. The earliest known legal text was written by Ur-Nammu, a king of the Mesopotamian city of Ur, in about 2100 B.C. It dealt largely with compensation for bodily injuries, and with the penalties for witchcraft and runaway slaves.

Laws of Babylon

One of the most detailed ancient legal codes was drawn up in about 1758 B.C. by Hammurabi, a king of Babylonia. The entire code, consisting of 282 paragraphs, was carved into a great stone pillar, which was set up in a temple to the Babylonian god Marduk so that it could be read by every citizen.

The pillar, lost for centuries after the fall of Babylon in the 16th century B.C., was rediscovered by a French archaeologist in 1901 amid the ruins of the Persian city of Susa. Hammurabi's words were still legible. The pillar is now in the Louvre museum in Paris.

The laws laid down by Hammurabi were more extensive than any that had gone before.They covered crime, divorce and marriage, the rights of slave owners and slaves, the settlement of debts, inheritance and property contracts; there were even regulations about taxes and the prices of goods. Punishments under the code were often harsh. The cruel principle of revenge was observed: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, which meant that criminals had to receive as punishment precisely those injuries anddamages they had inflicted upon their victims. Not only murderer s but also thieves and false accusers faced the death penalty. And a child who hit his father could expect to lose the hand that struck the blow.

The code outlawed private blood feuds and banned the tradition by which a man could kidnap and keep the woman he wanted for his bride. In addition, the new laws took account of the circumstances of the offender as well as of the offence. So a lower-ranking citizen who lost a civil case would be fined less than an aristocrat in the same position — though he would also be awarded less if he won.

Nevertheless, Hammurabi's laws represented an advance on earlier tribal customs, because the penalty could not be harder than the crime.


1. Find in the text “The Birth of Law” the words that mean the following:

the use of magic power, especially with the aid of evil spirits

a punishment imposed for a violation of law or rule

an accepted social custom or practice

payment for damage or loss, restitution

one from whom a person is descended

harm or damage done or suffered

Say whether the statement is true or false. If it’s wrong, give the right answer.

1. Our knowledge of ancient laws is vague.

2. The earliest known legal text was written by Hammurabi.

3. One of the most detailed ancient legal codes was drawn up in about 1458 B.C.

4. The entire code consisted of 282 paragraphs.

5. The pillar is now in the British Museum in London.

6. The cruel principle of revenge was observed.

7. Only murderers but also thieves and false accusers faced the death penalty.

8. The code outlawed private blood feuds.

9. In Hammurabi's laws the penalty could be harder than the crime.


Match the following English expressions with their Russian equivalents.

1) legal activities 2) legal address 3) legal advice 4) legal age 5) legal costs 6) legal decision 7) legal document 8) legal entity 9) legal ethics 10) legal expert 11) legal history 12) legal language 13) legal owner 14) legal procedure 15) legal protection 16) legal rights 17) legal status 18) of legal force 19) to enjoy one's legal rights 20) to enter the legal profession а) законные права b) законный владелец c) имеющий законную силу d) использовать свое законное право e) история права f) консультация юриста g) правовая защита h) правовой документ i) правовой статус j) правомерная, законная деятельность k) профессиональная этика юриста 1) решение суда m) совершеннолетие n) стать юристом о) судебные издержки р) судопроизводство q) юридическая терминология r) юридический адрес s) юридическое лицо t) юрисконсульт; юридический советник

Make word combinations.

legal rights settlement of property regulations about prices of to inflict to faced of slave owners taxes contracts codes goods injuries and damages the death penalty debts


Text A

The Legal Heritage of Greece and Rome

The ancient Greeks were among the first to develop a concept of law that separated everyday law from religious beliefs. Before the Greeks most civilizations attributed their laws to their gods or goddesses. Instead, the Greeks believed that laws were made by the people for the people.

In the seventh century B.C., drew up Greece's first comprehensive written code of laws. Under Draco's code death was the punishment for most offences. Thus, the terms draconian usually applies to o extremely harsh measures.

Several decades passed before Solon - poet, military hero, and ultimately Athens' lawgiver - devised a new code of laws. Trial by jury, an ancient Greek tradition was retained, but enslaving debtors was prohibited as were most of the harsh punishments of Draco's code. Under Solon's law citizens of Athens were eligible to serve in the assembly and courts were established in which they could appeal government decisions.

What the Greeks may have contributed to the Romans was the concept of " natural law." In essence, natural law was based on the belief that certain basic principles are above the laws of a nation. These principles arise from the nature of people. The concept of natural law and the development of the first true legal system had a profound effect on the modern world.


