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LECTURE I ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH LEGAL SYSTEM In order to speak about the origins of the English legal system,

the first thing that we have to clarify is the notion of English law. The United Kingdom is made up of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In turn, Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales. All of these countries had different bodies of law and various legal traditions and customs which co-existed or still co-exist. Only between England and Wales has a fusion of laws taken place, so the notions of English law and the English legal system cover the law and legal system in application in England and Wales. English law is made up of written laws, called statutes or Acts of Parliament and, mainly, of a huge amount of case-law, generally referred to as common law, even if it includes both common law and equity.


Common law did not exist at the time of the Norman Conquest. Before 1066, Anglo-Saxon law consisted in local customs applied by assemblies of free men, called county courts. Before William I conquered England, the country was socially atomized. There were local laws and institutions, which often reflected the customs and traditions of previous invading cultures, such as the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, etc. For instance, in Kent, the English region settled by the Jutes, the custom of intestate succession dictated that the land was to be divided equally amongst the sons, whereas elsewhere the land would be assigned to the eldest son. What is surprising is the fact that this Kentish custom survived as an anomaly of the law of intestate succession until the 1025 reforms. Yet, the Norman Conquest changed very little in terms of the local administration of local laws and customs. What the Norman Conquest brought new was the development of a legal principle, namely that tenure of land implied jurisdiction. In this way the feudal lords created their own feudal courts, presiding over the administration of their lands and those who worked then. These feudal courts were called baronial or manorial courts. By virtue of the hierarchical organization of the feudal society, courts were also subject to a hierarchy. What did that mean in practice? Well, it meant that the highest court was the Kings court because the King, as the owner of the land, was the one who gave land directly to the highest nobles of the realm called Tenants in Chief. In turn, the Tenants in chief gave land to the lower lords, so the Kings court had jurisdiction over the Tenants in Chief, while the tenants in Chief had jurisdiction over the other feudal lords. But these courts, too, applied local customary law. Parallel to the feudal courts, ecclesiastical courts were also created, where cases were settled by canon law, namely religious law common to all Christendom. Williams successors managed to make the system more efficient by creating a more centralized and specialized form of government. This was achieved in two ways: (i) by delegating the royal judicative power to itinerant justices, organized in circuits, who would travel around the country holding sittings (Assizes) to hear and settle cases to be tried in the county towns and enforce the kings rights. The first of

these circuits were designed to raise royal revenue by enforcing the financial rights of the crown and by causing justice to be done, the more so as forfeitures, fines and amercements became an important source of royal revenue; (ii) three static royal courts of justice (Curia Regis) were created, located at Westminster. These were the Court of the Exchequer, specialized in the questions of royal finance (you can now understand why the British minister of finance is called the Chancellor of the Exchequer), the Court of Common Pleas which had a wide first instance jurisdiction in ordinary litigation among subjects and the Court of Kings Bench which had an appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over all royal justice, except that within the jurisdiction of the Exchequer. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the royal court of justice had limited jurisdiction, as disputes were normally brought before the feudal courts or the ecclesiastical courts. The Kings court only heard cases in exceptional circumstances, it was a court for important personalities and important disputes (eg. when the peace of the kingdom was threatened). Later on, the same judges sat at Westminster as sat on the Assizes, so there was a high degree of uniformity in the decisions made in the static and itinerant courts. The jurisdiction of these courts was extended until it became common to the whole kingdom. Therefore, the law created by this jurisdiction came to be known as common law (common to the whole of England). Thus, given its origins, common law can be defined as the general law contained in decided cases, as opposed to Acts of Parliament. It is that part of the law of England formulated, developed and administered by the old common law courts, based originally on the common customs and it is unwritten. It is the body of customary law, resting upon judicial decisions and embodied in reports of decided cases. It is the law administered by the common-law courts of England since the Middle Ages. From this body of law has evolved the type of legal system found also in the United States (except for Louisiana) , Australia, Canada (except for Quebec), Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, new Zealand, Pakistan, Tanzania, the Bahamas and Zambia. Common law is to be distinguished from the law created by the enactment of the legislative bodies. It comprises the body of principles and rules of action, relating to the government and security of persons of property, which derives their authority solely from customs or from the judgments and decrees issued by the courts. Common law is also to be distinguished from ecclesiastical law, because it is the system of jurisprudence administered by the purely secular tribunals. In this sense, common law is based on the above-mentioned hierarchy of the in all the jurisdictions and the principle of binding precedent, which in practice means that the decision of a higher court is binding in a lower court, that is the decision must be followed and in the course of a trial judges may refer to existing precedents. Judges may also consider decisions given in lower courts, but they are not bound to follow them. Nevertheless, a decision made by a court of equal or greater status must be applied if it is to the point, that is relevant or pertinent. In other words, during a trial the current case will be compared to other cases and it will be distinguished from other cases referred to or it will be considered similar, namely it will be argued that the rule at law reasoned and established in a previous case is applicable and should be followed. Hence the term case law. The precedent is the rule of law which the first instance judge relied on in determining the outcome of the case.

