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Thursday 05 October 2006

The on-line statute law database moved closer to reality last month when the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) told users that the final Web-based system will be fundamentally free to use.

The decision .... (to reveal) in a newsletter from the DCA’s Statutory Publications Office (SPO), announcing the end of the first public ‘beta’ test phase of the database.

The next phase ... (to expect) to have more than twice the number of users from a wider audience, including members of the public.

Until now it has been unclear how the DCA would operate a charging element for the database (see (2006) Gazette, 30 March, 11). But it appears that pressure from various sources has won the day – the SPO said the Web ‘will be launched free of charge to the public once piloting is complete. A commercial strategy ... (to develop), but will primarily be looking at options that concern the commercial reuse of data’ as well as functionality for ‘specialist users’.

The Law Society welcomed the move. A spokeswoman said: ‘We ... (to please) that this is being made available to everyone free of charge. The database will be a useful resource for solicitors and others.’

However, she added that it needs to present both current and historical data, as ‘an Act of Parliament may be considerably changed after it has come into force, and both the original text and the later changes to it need to be easily accessible’.

(taken from the “Law Society Gazette”)

Fill in articles where necessary.

In … United States, acts of … Congress, such as federal statutes, are published chronologically in the order in which they become law — often by being signed by … President, and are grouped together in official bound book form, also chronologically, as "session laws." The "session law" publication for Federal statutes is called … United States Statutes at Large. Any given act may be only one page long, or hundreds of pages, in length. An act may be classified as either a "Public Law" or a "Private Law”.

Because each … Congressional act may contain laws on a variety of topics, many acts, or portions thereof are also rearranged and published in a topical, subject matter codification. … official codification of Federal statutes is called … United States Code.


Agree or disagree with the following sayings.

1. The United States is the greatest law factory the world has ever known. ~ Charles Evans Hughes

2. The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be. ~Lao-tzu

3. Everybody wants to eat at the government's table, but nobody wants to do the dishes. ~Werner Finck

4. The first myth of management is that it exists. ~10. Murphy's Law

Unit 3 Sources of Modern Law Section 2 Case Law


1. Before reading the text, check your knowledge and predict the right answers on the topic:

1. What is a precedent?

a) a previous decision made in court which informs future cases

b) a senior judge

c) a set of written rules

d) a jury’s decision

2. What does stare decisis mean?

a) decision is made based on legislation

b) words said in passing

c) stand by things decided

d) once made the decision must not be changed.

3. What is the Latin for a logical basis for a decision made by a court which may bind all future cases?

a) ratio ultima

b) modus vivendi

c) ratio – decidendi

d) jus strictum

2. Match the following English words and phrases with their Ukrainian equivalents:

binding precedent a адвокат
counsel b посилатися на справу
to cite a case c розрізняти
to distinguish d правове обґрунтування
legal reasoning e суд нижчої інстанції
to argue f доводити
lower court g прецедент, що має обов’язкову силу
to overturn the decision h скасувати рішення


3. Mind the pronunciation of the following:






Read the text and compare the content with your answers in Exercise 1.

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