Write the correct word in the space before its definition. There may be more than one definition for each word.

ancient heritage law measures
government lawgiver jury measure


1............................... the direction and control exercised politically over people living in a community, state, or nation.
2............................... something that is inherited from earlier generations; tradition.
3............................... a body of persons summoned to a court of law who are sworn to hear evidence and give a true verdict in a case.  
4............................... the set of customs, statutes, or rules that govern a society.
5.............................. things that are done to get a particular result.
6.............................. one who makes or approves laws; legislator.
7.............................. calculation of exact dimensions within time or space, such as length, quantity, duration, weight, or capacity.  
8............................ extremely old; existing for many years.

Make word combinations.

profound natural code appeal harsh religious measures beliefs law decisions of laws effect


3. Answer the following questions:

1.What does the ancient Greek concept of law comprise?

2.Why were the first laws mainly attributed to divine powers?

3.What is the origin and the meaning of the word " draconian"?

4.How do you understand the concept of " natural law"?

5.What was Solon's contribution to ancient law?

Text B

Solon (b. 630 — d. 560 B.C.)

Solon, the Athenian statesman, is known as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. He ended exclusive aristocratic control of the government, substituted a system of control by the wealthy, and introduced a new and more humane law code. He was also a noted poet.

Unfortunately it was not until the 5th century B.C. that accounts of his life and works began to be put together, mostly on the evidence of his poems and his law code. Although certain details have a legendary ring, the main features of his story seem to be reliable. Solon was of noble descent but moderate means. He first became prominent in about 600 B.C. The early 6th century was a troubled time for the Athenians. Society was dominated by an aristocracy of birth, who ownedthe best land, monopolized the government, and were themselves split into rival factions. The social, economic, and political evils might well have culminated in a revolution and subsequent tyranny (dictatorship), as they had in other Greek states, had it not been for Solon, to whom Athenians of all classes turned in the hope of a generally satisfactory solution of their problems. Because he believed in moderation and in an ordered societyin which each class had its proper place and function, his solution was not revolution but reform.

Solon's great contribution to the future good of Athenswas his new code of laws. The first written codeat Athens, that of Draco, was still in force. Draco's laws were shockingly severe— so severe that they were said to have been written not in ink but in blood. On the civil side they permitted enslavement for debt, and death seems to have been the penalty for almost all criminal offenses. Solon revised every statute except that on homicide and made Athenian law altogether more humane.


Complete the sentences.

1. Solon introduced a new and more..................................................................

2. Solon first became prominent in about........................

3. Society was dominated by an.....................................................

4. Solon's solution was not revolution but.......................

5. Solon's new code of laws was a great........................ to the future good of Athens.

6. The first written codeat Athens, that of Draco, was still in......................

7. The penalty for almost all criminal offenses was.............................

Text A

The Magna Carta

At the heart of the English system are two principles of government – limited government and representative government. The idea that government was not all-powerful first appeared in the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, that King John signedin 1215 under the threat of civil war. Earlier kings of England had issued charters, making promises to their barons. But these were granted by, not exacted from the king and were very generally phrased. Later the tension between the Kings and the nobility increased. Since 1199 John's barons had to be promised their rights. It is, therefore, not surprising that Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, directed baronial unrest into a demand for a solemn grant of liberties by the king. The document known as the Articles of the Barons was at last agreed upon and became the text from which the final versionof the charter was drafted and sealed by John on June 15, 1215.

The Magna Carta established the principle of limited government, in which the power of the monarch, or government, was limited, not absolute. This document provided for protection against unjust punishment and the loss of life, liberty, and property except according to law. It stipulatedthat no citizen could be punished or kept in prison without a fair trial. Under the Magna Carta, the king agreed that certain taxes could not be levied without popular consent.

Althoughthe Magna Carta was originallyintended to protect aristocracy and not the ordinary citizens, it came in time to be regarded as a cornerstone of British liberties. It is one of the oldest written constitutional papers.

Text B

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights (1689) is one of the basic instruments of the British constitution, the result of the long 17th-century struggle between the Stuart kings and the English people and Parliament. The Bill of Rights provided the foundation on which the government rested after the Revolution of 1688. The Revolution settlement made monarchy clearly conditional on the will of Parliament and provided a freedom from arbitrary government of which most Englishmen were notably proudduring the 18th century.