Initially, to submit a claim to the royal courts, which were above local problems and more impartial than the other courts. The plaintiff had to request the Chancellor to deliver a writ by which the royal courts could be seized of the matter. In the 12th and 13th centuries, writs were granted only for certain types of cases, already listed. For instance, in 1227 there were only 56 writs, but later on the list was augmented. Yet, until the mid-19th century, the royal courts of Westminster only heard cases submitted to them on the basis of the writs created in the 13th century. What is important to notice is that the royal courts tried to unify the different local customs, although they heard cases coming from all parts of the country. The common law thus created involved a very formalistic procedure, as it was necessary that the case should correspond exactly to one on the list. After obtaining a writ, the claimant had to follow a very rigid procedure which was different for every writ. If there was only a slight procedural mistake the case was dismissed or a nonsuit decision was issued. Nevertheless, those forms of action were abolished in 18731875 by Acts of Parliament called Acts of Judicature. These Acts established a uniform procedure for all ordinary actions. But until this solution was found the procedure was so rigid that an alternative solution to obtain justice had to be found, namely equity. Other meanings of common law

The whole law of England, including ecclesiastical, maritime and mercantile law, as administered in England, as distinct from that of all other countries In French and German law, common law (droit commun) refers to the law common to the whole area of the state as distinct from local or regional customs. The description of the general system of law within a national jurisdiction. In this sense it is contrasted with the notion of civil law jurisdiction, namely the system of law developed from Roman law.


Equity is a body of rules that evolved mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries to complete the common law system which had become insufficient and defective. When the royal courts applying the common law could not be seized of a case or could not provide an adequate remedy, it was possible to request the king, by appealing to his conscience, to intervene as sovereign justiciar. The King would delegate his powers to a Chancellor but neither of them intervened to create new rules of law, they only intervened in the name of morality. The office of Chancellor (more recently Lord Chancellor) has an ancient history. Initially, the cancellarius (from Latin cancellus which meant a bar) was an usher who served at the bar of a Roman court. Later an, a more illustrious form of this was to be found in the court of Charlemagne and was transported to England by the time of Edward the Confessor, where he became the Kings right-hand man and the most powerful official in the realm. The Lord Chancellor headed the royal secretariat (called the Chancery) and was responsible for the used and custody of the Great Seal of the Realm. He was

also closely associated with the administration of justice, being an important member of the Kings Council whose duty was to consider and adjudicate upon petitions addressed to the Council by subjects who sought justice from it as the body most close to the king. Petitions might be presented for a variety of reasons, but mostly by people who had failed to obtain justice in the common law courts. In every day language, equity means natural justice, but this definition does not cover the meaning acquired by this concept. As already stated, equity was inspired by ideas of natural justice, but nowadays it is a particular branch of English law, it is part of the law of England. The word equity is derived from the Latin aequitas meaning leveling. What about the origins of equity? As stated above, in the Middle Ages the courts of common law failed to give redress in certain types of cases where redress was necessary, so the disappointed parties (litigants) petitioned the King, as the King was the fountain of justice for extraordinary relief. Through his Chancellor, the King set up a special court, the Court of Chancery, to deal with these petitions. The rules applied by the Court of Chancery turned into law and became part of the law of the land. Failure to obtain justice was mainly due to three causes: (i) the common law court was in some way defective, that is lacked the necessary legal solution to a case, (ii) the only remedy that common law courts could usually supply was the award of damages, (iii) even if the law was adequate to solve a case, it was not always possible to obtain justice in a common law court due to the greatness of one of the parties. Therefore, only the Chancellor, who was one of the chief royal officials, could remedy these defects. As he was closely associated with the King, the Chancellor was bound by neither the rules nor the procedures of the common law courts. Main applications of EQUITY

The most important branches of equity are the law of trusts and the law of contracts. For instance, in the case of trespass, common law offered damages, but did not provide a means to have the trespasser stop. The chancellor intervened in equity and granted an injunction ordering the defendant to stop infringing on anothers property. If the defendant did not obey, he was sent to prison for contempt of court. In the case of a breach of contract, the only remedy at common law was damages, but the aggrieved party was much more interested in obtaining the actual performance of the contract. Therefore, the Chancellor issued a decree of specific performance urging the execution of the contract. The common law theory of consent covered only physical violence and not moral coercion, so the Chancellor intervened against those who took unfair advantage of their dominant position (guardians, confessors, etc) to obtain a contract. And, as far as property matters were concerned, equity obliged trustees to respect their agreement. A plaintiff who anted to obtain all the remedies he was entitled to, he had to bring two successive actions one in damages before a common law court and another one in chancery to obtain an equitable injunction or a decree of specific performance. In such a case, if there was conflict between the rules of common law and the rules of equity, equity came to prevail.

