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In all legal systems there are institutions for creating, modifying, abolishing and applying the law. Usually these take the form of a hierarchy of courts. The role of each court and its capacity to make decisions is strictly defined in relation to other courts.

We can use the English system as an example of how courts relate to one another. In general, the division between civil and criminal law is reflected in this system. The Crown Courts, for example, deal exclusively with criminal matters, the County Courts, with civil. However, the Queen's Bench Division of the High Courtconsiders appeals from lower criminal courts, as well as civil matters, and the Magistrates Courts, while mostly concerned with criminal cases, also deal with some civil matters. The highest court, the House of Lords, deals with all matters (including appeals from Scottish and Northern Irish courts).

A criminal case usually begins in a Magistrates Court. Having arrested someone suspected of committing a crime, the police must decide if they have enough evidence to make a formal accusation, or charge. As the lowest criminal court, a Magistrates Court is empowered to hear certain cases only. Some minor cases, such as parking violations, are dealt with only by the magistrates. Some serious crimes, like murder, cannot be heard by the magistrates and must go to the Crown Courts. And there are some offences where the defendant is given the choice of having his case heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. It takes much longer to have a case heard in the Crown Court, but some defendants prefer it because the facts of the case are decided by a jury, that is, ordinary members of the public.

In a Crown Court trial there are twelve jurors. These are ordinary members of the public between the ages of 18 and 70 who are selected at random. It is not necessary for a juror to know anything about the law. This is because the job of the jury is to listen to the case and to decide questions of fact.It is the judge's responsibility to guide them on questions of law.

In addition to the courts mentioned above, there are numerous special courts which have been established to make decisions in particular types of dispute. For example, special industrial tribunals deal with disputes over contracts and sexual discrimination in employment matters.

Appeals. A defendant found guilty by the magistrates may appeal against the finding or against the punishment to the local Crown Court, and the Crown, Court judge will hear the appeal without a jury. If a defendant has good reason to believe the magistrates have made a mistake about a point of law, then he may appeal to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. Appeals from the Crown Court go first to the High Court and, in special cases, to the Court of Appeal. Occasionally, a case is carried through this system of appeal all the way to the House of Lords.


Law is also made by courts. The USA system of law, which originated in England, gives courts lawmaking power. In this system, court deci­sions establish legal principles and rules of law known as common law.

There are two types of courts in the United States: trial and ap­peals. Trial courts listen to testimony, consider evidence, and de­cide the facts in disputed situations. In a trial, there are two parties (sides) to each case. In a civil trial, the party initiating the legal ac­tion is called the plaintiff. In a criminal trial, the government (state or federal) initiates the case and serves as the prosecutor. In both civil and criminal trials, the party responding to the plaintiff (civil) or prosecution (criminal) is called the defendant. Once a trial court has made a decision, the losing party may be able to appeal the deci­sion to an appellate, or appeals, court.

The most important precedents are es­tablished by the U.S. Supreme Court, where nine justices hear each case and a majority rules. All United States courts must follow U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court does not consider all appeals that are brought to it. It rules only on the most important cases. The nine U.S. Supreme Court justices are nominated by the presi­dent and confirmed by the Senate.


There are two separate court sys­tems in the United States – federal and state. Federal courts hear criminal and civil cases involving federal law. They also hear cases involving parties from different states when the amount in dispute is more than $10, 000. Federal trial courts are known as U.S. District Courts. If you lose a trial in the U.S. District Court, you may be able to appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in your region. The United States has thirteen circuit courts. The court of final appeal is the U.S. Supreme Court.

Most state court systems resemble the federal courts in structure and procedure. All states have trial courts. These are called superior, county, district, or municipal courts, depending on the state. State courts are often specialized to deal with specific legal areas, such as family, traffic, criminal, probate, and small claims. Family or domestic relations courts hearactions involving divorce, separation, and child custody. Cases involving juveniles and intrafamily offenses (fights within families) may also be heard. Some­times, cases involving juveniles are heard in a special juvenile court. Traffic courts hear actions involving violations committed by persons driving motor vehicles. Criminal courts hear cases involving viola­tions of laws for which the violators could go to jail. Frequently, crim­inal court is divided between felony and misdemeanor cases. Probate courts handle cases involving wills and claims against the estates of persons who die with or without a will. Small claims courts hear cases involving small amounts of money (maximums of $500, $750, $1, 000, or more, depending on the state).


