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Under the Constitution adopted in 1991 Russia is a Presidential Republic. The name of the country is stated by the Constitution as the Russia Federative Republic. The head of the state is President.

All legislative power in the country is vested in the Federal Assembly. It consists of two chambers. The Upper Chamber is the Council of Federation. It is made up of the representatives of all the subjects of the Federation (two representatives from each subject). The Council enforces federal laws adopted by the State Duma, and all the decrees issued by the President.

The Lower Chamber of the Federal Assembly is the State Duma. It is made up of 450 deputies. The Duma introduces, considers and adopts new bills. A new bill must be approved by a majority vote. In order to become a law, the bill must be also enforced by the Council and then by the President.

The members of the Federal Assembly are elected by popular vote for a four year term. Each Chamber is headed by a Speaker who is elected by the members of the Chambers.

The executive branch is represented by the President and the Government which is headed by the Prime Minister.

The President is the head of the state and the commander-in-chiefof the Russian army. The President decides domestic and interna­tional matters, makes treaties, issues decrees, enforces federal laws adopted by the Federal Assembly. The President also forms the Government and appoints the Prime Minister whose candidacy must be approved by the State Duma. Thus thetwo powers balance each other.

An important role in the Russian state system plays the ConstitutionalCourt.It represents the judicial branch.The Constitutional Court may vetoany federal law adopted by the Federal Assembly, or a decree issued by the President if the Court regards them contradictoryto the Constitution.

The symbol of Russia is a three-colored flag which replaced the red one in 1991. It has three horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. White represents peace, blue represents loyalty, and red stands for valor.

The emblem of Russia is a double-headed eagle, the most ancient symbol going back tothe dynasty of the Ruricoviсhies.





Each of Britain's fifty-two police forces is responsible for law enforcement in its own area. In addition there are various national and regional connections (for example, in areas of training or the transfer of criminal records), and local forces cooperate with each other.

Some special services, such as the Fraud Squad (who investigate financial crimes), are available to any local force in England and Wales. In general, however, the local police forces work independently under their own Chief Constables. Each force is maintained by a local police authority. The exception is London, where the Metropolitan Police are responsible to the Home Secretary.

Police duties cover a wide range of activities, from traffic control to more specialised departments such as river police. Each independent force has a uniformed branch and a Criminal Investigation Department (C1D) with detectives in plain clothes. In addition the police authorities in England and Wales employ 40, 000 civilians and nearly 5, 000 traffic wardens.

Britain has relatively few police – approximately one policeman for every 400 people – and traditionally they are armed only with truncheons except in special circumstances.

However, recent years have seen some major changes in police policy in respond to industrial disputes and inner city violence in Great Britain. The situation in Northern Ireland, where the Royal Ulster Constabulary are the local police force, has also meant a change in the style of maintaining law and order. In general, there has been an increase in the number of special units trained in crowd and riot control and in the use of firearms, a controversial area for the British police. The number of police has risen along with the crime rate.


Law enforcement in the USA takes place at many governmental levels: country, municipal, state and federal ones.

Police departments of countries are often called “sheriffs” departments. Sheriff is an officer responsible for order in his country. The position of sheriff holds a unique place in the American policing system. Sheriff is not appointed, he is elected in the USA to make sure that law is obeyed. A deputy sheriff helps sheriff in his work.

Each city has its own police force that it hires, trains, controls, and organizes. Neither the President nor the governor of a state has direct power over it. Municipal police departments differ from their country law enforcement colleagues in several ways: they have a greater staff and larger financial and equipment resources. In major cities like New York, the police are under the control of a police commissioner, who is appointed by the major for a specific period of time.

State police agencies have rather modern origins. Each state has its own state police and its own criminal laws. This is true with, for example, marriage and divorce laws, driving laws and licenses, drinking laws and voting procedures, But when a local sheriff or municipal police chief think a particular state law to be unjust or unnecessary, this law is not enforced, as a rule, on the territory under their control and highway patrols. In more serious affairs each state is forced to rely its municipal forces.