Equity and common law went on in parallel, the former complementing the latter, until 1875, when the Act of Judicature of 1873 was applied. That application resulted in the abolition of the old courts of common law and the Court of Chancery. They were replaced by one Supreme Court of Judicature, each branch of which had the power to administer both common law and equity. What happened was a fusion of the administration of common law and equity. The two systems themselves did not fuse, the rules of common law are still distinct from the rules of equity, but both are now open to a plaintiff in one action before the same court. STATUTE LAW

Contrary to the general view, held by most people, statute law / Acts of Parliament has (have) existed for 1000 years in the English legal system. The first important wave of legislation was under Henry II (1154 1189). At that time legislation was made by the King in Council, but sometimes even by a kind of parliament which consisted mainly of a meeting of nobles and clergy summoned from their shires. In the 14th century, parliamentary legislation became more general. Initially, the parliament contended itself with asking the king to legislate, but later on the parliament itself presented bills. It is in the Tudor period that the modern procedure was established of giving three readings to a bill before it could become law. Ever since the Tudor period, Parliament became more and more powerful and the practice of law making by statute increased. Nevertheless, statutes became am important source of law only in the 19th and 20th centuries. After World War II, with the intervention of the state in the economy and the creation of the Welfare State, statute law proliferated. In case of conflict with common law or equity, statute law prevails because no court of law or any other body can question the validity of an Act of Parliament, as the Parliament is sovereign. Most modern statutes require much detailed work to implement them. These details are not usually contained in the statute, so the relevant authorities (ministries, local authorities, etc) make up the details and issue regulation in application of the statute. This form of law is called delegated legislation or secondary legislation . Acts of Parliament have sovereign force, and legislation made under delegated power can be valid only it it conforms exactly to the powers granted in the primary legislation. So, since 1972 there has existed a joint committee of the two Houses of the British Parliament which examines every piece of delegated legislation to check whether the respective piece of legislation does not exceed the limits established by the statutory framework. The committee issues an opinion as to the validity of that piece of legislation, but only a court of law can declare the delegated/secondary legislation invalid. The Magna Carta

This major piece of legislation was first enacted in 1215. King John was forced to accept it under threat of civil war. It was the earliest attempt to limit the powers of the monarch and define the extent of the rights

and liberties of subjects. The Magna Carta required King John of England to proclaim certain rights (mainly of his barons), respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered most notably the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment. Magna Carta was arguably the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today in the English speaking world. Magna Carta influenced the development of the common law and many constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution. Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. It was preceded by the 1100 Charter of Liberties in which King Henry I voluntarily stated what his own powers were under the law. Magna Carta is normally understood to refer to a single document, that of 1215. Various amended versions of the Magna Carta appeared in subsequent years however, and it is the 1297 version which remains on the statute books of England and Wales. In 1297, Magna Carta was re-enacted and it was confirmed by Edward I. The re-enacted version can be considered as a declaration of certain fundamental principles, such as : 1. no one shall lose his life and liberty except by lawful judgement of his equals and by the law of the land 2. the king should not sell, deny or delay justice 3. punishment should be in relation to the seriousness of the crime For modern times, the most enduring legacy of Magna Carta is considered to be the right of habeas corpus. In 1679, the Habeas Corpus Amendment Act was passed. The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 was passed by the Parliament of England during the reign of King Charles II to define and strengthen the ancient prerogative writ of habeas corpus whereby persons unlawfully detained can be ordered to be prosecuted before a court of law. Though amended, it remains on the statute book to this day. The Act contains provisions ensuring that persons imprisoned without legal cause, whether by the Crown or by private individuals should, on obtaining a writ of habeas corpus, have their detention examined by a judge within a set period of time.


The starting point from which to explain the English doctrine of precedent is the principle of justice that like cases should be decided alike. This principle is enforced in English law by the rule of stare decisis (Latin term which means to observe the previous decisions, namely the precedent). This rules is almost universally applied in all jurisdiction throughout the world, but it has a specific coercive or binding nature in the English system. Such binding nature comes from the rules of practice applied by English judges, called rules of precedent. These rules state that, to a large extent, English law is based on

case-law. Case-law consists of the rules and principles acted on by the judges in giving decisions when trying a case. At the same time, the English system obliges a judge trying a new case to look back to see how previous judges have dealt with previous cases (precedents) involving similar facts. This is different from the other jurisdictions, where the rules and principles used by a judge to give a decision in a past case are regarded as material the new, current judge may take into consideration, but he is not bound to do it. Therefore, in the English system, a judges decision in a particular case constitutes a precedent. The standing of the rules of precedent depends on the status of the court which decided the case. The decisions of the House of Lords are treated with the greatest respect, whereas the decision of a county court judge has normally limited effect. This approach has developed into a system under which precedents of the superior courts, if relevant to the facts of the case, are binding on lower courts. But, it must not be imagined that the law is always discoverable by the simple procedure of looking up and finding the right precedent. Life teaches us that fact are infinitely various and by no means all cases are exactly covered by previous decisions. On the contrary, the facts in question often resemble two or more divergent decisions, that is why, in such circumstances, the courts have freedom of choice in deciding which decision to follow. Further more, cases of first impression arise even today, namely cases in which the facts bear no resemblance to the facts in any previous case. In such a case, when the judge rules, he legislates, in other words he establishes a precedent that future courts must follow.