The main purpose of the act was to declare illegal various practices of James II. Among such practices proscribed were the royal prerogative of dispensing with the law in certain cases, the complete suspension of laws without the consent of Parliament, and the levying of taxes and the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime without specific parliamentary authorization. A number of clauses sought to eliminate royal interference in parliamentary matters, stressing that elections must be free and that members of Parliament must have complete freedom of speech. Certain forms of interference in the course of justice were also proscribed. The act also dealt with the proximate succession to the throne, provided the heirs were Protestants. It is the constitutional paper of great importance, which prevented the sovereign from abusing his authority.

Napoleon's Law

The laws of much of continental Europe (particularly France), of Quebec in Canada, and of much of Latin America – along with the civil laws of Louisiana – owe their modern form largely to the work of a man who never even studied law. Napoleon Bonaparte, the Corsican soldier who became emperor of France after the French Revolution, established in 1800 five commissions to refine and organise the diverse legal systems of France. The result, enacted in 1804, was Napoleon's Code.

Some of its original 2, 281 articles were drafted by Napoleon himself, and all were affected by his thinking, even though he was completely self-taught in legal matters. The code was a triumphant attempt to create a legal system that treated all citizens as equals without regard to their rank or previous privileges. It was also so clearly written that it could be read and understood by ordinary people at a time when only Latin scholars could make sense of the earlier laws handed down since Roman times. The code was adopted intact in most of the areas of Europe that Napoleon dominated and spread from there across the Atlantic, taking root particularly in French-speaking American communities. Many of its principles are still in force today.


1. Find in the text the English equivalents for the following words and expressions:

1.вопросы права

2.изучать право

3.различные, несхожие правовые системы

4.создать правовую систему


6.гражданское право

7.первоначальный вариант статей

8.подвергаться влиянию чьих-либо идей

9.передавать (из поколения в поколение)

10.господствовать, властвовать

11.обращаться как с равными

12.разобраться в чем-то

13.приживаться, укореняться

14.быть в силе

15.без учета привилегий


Rus'kaya Pravda was the legal code of Kievan Rus' during the times of feudal division. In spite of great influence of Byzantine legislation on the contemporary world, and in spite of great cultural and commercial ties between Byzantium and Rus', the Russkaya Pravda bear no similarity whatever to those of the Byzantine Empire. The laws of Rus' were more humane than the legislation of contemporary East European states. The absence of capital and corporal punishment rather reflects the Norse way of thought.

Pravda Rus'skaya’s legal regulations reflected the evolution of the social relations in the Rus' of the 11th-13th centuries. Common law, Knyaz legislation, and legal proceedings represented the basis of “RP”.

The Yaroslav’s Law comprised legal regulations of feudal law along with the archaic regulations that could be traced back to the primitive communal system. New provisions are believed to have been added to Pravda Rus'skaya after the revolts in Kiev, Novgorod, and Rostov-Suzdal province in 1068–1071. In Muskovy, the Pravda Rus'skaya was replaced in 1497 by the Sudebnik, the Code of Law.

“Pravda Yaroslavichey” increased responsibility of a given community for killing knyaz’es soldiers, and other servants on their own territory. “Pravda Yaroslavichey” provided severe punishment for arson, deliberate cattle mutilation, and collective encroachment on rich people’s property. After the 1113 Riot in Kiev, an exorbitant interest law was introduced that limited financial operations of moneylender s.

“RP” stabilized the system of feudal relations and social inequality. The Vast Edition of “RP” contains special regulations with regards to the status of zakups and kholops. “RP” also reflects the role of the court of knyaz’, a trend towards increasing differentiation of punishments and penalties, larger fines for the benefit of knyaz’ or his administration with correspondingly decreasing compensation to the victims.

In an attempt to abolish blood feud (that was quite common at that time), “RP” narrowed its “usage” and limited the number of avengers to the closest relatives of the dead. If there were no avengers on the victim’s side, the killer had to pay a fine in favour of the knyaz’ and partial compensation to the relatives of the victim. If a woman was killed, one would have to pay half of the regular fine.

“RP” also defended the health and honour of the free members of the feudal society and had provisions about financial compensations for mutilation or an insult by word or deed. “RP” had a detailed system of punishments and penalties for larceny in a city or countryside, deliberate damage to forests, hunting grounds or lands, trespassing etc. It also regulated debt relations between individuals and contained articles of liability and hereditary law. Under “RP”, legal proceedings included witnesses, use of oaths. The search for culprits included listening to witnesses, collecting evidence, or hot pursuit. Investigators had to check for false accusations, as well. These were the first steps towards forensic science.