Federal bodies such as the Secret Service Division and the Narcotics Bureau operate nationwide. Over fifty law enforcement and regulatory agencies are within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Unlike local policing powers, federal agencies have their specific functions and much more.narrow powers, these agen­cies are designed to maintain the balance between an Individual. citizen's ability to act freely. In society and the society's need for social order.

The US Department of Justice is sometimes called the legal arm of government. It consists of the Federal Bureau of investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The objectives of the American police are to protect life and property and safeguard the individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, to prevent crime and disorder and to preserve peace. Policemen are given certain limited powers to*pursue these objec­tives. In the USA the police are armed which is not usually the case in Britain.


The Work of Militia


Our militia was created by the working people to protect their rights. The officers of our militia have always displayed courage and heroism in the fight against enemies of our state during the Great Pa­triotic War as well as in the years of peaceful construction.

The main aim of militia has always been to maintain public order, to protect state and personal property and safeguard the rights of our citizens. Nowadays great attention in the work of militia is paid to pre­vention of crime, to its suppression. But if a crime has been committed, the militia officers are to solve the crime as quickly as possible. To fulfill these tasks the organs of internal affairs are composed of different de­partments.

The Criminal Detection Department is one of the most compli­cated militia services. The main responsibility of the officer of the Criminal Detection Department is to detect the criminal that is to lo­cate and apprehend him. In many cases the detective must trace a fugi­tive who is hiding.

The officers of the Criminal Investigation Department collect facts to prove the guilt or innocence of the suspect. The final test of a crimi­nal investigation is in presentation of evidence in court. Corpus delicti must be established, the defendant must be identified and associated with the crime scene. The investigator must also provide competent wit­nesses.

Economic Crimes Department fights against those who don't want to live an honest life. The responsibility of the officers of this Depart­ment is to reveal the criminal activity of those who commit embezzle­ment and other economic crimes, bring them to justice.

The State Auto-Inspection is responsible for traffic regulation and safety on the roads. The Transport Militia maintains law and order on the railway, air lines and water ways of the country.

The Juvenile Inspection handles «difficult» juveniles and their careless parents. They also do much work to prevent juvenile delinquency.

The Correctional System is supposed to rehabilitate offenders through labor. This is the purpose of correctional establishments.

A new service for the fight against organized crime has been cre­ated in our militia. Organized crime operates on fear, bribery and force. Militia officers of organized crime department are devoting their efforts to collect sufficient evidence to bring gang leaders to justice.






Interpol is an international corporation founded in 1923 as a serv­ice organization devoted to coordinating actions against international criminals.

Interpol is a recognized intergovernmental police force whose task is to hunt down the international criminal. Among the first to fight international terrorism and sky-jackings, Interpol still leads the war on narcotics, assists a number of nations in the continuing search for wanted Nazi war criminals. One of the most highly respected groups in the world, Interpol, like any other police force is under gov­ernmental control to safeguard the basic rights of every citizen. It oper­ates according to a strict code of behaviour and adheres to the highest ethical standards.

Interpol has never been recognized or established by any interna­tional charter or treaty and has no police powers. Because of Interpol's cooperation with the UN particularly in the area of drugs, Interpol was recognized as an intergovernmental organization.

Interpol members are, for the most part, police and not govern­mental representatives, although certain governments have sent ob­servers from their military, intelligence, customs, post office, and im­migration departments.

Interpol does not have powers of arrest or any investigative rights. Its function is to disseminate information. Interpol is much like any large corporation with bureaus in various countries and with representatives from these offices also stationed at the main office.

Interpol is divided into four main bodies - the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, the General Secretariat and the National Central Bureaus.

The General Assembly is composed of the delegates from each member country. It is «the Supreme Authority». The General Assembly controls the policy of the organization.

The Executive Committee is a nine-member board made-up of the president, two vice-presidents, and six delegates chosen by the General Assembly.