1. First Reading the Bill is formally introduced into the House of Commons 2. Second Reading there is a general debate on the floor of the House and then a vote is taken. The vote may have two results: (i) a majority vote in favour of the Bill or (ii) no majority vote in favour of the Bill. In the first case (affirmative majority vote) the Standing Committee examines the Bill clause by clause and considers the amendments. In the second case (no majority vote in favour), the Bill is rejected or re-introduced in an amended form.

3. After examination by the Standing Committee, the Bill is reported back to the House for the
Third Reading, which allows further general debate. After the 3 rd Reading a new vote is taken. The vote may have two results: (i) a majority vote in favour of the Bill or (ii) no majority vote in favour of the Bill. In the first case (affirmative majority vote), the Bill is sent to the House of Lords for a similar procedure. In the second case (no majority vote in favour), the Bill is rejected or reintroduced in an amended form.

4. The Bill is examined in the House of Lords. A vote is then taken, which may have two results: (i) a
majority vote in favour of the Bill or (ii) no majority vote in favour of the Bill. In the first case (affirmative majority vote), the Bill is sent forward for the monarch to give the Royal Assent (to be signed by the sovereign ). After the Royal Assent, the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

5. In the second case (no majority vote in favour), the Bill is referred back to the House of
Commons. The Bill is re-passed by the House of Commons in identical form in two successive sessions, with at least 1 year separating the 2nd Reading in the 1st session from the 3rd Reading in the 2nd session, then the rejections of the House of Lords are finally overruled. As yet, this statutory procedure has not been invoked. THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT

In England the ultimate legislator is the Parliament because in the English traditional constitutional theory parliament is sovereign. This means that all legislative power within the realm is vested in Parliament or it is derived from the authority of Parliament, and it also means that there is no legal limit to the power of Parliament. Parliament enacts legislation and also delegates legislative power to other bodies or even individuals, but it may also, by ACT, remove these powers as simply as it has conferred them. Thus, Parliament is sovereign in matters of legislation enactment, but the courts also have an influence upon the development of enacted law. How so? Well, in order to be applied, every enactment, however it be promulgated, has to be interpreted by the courts, the role of which as interpreters of law is generally recognized.


The origins of the American law can be traced back to the founding of the English colonies which were governed by common law and equity. Statute law, which already existed in the mother country, was also imported and applied in the colonies. Later on, after the American War of Independence, in 1789, the Constitution was ratified and the American system was established, including a federal system of government, laws and courts, in other words the powers of the stated were officially separated into the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judiciary branch. The Constitution stipulates that this very document can be amended and also each branch of power can intervene in the decisions made by the other two. These interventions go by the set phrase of checks and balances. For instance, Congress (the legislative branch of power) has powers over the President whose appropriations of money they control (US appropriation bill ). The Congress can also override the Presidents veto, they can impeach him and finally remove him after investigating the Presidents conduct. Congress also have power over the Supreme Court (the judiciary branch of power) as they fix the size of the Court and control its money appropriations. Congress impeach and remove judges, confirm the nomination of judges an create inferior federal courts, as defined by Article III of the

Constitution. The Senate (the upper house of the American Congress) is the one which confirms the appointment by the President of judges and Cabinet members, therefore the appointment of the Attorney-General as well. The President can veto bills in Congress, he also appoints federal judges and may grant pardon for federal crimes. The Supreme Court interpret statutes and administrative regulations and determine their constitutionality. This process is known under the name of judicial review . In 1791, Congress ratified 10 amendments to the Constitution. These amendments make up what is known as the Bill of Rights. Amendment X to the Constitution gave birth to the State governments, the structure of which is identical to the structure of the Federal government, namely state governments have a written constitution, a state senate and a state assembly, a governor assisted by a lieutenant governor and a state supreme court. According to the provisions of the Constitution, powers were distributed between the federal government and the state governments. Both types of governments have the power of taxation, they also have concurrent powers (joint, simultaneous) in the field of business regulations (for instance antitrust laws, unfair competition, advertising and corporation securities). By virtue of the principle of separation of powers, the three branches of government have different responsibilities, as follows: (i) Congress legislates in civil and criminal matters, (ii) the President and his administration see to the implementation of the law and (iii) the federal courts make decisions on civil and criminal cases. The federal government controls foreign affairs and matters of general interest (currency, the military, immigration, foreign and domestic trade, patents of inventions, copyrights and bankruptcies). There are a number of agencies (also called boards, authorities, commissions and departments) which control a lot of other activities. These agencies make and enforce rules and have quasi-judicial powers. The fifty state enact legislation dealing with family relations and private property, the creation of business organizations, the licensing of professionals as well as public safety and morals. The American legal system is based first on English common law, from which it borrowed the rule of precedent, then on the Constitution together with its statutes, rules and regulations drawn up by the government agencies. Thus, the hallmark of the American system is this combination of civil law and common law. In this system, substantive law covering both private matters (contracts, torts = delicate civile, property, business organizations, family law, coomercial law) and public matters (constitutional, administrative, labor, tax and criminal law and also trade regulation) as well as procedural law are founded both on the federal constitution and the decisions of the US Supreme Court and the fifty states constitutions together with the decisions of the fifty states courts. The American system of justice has some important features, namely continuity, flexibility, judicial review and judicial independence. HOW A BILL BECOMES AN ACT IN THE AMERICAN CONGRESS