Complete the sentences.

larceny property feudal damage Sudebnik
trespassing mutilation witnesses division encroachment
  oaths defend debt  

1. Rus'kaya Pravda was the legal code during the times of....................................

2. In Muskovy, the Pravda Rus'skaya was replaced in 1497 by the..........................

3. “Pravda Yaroslavichey” provided severe punishment for arson, deliberate cattle..............., and collective....................... on rich people’s..........................

4. “RP” also......................... the health and honour of the free members of the feudal society.

5. “RP” had a detailed system of punishments and penalties for................ in a city or countryside, deliberate............... to forests, hunting grounds or lands and..........

6. " RP" also regulated....................... relations between individuals.

7. Under “RP”, legal proceedings included........................, use of.........................


Complete the sentences.

jurisdiction administrative promulgated bureaucracy
judicial adversarial repository deeds
  inquisitorial   expertise


1. In 1497 Ivan III of Moscow.................. Russia's first national law code.

2. The church courts had.................. in many matters.

3. Chancelleries also performed.................. functions.

4. The clerks began to develop.................................... and kept detailed records.

5. One of the chancelleries also became the.................. for.................. to land.

6. Civil trials were.................. in nature, criminal trials were...................

7. The tsar's power and.................. increased.

Complete the sentences.

installed serfs expertise procedure
rule books colleges criminal supreme court
  lawsuits enserfment  


1. The Romanov dynasty was................... in 1613.

2. Legal system considered................... over escaped....................

3. The new codification was based mainly on the chancellery....................

4. The codes of civil................... and................... procedure were codified inthe law code of 1649.

5. Among the most important of the law code was the completion of the................... of the peasantry.

6. The clerks in the chancelleries developed considerable practical....................

7. Peter I the Great replaced the chancelleries with nine....................

8. The Senate served as a.......................................



The Structure

The study of law distinguishes between public law and private law, but in legal practice in the UK the distinction between civil law and criminal law is more important to practicing lawyers. Public law relates to the state. It is concerned with laws which govern processes in local and national government and conflicts between the individual and the state in areas such as immigration and social security.

Private law is concerned with the relationships between legal persons, that is individuals and corporations, and includes family law, contract law and property law. Criminal law deals with certain forms of conduct for which the state reserves punishment, for example, murder or theft. The state prosecutes the offender.

Civil law concerns relationships between private persons, their rights, and their duties. It is also concerned with conduct which may give rise to a claim by a legal person for compensation or an injunction - an order made by the court. However, each field of law tends to overlap with others. For example, a road accident case may lead to a criminal prosecution as well as a civil action for compensation.

Substantive law creates, defines or regulates rights, liabilities, and duties in all areas of law and is contrasted with the state reserves punishment, for example procedural law, which defines the procedure murder and theft. The state prosecutes the by which a law is to be enforced.


The constitution

The head of state is the monarch, currently the Queen in the UK, but the government carries the authority of the Crown (the monarch). The Westminster Parliament has two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which sit separately and are constituted on different principles.

The Commons is an elected body of members. Substantial reform is being carried out in the upper house, the House of Lords, where it is proposed that the majority of members be appointed, with a minority elected, replacing the hereditary peers. There is no written constitution, but constitutional law consists of statute law, common law, and constitutional conventions.



There are four countries and three distinct jurisdictions in the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. All share a legislature in the Westminster Parliament for the making of new laws and have a common law tradition, but each has its own hierarchy of courts, legal rules and legal profession. Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own Assembly and since 1999 Scottish Members of Parliament (SMPs) have sat in their own Parliament.

Under an Act of the Westminster Parliament, the Scottish Parliament has power to legislate on any subject not specifically reserved to the Westminster Parliament such as defense or foreign policy. The UK's accession to the European Communities in 1973, authorized by the European Communities Act 1972, has meant the addition of a further legislative authority in the legal system. The UK is also a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights and this has been incorporated into UK law.


1. Match these bodies of law (1-3) with their definitions (a-c).

1 civil law a) area of the law which deals with crimes and their punishments, including fines and/orimprisonment (also penal law)
2 common law b) 1)legal system developed from Roman codified law, established by a state for its regulation; 2) area of the law concerned with non-criminal matters, rights and remedies
3 criminal law c) legal system which is the foundation of the legal systems of most of the English-speaking countries of the world, based on customs, usage and court decisions (also case law, judge-made law)

Complete the definitions.

