1. Read and comment the quotation by John Selden (1584 - 1654), English historian, jurist, and politician: “Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because it is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.”
2. Match the following English words and expressions with their Ukrainian equivalents:
злочини, що переслідуються в порядку сумарного провадження; дисциплінарні правопорушення
to be remedied
злочини, що переслідуються за обвинувальним актом; кримінальні злочини
3. How many syllables are there in the following words? Which of the syllables is stressed in each of them?
- what you have already known about criminal law of England and the USA.
Criminal law of England and the USA.
Criminal law in England derives from a number of diverse sources. The definitions of the different acts that constitute criminal offences can be found in the common law (murder, manslaughter, conspiracy to defraud) as well as in thousands of independent and disparate statutes and more recently from supranational legal regimes such as the EU. As the law lacks the criminal codes that have been instituted in the United States and civil law jurisdictions, there is no unifying factor to how crimes are defined, although there have been calls from the Law Commission for the situation to be remedied. Criminal trials are administered hierarchically, from magistrates' courts, through the Crown Courts and up to the High Court. Appeals are then made to the Court of Appeal and finally the House of Lords on matters of law.
Procedurally, offences are classified as indictable and summary offences; summary offences may be tried before a magistrate without a jury, while indictable offences are tried in a crown court before a jury. The distinction between the two is broadly between that of minor and serious offences. At common law crimes are classified as either treason, felony or misdemeanor.
The way in which the criminal law is defined and understood in England is less exact than in the United States as there have been few official articulations on the subject. The body of criminal law is considerably more disorganised, thus finding any common thread to the law is very difficult. A consolidated English Criminal Code was drafted by the Law Commission in 1989 but, though codification has been debated since 1818, as of 2007 has not been implemented. Scotland has a completely separate legal system.
In the United States, criminal prosecutions typically are initiated by complaint issued by a judge, or by indictment issued by a grand jury. As to felonies in Federal court, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires indictment. The Federal requirement does not apply to the states, which have a diversity of practices. Three states (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington) and the District of Columbia do not use grand jury indictments at all. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a criminal defendant the right to a speedy and public trial, in both state and Federal courts, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime was committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of Counsel for his defense. The interests of the state are represented by a prosecuting attorney. The defendant may defend himself pro se, and may act as his own attorney, if desired.