1.The American Congress is made up of two houses the lower one called the House of Representatives and the upper one called the Senate. Both senators and representatives may propose bills. 2. The bills go to the full committees and then to the various subcommittees to be studied, read and approved. Hearings are organized to debate on the proposed bills. 3. After being studied by the subcommittees, the bills return to the full committees for more hearings and revisions on the amendments proposed by the subcommittees. In the end, after debates on the floor of the respective house (chamber ), the bill may be passed or defeated (rejected). 4. If the bill passes, it will go through the same procedure in the other house (chamber). A final vote is taken on the floor of the second house to decide whether the bill is passed or is defeated. 5. If the bill passes in the second chamber as well, a committee of conference is established. The committee of conference includes representatives of both houses and its task is to work out a compromise version to be sent to each of the two houses for final approval. 6. If the compromise bill has the unanimity of both houses it is sent to the White House for the President to promulgate it. 7. The President can either sign it into a law or veto it and return it to Congress. 8. If the Bill is returned to Congress, the bill can be enacted without the Presidents signature with only a two-third majority in each House of Congress.

LEGAL ENGLISH WORKSHOP I (Applied Modern Languages MA Programme) Fall semester, 2009-2010 Course instructor: Roxana-Cristina Petcu, PhD
I. Find the correct definition for each of the legal terms below: Authority; court; govern; judge; law enforcement agency; lawyers; legal action; legal system; legislation; rule; tribunal; the judiciary 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. a body that is appointed to make a judgement or inquiry a countrys body of judges an act or acts passed by a law-making body behaviour recognized by a community as binding or enforceable by authority legal proceedings on official body that has authority to try criminals, resolve disputes, or make other legal decisions an organization responsible for enforcing the laws, especially the police a senior official in a court of law the body or system of rules recognized by a community that are enforceable by established process the control resulting from following a communitys system of rules members of the legal profession to rule a society and control the behaviour of its members

II. Fill in the blanks using the legal concepts below: Authority; court; govern; judge; law enforcement agency; lawyers; legal action; legal system; legislation; rule; tribunal; the judiciary Why do we have laws and ________ ? At one level, laws can be seen as a type of ______ which is meant to _____ behaviour between people. We can find these rules in nearly all social organizations, such as families and sports clubs. Law, the body of official rules and regulations, generally found in constitutions and _______ , is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members. In modern societies, a body with ______ , such as a ________ or the legislature, makes the law; and a ________ , such as the police, makes sure it is observed. In addition to enforcement, a body of expert ________ is needed to apply the law. This is the role of ________ , the body of _________ in a particular country. Of course, legal systems vary between countries, as well as the basis for bringing a case before a court or _________ . One thing, however, seems to be true all over the world starting a _______ is both expensive and time-consuming. III. Match the legal terms (1-10) below with their correct definitions (A-J) 1. intestate succession ; 2. fine ; 3.the Assizes ; 4. Tenants in Chief ; 5. tenure of land ; 6. forfeiture ; 7. an itinerant court ; 8. first instance jurisdiction ; 9. equity ; 10. stare decisis A. the principles of binding precedent; B. ownership of property; C. a court that moves from town to town; D. loss of property or of a right as a result of an offence; E. the law concerning the transmission of a dead persons estate to the beneficiaries when there is no will; F. Norman noblemen given their land directly by the King; G. the power of a court to hear and judge a new case; H. a system of law complementary to common law; I. a sum of money that an offender must pay when ordered to do so by a legal authority as punishment for the offence; J. sittings of court presided over by judges who would travel around the country. IV. Define the following legal concepts: 1. an injunction; 2. the fountain of justice; 3. case law ; 4. the Court of Chancery ; 5.redress