The General Secretariat, the permanent body is Interpol's business division. It contains the «permanent departments» four of which specialize in certain crimes: one handles murder, burglary, assault, larceny, car theft, and missing persons; another deals with bank frauds and other types of embezzlement; a third with drug traffic and morals offenses; and a fourth deals with forgery and counterfeiting.

The National Central Bureaus are the Interpol offices in various countries. Each NCB is empowered to communicate directly with and exchange information with any other NCB.




The English word " law" refers to limits upon various forms of behavior. Some laws are descriptive: they simply describe how people, or even natural phenomena, usually behave. Other laws are prescriptive–they prescribe how people ought to behave.

In all societies, relations between people are regulated by prescriptive laws. Some of them are customs, some are rules and some are precise laws made by nations and enforced against all citizens within their power.

When governments make laws for their citizens, they use a system of courts backed by the power of the police to enforce these laws.

What motives do governments have in making and enforcing laws? Social control is undoubtedly one purpose. Without laws there would be anarchy in society.

Another purpose is the implementation of justice. Justice is a concept that most people feel is very important but few are able to define. Sometimes a just decision is simply a decision that most people feel is fair. But in general, governments are guided by more practical considerations such as rising crime rates or the lobbying of pressure groups.

Sometimes laws are simply an attempt to implement common sense. But in order to be enforced, common sense needs to be defined in law, and when definitions are being written, it becomes clear that common sense is not such a simple matter. Instead, it is a complex skill based upon long observation of many different people in different situations.

In practice, governments are neither institutions solely interested in retaining power, nor clear-thinking bodies implementing justice and common sense. They combine many purposes and inherit many traditions. The laws that they make and enforce reflect this confusion.

The laws made by the government of one country are often very different from the laws of another country. But although there is a growing body of international law, the law today is, to a large extent, a complex of different and relatively independent national systems.

Despite major revisions over the centuries, the legal system of England and Wales is one of the oldest still operating in the modern world. (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own internal legal systems, although many laws made by the British government operate throughout Britain.) English law has directly influenced the law of former British colonies such as Australia, India, Canada and the nation where law plays a bigger part in everyday life than anywhere else, the United States.



Sources of modern law


Each country in the world, even each state of the United States, has its own system of law. There are two main traditions of law in the world. One is based on English Common law, and has been adopted by many Commonwealth countries and most of the United States. The other tradition, sometimes known as Continental, or Roman law, has developed in most of continental Europe, Latin America and many countries in Asia and Africa which have been strongly influenced by Europe.

Common law, or case law systems, particularly that of England, differ from Continental law in having developed gradually throughout history, not as the result of government attempts to define or codify every legal relation. Customs and court rulings have been as important as statutes (government legislation). Judges do not merely apply the law, in some cases they make law, since their interpretations may become precedents for other courts to follow.

Before William of Normandy invaded England in 1066 uniform application of the law throughout the country was promoted by the gradual development of the doctrine of precedent.

By this principle, judges attempted to apply existing customs and laws to each new case, rather than looking to the government to write new laws. The doctrine of precedent is still a central feature of modern common law systems. Courts are bound by the decisions of previous courts unless it can be shown that the facts differ from previous cases.

Another important feature of the common law tradition is equity. This system recognized rights that were not enforced as common law but which were considered " equitable".

When the government feels that existing common law, equity, or statutes are in need of revision or clarification, it passes new legislation.

Continental systems are sometimes known as codified legal systems. They have resulted from attempts by governments to produce a set of codes to govern every legal aspect of a citizen's life. The lawmakers of new nations sometimes wanted to show that the legal rights of their citizens originated in the state, not in local customs, and thus it was the state that was to make law, not the courts. In order to separate the roles of the legislature and judiciary, it was necessary to make laws that were clear and comprehensive.


Civil and public law


One important distinction made in all these countries is between private– or civil law 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:

Contracts: binding agreements between people (or companies);

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

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

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

Family Law.


The main categories of public law are:

Crimes: 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 itself 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.




Criminal Law


Crime is categorized as a part of public law – the law regulating the relations between citizens and the state. Crimes can be thought of as acts which the state considers to be wrong and which can be punished by the state.

