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The Sources Of British Law




Pre-reading task: Skim the text and divide it into the logical parts. Entitle them.

In Britain one generally speaks of three sources of law - Common Law, Equity Law and Statute Law.

Statute Law (also Statutory Law) includes both laws passed in Parliament and acts of delegated legislation, i.e. legislation made by executive organs. Up to the end of the 19th century the scope of Parliamentary legislation was relatively small. Today, however, there is hardly any aspect of everyday life that is not regulated by statute law.

Common Law consists of a system of recorded cases, precedents, valid for subsequent similar cases. It is case law, or more exactly, judge-made law, based on past decisions of judges in accordance with custom and reason and having the character of a general legal principle.

Equity Law is a system of law originated in the English Chancery. Practically speaking, it is a system of case law governed by the binding force of precedent (as Common Law) but exercised by Lord Chancellor and his staff

Since Britain's accession to the European Union (the European Community till 1993), European Law has also become a source of the law in the United Kingdom. European Law is to be found in the Union's treaties and decisions of the Union's institutions. It operates as a separate system side by side with domestic law. Where European Law is in conflict with domestic law, European Law prevails.

 

Exercise 5

Match each word or phrase on the left to the Russian equivalents on the right.

a. source of law a. прецедентное право
b. binding force b. статутное право
c. statute law c. внутригосударственное право
d. judge-made law d. органы исполнительной власти
e. domestic law e. делегированное законодательство
f. executive organs f. источник права
g. delegated legislation g. обязательная сила
h. Common Law h. право справедливости
i. legislation i. межгосударственный договор
j. treaty j. законодательство
k. Equity Law k. общее право

 

Exercise 6

Match each word or phrase on the left to the correct definition on the right:

1. case law a. formal agreements between different countries
2. precedent b. a judicial decision that serves as an authority for deciding a later case
3. delegated legislation c. a system of jurisprudence founded on principles of natural justice and fair conduct
4. legislation d. the long-established habit or tradition
5. equity e. the act or process of making laws
6. custom f. legislation made by executive organs
7. treaties g. law based on judicial precedent

 

Exercise 7


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