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What is law?




Кафедра иностранных языков и русского языка как иностранного

Журавлева Е.В.

English for Law students

Part I

Английский для юристов III курс, часть I


 

CONTENT

CHAPTER I. LAW AND ORDER........................................................................................................ 3

What is law?................................................................................................................................... 3

The Need For Law............................................................................................................................. 8

Reader’s Corner: THE SYSTEM OF LAW IN RUSSIA....................................................................... 17

The Customs Law........................................................................................................................... 19

Grammar Review 1 – All Tenses Active. Conditionals.................................................................. 22

Conditionals 1, 2, 3....................................................................................................................... 24

Chapter II. Political Systems................................................................................................ 28

British Political System................................................................................................................. 28

American Political System............................................................................................................ 32

Choose your project...................................................................................................................... 36

Reader’s Corner : THE STATE SYSTEM OF RUSSIA........................................................................ 37

Grammar Review 2 – Prepositions of Place, Movement, Time...................................................... 42

Chapter III. Lawmaking Process.......................................................................................... 45

Lawmaking process in Britain....................................................................................................... 45



Lawmaking process in the United States........................................................................................ 45

Reader’s Corner: ENFORCING THE LAW....................................................................................... 51

Grammar Review 3 – Passive Voice................................................................................................ 55

Литература................................................................................................................................ 60


CHAPTER I. LAW AND ORDER

Warming-up

Are laws for ordinary people or for lawyers?
Do you always observe the law?
Do you think laws change in the course of time?

 

Read the text

What is law?

The English word “law” refers to limits upon various forms of behaviour. Some laws are descriptive: they simply describe how people, or even natural phenomena, usually behave. An example is the rather consistent law of gravity; another is the less consistent laws of economics. Other laws are prescriptive - they prescribe how people ought to behave. For example, the speed limits imposed upon drivers prescribe how fast we should drive. They rarely describe how fast we actually do drive, of course.



In all societies, relations between people are regulated by prescriptive laws. Some of them are customs - that is, informal rules of social and moral behaviour. Some are rules we accept if we belong to particular social institutions, such as religious, educational and cultural groups. And some are precise laws made by nations and enforced against all citizens within their power.

Customs need not be made by governments, and they need not be written down. We learn how we are expected to behave in society through the instruction of family and teachers, the advice of friends, and our experiences in dealing with strangers. Sometimes, we can break these rules without suffering any penalty. But if we continually break the rules, or break a very important one, other members of society may ridicule us, act violently towards us or refuse to have anything to do with us. The ways in which people talk, eat and drink, work and relax together are usually called customs.

Order is rich in meaning. Let's start with “law and order”. Maintaining order in this sense means establishing the rule of law to preserve life and to protect property. To the seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588—1679), preserving life was the most important function of law. He described life without law as life in a “state of nature”. Without rules people would live like predators, stealing and killing for personal benefit.

The basic function of law, then, is to provide rules governing people in their relationships with others so that all people may live in maximum harmony. Every law restricts a person’s freedom to some extent, but these restrictions are usually necessary so that all people may have greater freedom.




Ex.1. Practice saying these words.

[L] [W] [Ou]
law word imposed
ought refer social
enforced work most
important preserve so
  personal  
  learn  

 

[w] [D] [N]
word rather belong
between another meaning
with within establishing
without together stealing
ways   killing
would    

 

Ex.2. Use the text and give the English equivalents for:

1. различные формы поведения –

2. природное явление –

3. предписывать что-то –

4. описывать что-то –

5. ограничение скорости –

6. обычаи –

7. нарушать правила –

8. понести наказание –

9. высмеять, смеяться над кем-то –

10. поддерживать, сохранять порядок –

11. сохранять жизнь –

12. защищать собственность –

13. жить подобно хищникам –

14. ограничивать свободу –

15. необходимые ограничения –
Ex.3. Read the text again and answer the questions.

1. What does the English word “law” refer to?

2. What kinds of laws do you know?

3. What are descriptive laws like?

4. What do prescriptive laws do?

5. Which laws are relations between people regulated by?

6. What can these laws be like?

7. How do we learn customs?

8. What may happen if we continually break the rules?

9. What does “maintaining order” mean?

10. What was the most important function of law to Thomas Hobbes?

11. How did he describe life without law?

12. How would people live without rules?

13. What is the basic function of law?

14. What does every law restrict?

15. Why are these restrictions necessary?

Ex.4. Read the text again and correct these statements.

e.g. The English word “law” refers to limits upon various forms of thinking.
The English word “law” does not refer to limits upon various forms of thinking.
The English word “law” refers to limits upon various forms of behaviour.

1. Descriptive laws simply describe how people look.

2. Prescriptive laws prescribe how people ought to run.

3. In all societies relations between people are regulated by descriptive laws.

4. We learn customs through the Constitution.

5. The ways in which people talk, eat and work are called laws.

6. Order is poor in meaning.

7. To Thomas Hobbes, destroying life was the most important function of law.

8. Without rules people would live like “angels”.

9. Every law extends a person’s freedom.

10. These restrictions are usually useless.

Ex.5. Use the text and fill in the gaps with the proper prepositions.

1. The English word “law” refers ______ limits _______ various forms _______ behaviour.

2. We accept some rules if we belong _______ particular social institutions.

3. And some are precise laws made _____ nations and enforced ____ all citizens _____ their power.

4. The ways ____ which people talk, eat and drink, work and relax together are usually called customs.

5. Order is rich ____ meaning. Let’s start _____ “law and order”.

6. He described life _____ law as life _____ “a state ______ nature”.

7. The basic function ___ law, then, is to provide rules governing people ____ their relationships ____ others.

8. Every law restricts a person’s freedom ____ some extent.

 

Ex.6. Match these words with their definitions.

1. law a) general accepted behaviour in a social group
2. limit b) a statement explaining what someone can or cannot do in a particular system, game or situation
3. order c) the way that people or animals act
4. rule d) the state of things when law or authority is obeyed
5. custom e) an official rule that controls the way things are done
6. penalty f) the people who live in a country, their organization and their way of life
7. regulation g) an official rule that all the citizens of the country must obey
8. behaviour h) the group of people who are officially responsible for controlling the country
9. society i) a punishment that someone is given for doing something which is against a law or rule
10. government j) a point beyond which a person or thing cannot go

 


Ex.7. Fill in the gaps in the table

Verb Noun Adjective
1) 2) Various
describe 3) 4)
prescribe 5) 6)
  religion 7)
educate 8) 9)
ridicule 10) 11)

 

Ex.8. Use your answers in Ex.3 and get ready to retell the text.

 


Read the text


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