1.............................. is law relating to acts committed against the law which

are punished by the state.

2.............................. is concerned with the constitution or government of the

state, or the relationship between state and citizens.

3.............................. is rules which determine how a case is administered by the courts.

4............................... is concerned with the rights and duties of individuals,

organisations, and associations (such as companies, trade unions, and charities), as opposed to criminal law.

5.............................. is common law and statute law used by the courts in

making decisions.

Early development of Bill

The government may proceed to initiate a consultative process by the publication of a Green Paper in which its proposals are set out at an early stage with the intention of attracting public response and comment. The government's White Papers contain their more definite proposals, although these are often published following consultation or discussion with pressure groups, professional bodies, or voluntary organisations. A Bill does not have to be preceded by a White or Green paper, although it may have been presented for public scrutiny, that is, examination, in draft form earlier.


Passing an Act

All Acts must be submitted to both Houses of Parliament in the draft form of a Bill. The legislative process involves three readings in both Houses. At the first reading, the title is read to Members of Parliament (MPs); at the second reading, MPs debate proposals.

Then a standing committee will scrutinise the provisions in the Bill and may amend it to ensure that it enshrines the principles debated and approved at the second reading. This is reported back to MPs. At the third reading, the Bill is re-presented. The Bill then goes through readings in the upper house.

The actual drafting of the legislation is undertaken by Parliamentary Counsel. Finally, a Bill must receive Royal Assent from the monarch before it becomes law on a specified date. In fact, this stage has been reduced to a formal reading of the short title of an Act in both Houses of Parliament and is now a formality.

Government Bills are introduced by the Government; Private Members Bills are proposed by MPs. Both methods may result in Public Acts that govern the general public. Private Acts affect particular individuals or institutions.

A visiting Russian colleague is asking an English solicitor about the legislative process. Replace the underlined words in their conversation with alternative words. Pay attention to the grammatical context. There is more than one possibility for two of the answers.


Natasha: How is new legislation enacted?

Charles: Well, initially the (1) draft legislation has to be (2) presented to both houses. The draft is (3) discussed several times. A committee has the job of checking that the Bill (4) incorporates the fundamental elements (5) agreed at the second reading. After this, the Bill is (6) shown again to the lower house.

Natasha: Who does the (7) formal writing of the legislation?

Charles: It's (8) done by qualified barristers employed as civil servants, known as Parliamentary Counsel.

Natasha: Who can (9) put forward Bill?

Charles: The government and, less commonly, MPs.



The Civil Court

Duncan Ritchie, a barrister, is talking to a visiting group of young European lawyers. " Both criminal and civil courts in England and Wales primarily hear evidence and aim to determine what exactly happened in a case. Broadly speaking, the lower courts decide matters of fact and the upper court normally deal with points of law. In England, simple civil actions, for example family matters such as undefended divorce, are normally heard in either the Magistrates' Courts or the County Courts.

Judges have different titles depending on their experience, training, and level. A single stipendiary magistrate or three lay magistrates sit in the Magistrates' Court. There's no jury in a Magistrates' Court. Family cases may go on appeal from the Magistrates' Court to the County Courts. The County Court also hears complex first instance civil cases, such as contract disputes, compensation claims, consumer complaints about faulty goods or services, and bankruptcy cases. Claimants, previously referred to as plaintiffs, may seek a legal remedy for some harm or injury they have suffered. There are circuit judges and recorders who sit in the County Courts, usually without a jury. Juries are now rare m civil actions, so normally the judge considers both law and fact.

More complex civil cases, such as the administration of estates and actions for the recovery of land, are heard in the High Court of Justice, which is divided into three divisions: Family, Chancery and Queen's Bench. The court has both original, that is, first instance, and appellate jurisdiction. From the High Court cases may go on appeal to the civil division of the Court of Appeal, which can reverse or uphold a decision of the lower courts. Its decisions bind all the lower civil courts. Civil cases may leapfrog from the High Court to the House of Lords, bypassing the Court of Appeal, when points of law of general public importance are involved. Appellants must, however, apply for leave of appeal. Decisions of the House of Lords are binding on all other courts but not necessarily on itself. The court of the House of Lords consists of twelve life peers appointed from judges and barristers. The quorum, or minimum number, of law lords for an appeal hearing is normally three, bur generally there is a sitting of five judges."