In many legal systems it is an important principle that a person cannot be considered guilty of a crime until the state proves he committed it. The suspect himself need not prove anything, although he will of course help himself if he can show evidence of his innocence. The state must prove his guilt according to high standards, and for each crime there are precise elements which must be proven. In codified systems, these elements are usually recorded in statutes. In common law systems, the elements of some crimes are detailed in statutes; others, known as " common law crimes, " are still described mostly in case law.

There are usually two important elements to a crime: (i) the criminal act itself; and (ii) the criminal state of mind of the person when he committed the act. In Anglo-American law these are known by the Latin terms of (i) Actus Reus and (ii) Mens Rea. The differences between these can be explained by using the crime of murder as an example.

In English law there is a rather long common law definition of murder: The unlawful killing of a human being under the Queen's Peace, with malice aforethought, so that the victim dies within a year and a day.

Malice aforethought refers to the mens rea of the crime and is a way of saying that the murderer intended to commit a crime.

The rest of the murder definition refers to the actus reus. The prosecution must show that the suspect did in fact cause the death of someone.

In deciding if the defendant's act caused death, the court must be sure that the act was a substantial cause of the result.

In general, if the prosecution fails to prove either actus or mens, the court must decide there was no crime and the case is over.

If actus and mens have been proved, a defendant may still avoid guilt if he can show he has a defense a reason the court should excuse his act.

Different systems of law recognize different and usually limited sets of defenses. For example, English law sometimes allow the defense of duress –being forced to commit a crime because of threats that you or someone else will be harmed if you don't. Another defense is that of insanity. In most countries a person cannot be found guilty of a crime if in a doctor's opinion he cannot have been responsible for his actions because of mental illness. Nearly every system of law recognizes the defense of self-defense.

Although most criminal laws in the world refer to acts of violence or theft, there are laws regulating almost every kind of human behavior.





Crimes against the person include homicide, assault, battery, and rape. All of those crimes are serious offenses. A defendant found guilty of one of them may receive a harsh sentence. However, the law also protects the defendant by defining various levels of these crimes and by considering the circumstances of each offense.

Homicide – the killing of one human being by another – is the most serious of all acts. Homicides may be either noncriminal or criminal.

Some homicides are not crimes at all. Noncriminal homicide is a killing that is justifiable or excusable and for which the killer is deemed faultless. Examples of noncriminal homicide include the killing of an enemy soldier in wartime, the killing of a condemned criminal by an executioner, the killing by a police officer of a person who is committing a serious crime and who poses a threat of death or serious harm, and a killing performed in self-defense or in defense of another.

Criminal homicide murder, the most serious form of criminal homicide, is a killing that is done with malice. Malice means having the intent to kill or seriously harm. At one time, there were no de­grees of murder. Any homicide done with malice was considered to be murder and was punishable by death. To reduce the punishment for less grievous homicides, most states now have statutes that clas­sify murder according to the killer's state of mind or the circum­stances surrounding the crime.

First-degree murder is a killing that is premeditated (thought about beforehand), deliberate, and done with malice (that is, with in­tent to kill).

Second-degree murder is a killing that is done with malice but without premeditation. That is, the intent to kill did not exist until just before the murder took place.

Felony murder is a killing that takes place during the commission of certain felonies, such as arson, rape, robbery, or burglary. It is not necessary to prove intent to kill; felony murder includes most killing committed during a felony, even if the killing is accidental. Most states consider felony murder to be first-degree murder.

Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing committed under circumstances that mitigate (lessen), but do not justify or excuse, the killing. Manslaughter is based on the idea that even " the reasonable person" may lose self-control and act rashly if sufficiently provoked.

Involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing resulting from conduct so reckless that it causes extreme danger of death or bodily injury. An example is a killing that results from playing with a gun known to be loaded.

Negligent homicide is the causing of death through criminal negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable or ordinary amount of care in a situation that causes harm to someone.