Every crime is made up of certain elements. Elements are the conditions that make an act a crime. A crime cannot be committed unless all its elements are fulfilled. For example, robbery is defined as the unlawful taking of goods or money from someone's person by force or intimidation. Thus, the elements of robbery are (1) the tak­ing of goods or money, (2) the use of force or intimidation, and (3) the lack of consent of the person from whom the goods or money are taken.

Almost all crimes require an act and an intent. Criminal intent means that the person intended or meant to commit a crime. If a person acts because of a mistake or some other innocent reason, there is no criminal intent.

A few crimes are strict liability offenses. These crimes do not re­quire criminal intent. Strict liability offenses make the act itself a crime regardless of the knowledge of the person committing the act. For example, the law makes it illegal to sell alcoholic beverages to minors. This is true regardless of whether or not the seller knew the buyer was underage.

In the USA there are both state and federal criminal laws. Some acts, such as simple assault, disorderly conduct, drunk driving, and shoplifting, can be prosecuted only in a state court unless they occur on federal property, such as a national park. Other acts, such as failure to pay federal taxes, mail fraud, espionage, and international smuggling, can be prosecuted only in a federal court. Certain crimes, such as illegal possession of dangerous drugs and bank robbery, can violate both state and federal law and can be prosecuted in either state or federal court.

Crimes are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. A felonyis a crime for which the penalty is imprisonment for more than one year. Felonies are usually the more serious crimes. A misdemeanor is any crime for which the penalty is imprisonment for one year or less. Minor traffic violations are not considered crimes, although they are punishable by law.

Parties to Crimes.The person who commits a crime is called the principal. For example, the person who fires the gun in a murder is the principal. An accomplice is someone who helps another person to commit a crime. An accomplice may be charged with and convicted of the same crime as the principal. A person who orders a crime or who helps the principal commit the crime but who is not present is known as an accessory before the fact. This person can usually be charged with the same crime, and can receive the same punishment, as the principal. An accessory after the fact is a per­son who, knowing a crime has been committed, helps the principal or an accomplice avoid capture or escape. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime. The designation of conspiracy as a crime is meant to prevent other crimes and to strike against criminal activity by groups.



There are several kinds of punishment available to the courts. In civil cases, the most common punishment is a fine, but specific performance and injunctions may also be ordered. For criminal offenses fines are also often used when the offense is not a very serious one and when the offender has not been in trouble before. Another kind of punishment available in some countries is community service. This requires the offender to do a certain amount of unpaid work, usually for a social institution such as a hospital. For more serious crimes the usual punishment is imprisonment. The length of sentences varies from a few days to a lifetime. However, a life sentence may allow the prisoner to be released after a suitably long period if a review (parole) board agrees his detention no longer serves a purpose.

In some countries there is also corporal punishment(physical). In Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, among others, courts may sentence offenders to be caned or whipped. In Saudi Arabia theft and possession of alcohol may be punished by cutting off the offender's hand or foot.

The ultimate penalty is death (capital punishment). It is carried out by hanging (Kenya, for example); electrocution, gassing or lethal injection (U.S.); beheading or stoning (Saudi Arabia); or shooting (China). Although most countries still have a death penalty, 35 (including almost every European nation) have abolished it; 18 retain it only for exceptional crimes such as wartime offences; and 27 no longer carry out executions even when a death sentence has been passed. In other words, almost half the countries of the world have ceased to use the death penalty.

Supporters of capital punishment believe that death is a just punishment for certain serious crimes. Many also believe that it deters others from committing such crimes. Opponents argue that execution is cruel and uncivilized. Capital punishment involves not only the pain of dying (James Autry took ten minutes to die of lethal injection in Texas, 1984) but also the mental anguish of waiting, sometimes for years, to know if and when the sentence will be carried out. Opponents also argue that there is no evidence that it deters people from committing murder anymore than imprisonment does. A further argument is that, should a mistake be made, it is too late to rectify it once the execution has taken place. In 1987, two academics published a study showing that 23 innocent people had been executed in the United States. As the debate about capital punishment continues, the phenomenon of death row(people sentenced but still alive) increases. In 1991, no one was executed in Japan, but three people were sentenced to death, bringing the total number on death row to fifty. Sakae Menda lived under sentence of death for thirty three years before obtaining a retrial and being found not guilty. The debate also involves the question of what punishment is for. Is it revenge or retribution? Is it to keep criminals out of society? Or is it to reform and rehabilitate them?



Now I am a cadet of the Voronezh Institute of the Russian Ministry of the Interior. I am a future militia officer. I'd like to work as a detective. As to my friend Alex he is going to work as an investigator. Our graduates work in all militia services. Before entering the Militia Institute some students worked in militia, so they know this work. We all consider this work to be necessary and important while crime exists in our country.