Criminal courts

" About 95% of all criminal cases in England and Wales are tried in the Magistrates' Courts, which deal with petty crimes, that is, less serious ones. In certain circumstances the court may commit an accused person to the Crown Court for more severe punishment, either by way of a fine or imprisonment. Except in cases of homicide, children under 14 and young persons – that is, minors between 14 and 17 years of age - must always be tried summarily meaning without a jury, by a Youth Court. A Youth Court is a branch of the Magistrates' Court. Indictable offences, that is, more serious ones such as theft, assault, drug dealing, and murder, are reserved for trial in the Crown Court.

In almost all criminal cases, the State, in the name of the Crown, prosecutes a person alleged to have committed a crime. In England and Wales, a jury of twelve people decides whether the defendant is guilty of the crime she or he is charged with. The Crown Court may hear cases in circuit areas. From the Crown Court, appeal against conviction or sentence lies tothe Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal. If leave to appeal is granted by that court, cases may go on appeal to the House of Lords.


Complete the diagram

Criminal cases Civil cases


Appeals may go to

The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
The Court of (6)...................... (Civil Division)


Appeals usually go to

or may (5).................. to

The (4)..................................................................
Appeals go from here to

The Crown Court
Queen's Bench Division
Chancery Division
Family (3).................


Appeals go from here to appeals may leapfrog from here to

The Country Court
The (1)............................


The Court of First (2)...............

Draw a diagram of your court system and explain the court structure as if to a foreign client who is pursuing an action in your courts. Use your own language for the names of the courts but use English to describe their functions.

For more information on UK courts, go to: www.courtservice.gov.uk;

for other courts, go to: www.lexadin.ni/wlg/courts/nofr/courts.htm


Criminal justice

" The state prosecutes those charged with a crime. The police investigate a crime and may apprehend suspects and detain them in custody. If the police decide an offender should be prosecuted, a file on the case is sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – the national prosecution service for England and Wales. The CPS must consider whether there is enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and if so, whether the public interest requires a prosecution. They can decide to either go ahead with the prosecution, send the case back to the police for a caution, or take no further action.

Criminal proceedings can be initiated either by the serving of a summons setting out the offence and requiring the accused to attend court, or, in more serious cases, by a warrant of arrest issued by a Magistrates' Court. Lawyers from the CPS may act as public prosecutors.

The Criminal Defence Service provides legal aid, which funds the services of an independent duty solicitor who represents the accused in the police station and in court. However, at the end of a Crown Court case the judge has the power to order the defendant to pay some or all of the defence costs.


Criminal court proceedings

" The English system of justice is adversarial, which means that each side collects and presents their own evidence and attacks their opponent's by cross-examination. In criminal trial, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. A person accused or under arrest for an offence may be granted bail and temporarily released.

However, bail may be refused, for example if there are grounds for believing that the accused would fail to appear for trial or commit an offence. In the Crown Court, there may be a preparatory hearing for a complex case before the jury is sworn in. Prior to the trial, there is a statutory requirement for disclosure by the prosecutor and defence of material relevant со the case, for example details of any alibis - people who can provide proof of the accused's whereabouts at the time of the crime – or witnesses – people who may have seen something relevant to the crime. Once a trial has begun, the defendant may he advised by counsel to change his or her plea to guilty, in expectation of a reduced sentence. If, at the end of the trial, the court's verdict is not guilty, then the defendant is acquitted."


Answer the questions.

1. Who investigates crimes?

2. Who sentences people?

3. Who decides if someone innocent or guilty?

4. Who defends people and presents evidence?

5. Who commits crimes?


Complete the definitions.

1 а....................................... - a court document authorising the police to

detain someone.

2 an................ - a written statement with details of the crimes someone is charged with.

3 a................. - a formal order to attend court.


Civil Procedure Rules

Alisdair Hannah, a barrister, is talking to a visiting group of young European lawyers.

" All cases concerning goods, property, debt repayment, breach of contract (with some exceptions such as insolvency proceedings and non-contentious litigation ), are subject to Civil Procedure Rules. The Rules, which came into force in 1999 in England and Wales, mode radical changes to civil process in the County Court and The High Court.

The judge performs the role of case manager. The court sets a timetable for litigation with the parties being under an obligation to the court to adhere to timescales which control the progress of the ease. Procedure rules are supplemented by derailed instructions made by the judge which support the rules, known as practice directions. "

Proceeding with a claim

" Most claims are initiated by the use of a claim form, which functions as a summons. The claim form can be used for different types of claim, for example for specified or unspecified monetary sums, or for the claimant to ask the court to make an order. Once a claim has been issued, a copy is served on, that is, delivered to, the defendant with a response pack inviting them to either admit the claim, using a form of admission, or to defend it, using a form of defence.