The category of crimes against property includes crimes in which property is destroyed (such as arson and vandalism) and crimes in which property is stolen or otherwise taken against the will of the owner (such as robbery and embezzlement).

Arson is the willful and malicious burning of another person's property.

Vandalism is willful destruc­tion of, or damage to, the property of another.It includes such things as breaking windows, ripping down fences, flooding basements, and breaking off car aerials.

Larceny is the unlawful taking and carrying away of the property of another with intent to steal it. In most states, larceny is divided into two classes, grand and petty, depending on the value of the stolen item.The crime of larceny also includes keeping lost property when a reasonable method exists for finding the owner.

Shoplifting is a form of larceny. It is the crime of taking items from a store without paying or intending to pay for them.

Embezzlement is the unlawful taking of property by someone to whom it was entrusted. For example, the bank teller who takes money from the cash drawer or the stockbroker who takes money that should have been invested are both guilty of embezzlement.

Robbery is the unlawful taking of property from a person's imme­diate possession by force or intimidation. Though included here as a crime against property, robbery, unlike other theft offenses, involves two harms: theft of property and actual or potential physical harm to the victim.

Extortion popularly called blackmail, is the use of threats to ob­tain the property of another. Extortion statutes generally cover threats to do future physical harm, destroy property (for example, " I'll burn down your barn unless you pay me $500" ), or injure some­one's character or reputation.

Burglary was originally defined as breaking and entering the dwelling of another during the night with intent to commit a felony. Modern laws have broadened the definition to include the unautho­rized entry into any structure with the intent to commit a crime, re­gardless of the time of day.

Forgery is a crime in which a person falsely makes or alters a writing or document with intent to defraud. This usually means signing, without permission, the name of another person to a check or some other document.

Receiving Stolen Property. If you receive or buy property that you know or have reason to believe is stolen, you have committed the crime of receiving stolen property.

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. Several crimes may occur when a person unlawfully takes a motor vehicle without the owner's consent. The crime of unauthorized use of a vehicle (UUV) is committed if the person only intends to take the vehicle temporarily.

Computer Crime


Computer crime is broadly defined as unauthorized access to, use of, alteration of, or taking of another person's computer systems or files. This activity is illegal even if the person does not intend to do any harm.

Corporate and government computer systems are the most popu­lar targets of computer crime. Some people who work for corpora­tions or the government may try to sell information to business rivals or foreign governments. Others may use computers to embezzle money.

Most of those who gain unauthorized access to computer systems are " hackers." Hackers, sometimes high-school or college-age per­sons, intentionally try to break into computer systems. Once hackers enter a system, they usually look at confidential or classified files. Occasionally, a hacker may copy a file and distribute it. Hackers an­nually cause an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to computer files. There is disagreement on how hackers should be punished. Many persons feel that hackers are dangerous and should receive jail terms and pay large fines like other white-collar criminals. Oth­ers argue that hackers break into systems as a hobby, do not intend any harm, and can be rehabilitated.

Some hackers release " viruses" or " worms" into computer systems. Viruses are computer programs designed to play practical jokes or destroy data and damage computer files. Worms are designed to slow down computer systems but not to destroy data. Both viruses and worms are prohibited by computer crime laws.

The federal government (USA) has also been carefully watching comput­er bulletin board systems. Bulletin boards allow users to exchange computer files and messages using computers and modems. Some of these bulletin boards make commercial software programs available to users. However, making the programs available without the pub­lisher's permission is illegal.

Another type of computer crime occurs when someone illegally copies software he or she has purchased. Software companies lose over $2 billion each year to illegal copying. A person who opens a software package is agreeing to use the software on one computer only. This person is allowed to make copies of the software only to use as a backup. Placing software on more than one computer with­out the publisher's permission is illegal and violates federal copyright laws. The violator is subject to a possible jail term and a fine of up to $250, 000. Violators can include individuals, businesses, and schools.

Despite the attention given to computer crimes, most probably go unreported. Many companies are reluctant to publicize their vulner­ability to computer criminals. Also, many are discouraged by the re­sources and time needed to prosecute individuals.



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