V. Complete the definitions below: 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 concerned with the rights and duties of individuals, organizations, and associations (such as companies, trade unions, charities), as opposed to criminal law. 4. _________________ is rules which determine how a case is administered by the courts. 5. _________________ is common law and statute law used by the courts in making decisions. 6. _________________ is the body which has the function of making law. 7. _________________ means legislation which begins life as drafts called Bills. 8. _________________ is the right to check the legality and constitutionality of secondary legislation. 9. _________________ means that the three branches of government have different responsibilities. 10. _________________ is the American minister of justice. VI. Find the verbs that best complete the collocations below: 1. _______ Acts of Parliament; 2. _________ into a law (US); 3. ______new statutes; 4. _________ existing legislation; 5. ___________ obsolete law; 6. _______ the Presidents veto; 7. ________ the Royal Assent to turn a bill into a legal enactment; 8. ______ a bill on the floor of a Parliament Chamber ; 9._______ powers to a lower body; 10. ________ the Presidents appropriations of money. VII. Fill in the blanks in text bellow using the words/phrases in the list: Private Members Bills; become law; submit to; introduce; re-present; drafting of the legislation; reading; undertake; debate; approve; government Bills; enshrine the principle; Private Acts; scrutinise the provisions; Public Acts; propose. All Acts must be ________ both Houses of Parliament in the draft form of a Bill. The legislative process involves three ________ in both Houses. At the first reading, the title is read to the MPs; at the second reading, MPs _____ the proposals. Then a standing committee will ___________ in the Bill and may amend it to ensure that it _____________ debated and ___________ at the second reading. This is reported back to the MPs. At the third reading, the Bill is _________ . The Bill then goes through readings in the other house. The actual _________ is __________ by Parliamentary Counsel. Finally, a Bill must receive Royal Assent from the monarch before it ___________ 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. _________ are __________ by the Government; ____________ are _________ by MPs. Both methods may result in _________ that govern the general public. ________ affect particular individuals or institutions. VIII. Fill in the blanks in text bellow using the words/phrases in the list: Uniform laws; federal; governor; Congress; pre-empt; state; jurisdiction; void; codify; legislatures; throw out; statutes; federal legislative body; competence. In the USA, legislation takes place at two levels: the ______ and the ________ . Federal legislation is superior to state legislation in its areas of _________ . It is said to ______ state legislation where there is a conflict. Any state legislation which conflicts with the federal laws is ______ . It should also be noted that the US Supreme Court has the power to _______ any legislation not in keeping with the US Constitution. The ____________ is the _________, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. State, headed by a _______, have their own ________ (consisting of two house, except in Nebraska). States have ___________ over all matters not reserved to the federal competence. In the USA, each state has its own set of ______ and most jurisdictions have now ________ a substantial part of their laws. ________ are also important. As each state has its own law, the idea behind the development of uniform laws was to cut down the differences in law between the various states of America. The most successful uniform law is the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). IX. Give the Romanian equivalent of the following English legal terms: aggrieved/prejudiced party; decree of specific performance; dispute; to enact; to enforce the law; to impeach the president; judicial independence; nonsuit; to prevail; tort; to vest in; delegated legislation. X. Give the English equivalent of the following l Romanian legal terms: a face dreptate; jurisprudenta; proiect de lege financiara; a numi pe cineva in functie; a propune pe cineva pentru o functie; hotarare judecatoreasca; echilibrul puterilor (US); drept material; profesii liberale; proiect de lege; lege votata de parlament; precedent cu forta juridica obligatorie.