The response pack also contains an acknowledgement of service form to confirm receipt of the claim, and a counterclaim form for the defendant to use if their wish to claim against the claimant. A defendant must respond within 14 days of service of the particulars of the claim. If the defendant does not respond, judgment may be given in favour of the claimant. The defendant may be able to get a time extension for filing a reply on defence by using the part of the acknowledgement of service form which states an intention to defend the claim.

Cases are allocated to a regime or track by procedural judge according to their monetary value. Claims of £ 5, 000 or less are allocated to a small claims track while claims of up to £ 15, 000 are allocated to a fast track. More complex claims with a greater value are allocated to a multi track regime.

Fast track directions might include disclosure, where the claimant tells the defence of any relevant documents in their possession. This is followed by inspection, initiated by a written request by the claimant to look at relevant documents held by the defence, and an exchange of witness statements.

The multi track regime is intended to be flexible and does not have a standard procedure. In all regimes, parties are encouraged to settle their differences and for this purpose a stay in proceedings, that is, a temporary halt, may be agreed. Case management conferences arc often conducted by telephone and give parties the opportunity to review the process and make decisions. If a defendant is ordered to pay by a judge and fails to do so, the claimant can enforce the judgment in the Magistrates' Court."


Complete the definitions.

1 - the process by which a claimant may look at written evidence held by the defence.

2 -the document in which the defendant makes a claim against the claimant.

3 - the document in which the defendant agrees to the claim made by the claimant.

4 - the document starting a claim proceedings.

5 - the process by which the claimant is required to inform the defendant of documents they hold relevant to the claim.

6 -the document giving evidence by someone who saw or heard

something critical to the case.
7 - the instructions given by a judge on how procedures should be

earned out in a case.


2. Make word combinations using a word from each box. Then use appropriate word combinations and information to answer the questions below.

admit agree to allocate enforce file issue review serve set settle a timetable a stay a claim the process the judgment a claim a claim on a regime differences a reply

1 How does the proceeding start?

2 What must a defendant do when he or she has been served with a claim?

3 If both parties want time to try to settle the dispute out of court, what should they ask the court to do?

4 What is the purpose of a case management conference?

5 If a defendant isordered to pay a claimant's costs but does not, what action can the claimant take?





Legal practitioners

Lawyers in the United Kingdom jurisdictions generally practice as solicitors in private firms, as legal advisers in corporations, government departments, and advice agencies, or as barristers. They can each do advocacy, draft legal documents and give written advice, but solicitors, unlike barristers, cannot appear in every court.

Traditionally, solicitors undertake work such as conveyancing, and drawing up contracts and wills. Barristers spend more time in court and have a right of audience in the higher courts. Unlike solicitors, barristers cannot usually be employed directly by clients but are instructed by solicitors. Solicitors normally form partnerships with other solicitors and work in offices with support staff. The qualification and practice of solicitors are regulated by the Law Society.



Sami, a25 year-old graduate, is talking about his experience as a trainee: “My first degree was in engineering at Manchester University. Then I did two one-year law courses. The first led to the Common Professional Examination, or CPF.; the second was the Legal Practice Course. I had a vacation placement at Applewood Branston, who offered me a two-year traineeship. They have a six seat system, which is quite common. Trainees spend time attached to different law departments, which suits me as Iget a basic grounding in the main departments of the firm, helping mefind which area of the law Pd like to specialise in. I can work in four or more different areas of law for four months at a time and then decide on a specialism later in the training contract. In my third seat, in Corporate Finance, I've learnt a lot from being on secondment with a client and got excellent back up from my seat supervisor, that is, supervising partner. It was good to put the professional skills training into practice straight away."


A partner in a law firm

Helene, from Monaco, is an avocat admitted to the Paris Bar – the professional association for lawyers. She graduated with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) in Paris and obtained a Masters Degree (LLM) in European Law from University College, London. She is a graduate of the Paris Institut d'Etudes Poliriques.

" I joined Apple-wood Branston two years ago and was promoted to partner in the corporate and banking team in Paris. Before that I worked for twelve years for other leading international law firms. I've got extensive experience of privatisations, mergers and acquisitions, and I advise investment banks and corporates.





Sylvia Garrison, a practising barrister, is describing the training and organisation of the profession.