The principal task of our militia is to fight crime. And one of the main duties of militia officers is to prevent crime. But if a crime has been committed the militia officers should do all they can to detect the offender; it means to locate and apprehend him.

We know that quick and accurate solution of a crime greatly de­pends on the professional skills of the investigating officers, on their training. That is why we try to master a special course of Detective Ac­tivity, various branches of Law, Criminalistics, Crime Psychology and many other special subjects. Nobody can say what crime you will have to face tomorrow, so the militia officers should be educated persons. It is not so easy to investigate crimes, it is difficult to trace and locate criminals. We must know how to interview witnesses, interrogate crimi­nals, we learn all that at our Institute.

Very often the solution of a crime is in the crime scene. When the investigatorarrives at the crime scene he examines the scene very care­fully. He makes a plan of the investigation. All the evidence in the crime scene must be found, collected and preserved for court presenta­tion. The effectiveness of an investigator largely depends upon his ability to obtain information. The elements of the offence must be established. Identification must be obtained. The investigator works in close coop­eration with other officers of the operative group.

The officer of the Criminal Detection Department(a detective) is responsible for the detection of the perpetrator. A great part of detective work is devoted to «finding» missing or wanted person. The search for a person may be a simple matter, but in many cases, however, it may be­come a complicated task. The solving of a case frequently depends upon locating the perpetrator. The proper presentation of a case in court in­volves the discovery and identification of witnesses. The detective also takes measures for search, discovery and seizure of the stolen property and instruments of the crime.

There are some people in our society who don't want to live an honest life, who try to profit at the expense of our state. The task of an officer of Economic Crimes Departmentis to reveal the criminal activity of such people and to provide their punishment. Some of us will work as divisional inspectors.The divisional in­spectors are responsible for maintaining public order in their areas.

Our future work whatever it would be is noble and necessary. Our objective is to protect life and property of our people.


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2. Англо-русский словарь (Под ред. Мюллера В.К.). – М., 1991.

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4. Булынина М.М., Бурова Л.И., Гамова О.Л. Сборник упражнений по грамматике английского языка для слушателей спецвуза МВД РФ. – Воронеж, 1997.

5. Бурова З.И., Учебник английского языка для гуманитарных вузов. – М., 1980.

6. Бурова Л.И., Кавнатская Е.В. Краткий справочник по грамматике англий­ского языка для слушателей спецвуза МВД РФ. – Воронеж, 1996.

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Гуманитарное знание, ТЕИС, 1996.

8. Зенина Л.Н. Сборник текстов для чтения на английском языке для слушателей ЮФ спецвуза МВД РФ, ч. 1-П – Воронеж, 1994-1996.

9. Игнатова Т.Н. Английский язык. Интенсивный курс. – М., 1992.

10. Киселева О.В., Гамова О.Л. Экскурс по США. – Воронеж, 1997.

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17. Солодовченко Л.Н. Практическая разработка по устной теме «О себе» для слушателей I курса ВВШ МВД РФ (на англ. яз). – Воронеж, 1993.

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20. Price Т. Mastering Business Law. – London: Macmillan Press LTD, 1995.



Требования к зачету

К зачету за первый год обучения допускаются слушатели, выполнившие контрольную работу №1 и весь объем лексико-грамматических и текстовых заданий на аудиторных практических занятиях.

Формы контроля: лексико-грамматический тест, письменный или устный перевод текста по тематике раздела 2 тематического плана. Норма перевода – 1000 п.зн. в час (письменно) или 1200 п.зн. в час (устно).

Требования к экзамену


К итоговому экзамену допускаются слушатели, имеющие зачет за первый год обучения, выполнившие контрольную работу №2 и весь объем текстовых заданий на аудиторных практических занятиях.


Содержание экзамена

1. Чтение и полный письменный перевод со словарем оригинального текста по специальности (1800п.зн.).

2. Чтение без словаря и передача содержания на русском языке текста по широкому профилю вуза (1200п.зн.).

3. Устная беседа на иностранном языке с преподавателем по профессиональной, бытовой и страноведческой тематике.

Перечень вопросов к итоговому экзамену по английскому языку:

1. Учеба в специализированном вузе ФСИН РФ.

2.Профессиональная деятельность сотрудника уголовно-исполнительной системы.

3. Государственное устройство Великобритании, США.

4. Судебная система Великобритании, США.

5. Организация полицейской службы в Великобритании, США.

6. Система наказания в Великобритании, США.

7. Международные правоохранительные организации.






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