XI. Translate into Romanian A. Politicians on trial in France. Liberty, equalitynot impunity. Jacques Chirac, a former president of France, faces trial for corruption A DECISION by an investigating judge to send Jacques Chirac, a former president, to stand trial in a court is without precedent in modern French history. Mr Chirac is accused of misappropriation of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris. The decision comes in a month in which the entrails of Frances one-time ruling elite have been spilling out. A former interior minister, Charles Pasqua, was this week sentenced to a year in prison (and a suspended sentence of two years) for involvement in arms trafficking to Angola. A former prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, has also been tried in connection with a smear campaign and is awaiting a verdict. The case against Mr Chirac concerns 21 fake jobs that were allegedly created for friends at the Paris town hall, where he held office between 1977 and 1995. As long as he was president, from 1995 to 2007, Mr Chirac was immune from prosecution, and his lawyer has argued that he remains so for acts carried out during his time in office. This has frustrated various investigating judges over the years, who have compiled numerous dossiers concerning Mr Chirac, all of which have been dropped, in some cases because the statute of limitations had expired. Many observers expected the same to happen with the last remaining case, especially after the public prosecutor, himself appointed by Mr Chirac, judged that there was not enough evidence to take it to court. Yet in a bold move Xavire Simeoni, the investigating judge leading the case against the ex-president, decided otherwise. It remains uncertain whether the case will reach court. The prosecutor may appeal against the decision, which would delay any proceedings. Mr Chirac's office said that he was serene about the matter, and confident that he could demonstrate that the jobs were real. But if found guilty Mr Chirac could face ten years in prison. It is the first time under France's fifth republic that a former head of state has been ordered to stand trial.The decision comes at the end of a highly charged month which has cast light on all manner of murky dealings at the heart of the French elite, many of them during Mr Chirac's presidency. The judgment this week in the arms-trafficking case to Angola concerned the supply, in contravention of a United Nations arms embargo, of landmines, shells, tanks, helicopters and naval vessels to the Angolan government between 1993 and 1998, during its civil war. Mr Pasqua, who has appealed against his conviction, was Mr Chirac's interior minister. Among the dozens of other defendants, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of the Socialist former president and his fathers Africa adviser at the time, was fined for embezzlement and given a two-year suspended prison sentence. Pierre Falcone, a French arms dealer, and Arkady Gaydamak, an Israeli-Russian businessman, were each sentenced to six years imprisonment.The French political class has also been gripped this month by a trial over the Clearstream smear-campaign. Mr de Villepin, who was prime minister under Mr Chirac, has been accused of helping to spread a fake list of names linking Nicolas Sarkozy, then a fellow government minister and fierce rival, and other politicians to false bank accounts supposedly containing kickbacks from arms deals. Prosecutors have asked for an 18-month suspended sentence against Mr de Villepin for complicity in slander, and jail terms for two others. Mr de Villepin has denied all the charges. The verdict is due in January.The consequences of all this for President Sarkozy are likely to be limited. He served in government under Mr Chirac, and is from the same political family, but was also his fierce rival and campaigned for office against Mr Chirac's record. Mr Sarkozy is unconnected to the Angola trial and he is a civil plaintiff in the Clearstream case. Still, the conviction of Mr Pasqua does raise questions about the political milieu in which he made his name. Mr Pasqua was head of the Hauts-de-Seine council, the department that includes the posh suburb of Neuilly, where Mr Sarkozy was first elected mayor, and became his political godfather. The Angolagate trial has strained relations between France and the oilrich former Portuguese colony. In May last year Mr Sarkozy made a one-day trip there to try to smooth relations. In many ways, this series of trials gives France a dismal image. A class of politicians seems to have been up to no good for a long period of time, and to have assumed that the timorous French justice system would never act. This month's events, however, have suggested exactly the opposite: that forthright investigating judges can still hold politicians to account.

B. The fruits of office. The government drafts new laws to constrain the magistracy SILVIO BERLUSCONI is a man of perseverance. Two months after winning the Italian election, he is starting to deal with the judicial system, and those working in it, as robustly as when he was last in power, in 2001-06. During the campaign he said prosecutors should undergo checks on their mental health. Now more attacks on the magistracy and bespoke laws to protect himself and his business interests seem to be priorities once again. On June 17th Renato Schifani, speaker of the Senate, read a letter from Mr Berlusconi backing an amendment proposed by two senators that would stop for a year all trials for crimes committed before June 2002, except for those the government deems most serious. Some critics say this is unconstitutional, as it interferes with the requirement that trials should be of reasonable duration and that due legal process must be observed. Mr Berlusconi is on trial in Milan accused of judicial corruption, along with a British lawyer who helped to establish a secret offshore network of companies for Mr Berlusconi's business empire. Now nearing its end, this trial would be among those to be halted. The amendment was passed by the Senate on June 18th. In his letter, Mr Berlusconi claimed that many cases have been brought against him by extreme left-wing magistrates for political ends. He has also told Mr Schifani that he wants legislation to suspend trials involving the holders of Italy's highest offices of state. Mr Schifani was behind a similar law in 2003 that was later ruled unconstitutional. Mr Berlusconi's intrusions into the criminal-justice system are also hitting the use of intercepts in investigations. On June 13th the government approved a bill to limit what magistrates can do and the media may report. Cases for which eavesdropping would be banned include fraudulent bankruptcy, market abuse and insider trading. The government claims that cases involving organised crime and terrorism will not be affected. But Armando Spataro, a prosecutor in Milan, says limits on the use of interception devices could hinder investigations into terrorism. And Franco Roberti, an anti-Mafia magistrate in Naples, notes that many investigations into organised crime begin with ordinary crimes such as extortion, loan-sharking and contraband, for which listening-in will be forbidden. The bill would also gag the magistracy and the press, threatening imprisonment to prosecutors who talk about cases and journalists whose articles use information gleaned from investigations. A new plan to get thousands of soldiers to act as policemen in such cities as Bologna, Trieste and Venice appears to be a smokescreen for the government's real approach to crime: hard on some offences, but soft on others. Behind the smokescreen, Mr Berlusconi is gathering the fruits of office again.