“There are currently around 9, 000 barristers in practice in England and Wales. Unlike solicitors, barristers can't form partnerships but must act as sole traders with unlimited liability. Some barristers are in employed practice and may only represent their employer, for example as in-house counsel or in government departments like the Crown Prosecution Service. Man independently in self-employed practice in groups called chambers or sets and practise at the Bar as a barrister.

Chambers are traditionally located in the four Inns of Court in London – Cray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, and Inner Temple - and are also located in the UK regions, known as circuits. The Inns are principally non-academic societies which provide collegiate arid educational resources for barristers and trainees. Members of chambers, known as tenants, share common expenses and support services, which are administered by an administrative manager known as the Clerk, along with ancillary staff such as secretaries.

A barrister's main work is to provide representation in the courts, where they are referred to as counsel, to draft documents associated with court procedure, and to give opinions, that is, specialist legal advice. They are normally instructed by solicitors or other recognised professionals, such as patent agents or Legal Advice Centres, on behalf of lay clients. As the law has become more complex, barristers increasingly specialise in particular areas, such as personal injury, crime, family or commercial law. A number of Specialist Bar Associations, also known as SBAs, support and represent members. Barristers are governed by the General Council of the Bar, known as the Bar Council, and the Inns of Court ”.



A company commercial lawyer

Sophie Brettle is talking about her work at Melton Deans. “I'm a partner in a medium-sized regional law firm, working within the Company Commercial Department. I head up ateam of eight, comprising six lawyers and two paralegals – legal researchers – undertaking projects work for Public Sector clients. Our main client is a Government Department. We're instructed by them to advise and act on Private Finance Initiative Projects, also known as the PFL. This involves negotiating with a number of other parties comprising the funders, the building contractors, and facilities management and ensuring that the client's aims and objectives are met and their best interests protected.

A significant proportion of my time is spent in all parties meetings. As these transactions are complex, and the meetings are attended by all sides and their legal advisers, I have to make sure comprehensive notes are taken by an assistant solicitor. Following a meeting, documents reflecting, the terms agreed are prepared, and circulated for approval.

Within the practice, I’m a member of the Executive Committee and have responsibility for aspect of financial management within the department. I also deal with recruitment, training, and development within the department. During a working day as a fee earner, I have to combine my chargeable work for clients with administrative duties.


A legal secretary

An assistant solicitor is instructing Marie Lapotaire, the Commercial Department's legal secretary:

Solicitor:   Marie:   Solicitor:     Marie:     Solicitor:   Marie: I’ve just.sent you some sound files with the minutes onfrom yesterday meeting. Is there any way you can type those up before anything else? I know you've got a substantial amount of work at the moment. No problem. Do you want me to circulate them by email as soon as I’ve finished, get a hard copy and put it on the file? Please. I'm going to be running between meetings for a large part of the day but if I get a minute, I'll have aquick look at the hard copy and mark it up with a new changes. Don't wait for me to do that before getting the draft out - there are action points that the paralegals need to be getting on with. Fine. I'll copy everyone in. Anything else? I've put all the documentation for Project Angel on your desk. I don't know if it's ready to go out yet? I saw that, thanks. No, I need to make sure that the client is happy with the latest clauses the funder wants. Also, I think they may have negotiated more concessions so I'll have to get back to you on those. OK. By the way, I think your out of office message is still on, although the date's wrong. Don't worry, I'll change it. Your calls are still coming through tо my phone so I'll carry on taking.  


Marie Laporaire is talking about her working day. Replace the underlined words and phrases with alternative words and phrases. Pay attention to the grammatical context. There is more than one possibility for one of the answers.

In addition to typing up (1) recorded notes from meetings, (2) sending a copy to everyone by email, and (3) printing off emails, most days I'll be given various other tasks to carry out, such as document generation. If the solicitor (4) indicates changes on a draft text, I'll (5) word process them. I sometimes have to get addresses and contact details from the Internet and make appointments for meetings or conference calls. Obviously, I also take incoming calls when the fee earners aren't available and I let the caller know the solicitor will (6) call them back. I'll also (7) continue with any other tasks she's given me. Once a month I attend the secretarial committee as the representative for my department.



The training of judges

The Judicial Studies Board (JSB) is responsible for the training of judges, lay magistrates, and members of Tribunals in England and Wales. The JSB would normally organize the following for an appointee Recorder in the Crown Court: an induction course; visits to penal establishments, for example prison and young offender institutions; meetings with personnel from the Probation Service, which deals with criminals, often young offenders, who are not sent to prison unless they reoffend, but who are under the supervision of a probation officer.



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