XII. Translate into English: A. 1. Legile scrise reprezinta legislatia adoptata de parlament si promulgata de suveran. 2. Principiile common law pot fi amendate sau abolite printr-o lege adoptata de parlament. 3. Puterea legislativa nelimitat a parlamentuluik este un principiu fundamental al dreptului constitutional britanic. 4. Ca urmare a dotrinei suveranitatii parlamentului, in cazul unui conflict de drept, dreptul scris prevaleaza ata fata de common law cat si fata de equity. 5. Equity a atenuat rigiditatea specifica pentru common law si a facut astfel incat hotararile justitiei sa nu fie nici nedrepte si nici contrare constiintei morale. 6. In SUA, Congresul isi exercita controlul asupra presedintelui prin supravegherea legilor de natura financiara, prin faptul ca ii poate rasturna dreptul de veto si prin aceea ca il poate pune sub acuzatie si demite. 7. Interventiile unei dintre puterile statului in hotararile celorlalte doua sunt cunoscute sub numele de echilibrul puterilor. 8. Congresul are puterea de a da ata legi penale cat si legi civile (SUA). 9. Presedintele si guvernul sau vegheaza la aplicarea legilor(SUA). 10. Curtea Suprema americana stabileste constitutionalitatea legilor scrise si a legislatiei secundare, adica are dreptul de a analiza legislatia din punct de vedere al legalitatii si constitutioanlitatii. 11. Guvernul federal american controleaza relatiile externe ca si problemele de interes general national. 12. Legislatia celor 50 de state se ocupa de dreptul familiei, al proprietatii private, de infiintarea de firme, de organizarea si practicarea profesiilor liberale ca si de mentinerea sigurantei publice si a normelor de moralitate publica. 13. Principalele trasaturi ale sistemului juridic american sunt continuitatea, flexibilitatea, verificarea constitutionalitatii ca si independenta puterii judecatoresti. 14. Constitutiile celor 50 de state ca si hotararile date de curtile de justitie statale au uhn impact la nivel federal. 15. Faptul ca legile votate de statele americane ca si hotararile judecatoresti atat la nivel statal cat si la nivel federal sunt atat de diferite a dat nastere nevoii de uniformizare.

B. Prostituata cumparata de jurnalistii de la Daily Mail, trimisa in judecata Monica Ghinga, in vrsta de 25 de ani, din Iasi, este prostituata de aproape noua ani. In noiembrie 2007, doi jurnalisti britanici au venit n Romnia si s-au dat drept proprietarii unei case de toleranta din Londra pentru a testa ct de usor se poate cumpara o prostituata romnca minora. Acestia au abordat-o pe Monica Ghinga, care iesise la agatat in apropierea unei benzinarii din Iasi. Cu gndul la bani, fata a mintit in privinta vrstei, spunnd ca are doar 14 ani si ca accepta propunerea de a intretine relatii sexuale contra sumei de 800 de euro. Cei doi britanici au fost de acord. Dupa ce a lasat banii la colege, o practica intlnita in rndul prostituatelor fara proxenet, tnara a urcat in taxi cu cei doi, creznd ca va merge la un hotel. Masina a mers insa intr-o alta directie. Dupa blocarea portierelor, am realizat ca ceva nu este in ordine si atunci am sunat-o pe colega mea, spunndu-i ca am probleme, dar unul dintre barbati mi-a luat telefonul mobil si l-a inchis, a povestit Monica in fata politistilor. Fara acordul sau, tnara a fost dusa intr-un centru pentru ocrotire a victimelor din Pitesti si internata sub o alta identitate. Monica a stat aici aproape trei saptamni, timp in care a incercat sa fuga pe geamul de la bucatarie si sa se automutileze cu o lama. La sfrsitul lunii noiembrie, aceasta a reusit sa se reintoarca la Iasi. Intre timp, cei doi jurnalisti s-au intors in Marea Britanie. Articolul intitulat Un adevar socant despre traficul de fiinte umane: o fata de 14 ani lucreaza ca si sclava sexuala, purtnd semnatura jurnalistului de investigatie Chris Rogers, facea deschiderea editiei ziarului Daily Mail din data de 25 ianuarie 2008. In acest articol, ziaristul britanic povestea cum, la inceputul lunii noiembrie 2007, a reusit sa cumpere o minora in vrsta de 14 ani din Iasi, Monica Ghinga, pentru suma de 800 de euro. Potrivit acestuia, negocierea pentru cumpararea fetei s-a facut cu trei persoane, intr-o benzinarie din Iasi. Dupa achitarea sumei, Rogers sustine ca a plecat cu fata intr-un taxi, devenind noul ei stapn. Politia a anchetat evenimentul si nu s-a luat nici o masura pentru ca fata nu a depus plngere ca a fost rapita. Potrivit politistilor ieseni, fata nu a acceptat neaparat sa mearga cu cei doi pentru prostitutie, ci ca sa ii insele. Impreuna cu o alta prietena, a vrut sa ii tepuiasca. Linistita, Monica a revenit la vechiul job, desi a fost condamnata la trei luni de inchisoare in 2001, iar in anii care au urmat a fost de mai multe ori amendata pentru ca acosta barbati si le propunea sex contra cost. Teancul de amenzi neachitate, dar si dosarul gros de la politie au fost analizate de procurorii care au trimis-o in judecata, sub acuzatia de prostitutie, urmnd a fi judecata in stare de libertate.