1 WHAT IS LAW?
Descriptive and prescriptive
Descriptive law is when it describes how people, or even natural phenomena, ussually behave. Prescriptive law – it prescribes how people ought to behave. For example, the speed limits imposed upon drivers are laws that prescribe how fast we should drive. They rarely describe how fast we actually do drive.
Social morality, rules and law
Prescriptive law regulates relations between people. Some of them are customs – informal rules of social and moral behavior. Customs are not made by government annd are not written down. Sometimes we break these rules and suffer any any penalty. Other member of society may ridicule us, criticize us or act violently toward us when we break these rules or one important of them. The rules of social institutions tend to be more formal then customs, carrying precise penalties for those who break them. Governments, making laes for their citizens, use system of courts backed by the power of the police to enforce these laes.There arre two kinds of prosecution in many counties: a) to conduct a civil action against somebody, demanding compensation for his injury and getting his claim enforced by a court of law; b) police might also start an action against someone fo
2 SOURCES OF MODERN LAW
Particular country has particular legal system. There two kinds of law in thhe world. Ne of them is based on English Common law, and has been adopted by many Commonwealth countries and most of the US. Another, sometimes known as Continental law, or Roman law, has developed in most of continental Europe, Latin America and many countries in Asia and Africa which have been influenced by Europe. Continental law has also influenced Japan and several socialist countries.
Common law systems
By doctrine of precedent, judges attempted to apply existing customs and laws to ea
Continental systems are known as codified legal systems.They have resulted from attempts by governments to produce a set of codes to gevern every legal aspect of a citizen’s life. It was necessary to make laws that were clear and comprehensive, in order to separate the roles of legislature and judiciary. The lawmakers were influeced by the modlel of Canon law. It is important not to increase the differences between these two traditions of law.
Modern Japanese law
In spite of tradition of private law, the lawmaker’s of Japan decided to adopt criminal and civil codes closely based on the Continental law. And new codes of law developed under the postwar occupation show some influence from Anglo-American common law traditions. That is why modern Japanase law consists of two traditions of law.
Socialist legal systems
Codyfying Chinese law system comprehensively, but so far there has been just a little progress. In China, law courts are still primary regarded as political instruments. But recently, citizens in some areas have been encouraged to seek legal redress in
3 CIVIL AND PUBLIC LAW
Civil law concerns disputes among citizens within country. Public law concerns disputes between citizens and the state, or between one state and another. Contracts ( binding agreements between people or companies ), torts ( wrongs commited by one individual against another person’s property ), trusts ( arrangements whereby a person administers property for another person’s benefit ), probate ( arrangements for dealing with property after the owner’s death ), family law are the main categories of English civil law. And the main categories of public law are: crimes ( wrong commited against another person ), Constitutional law ( regulation of how the law itself operates and of the relation between private citizen and government ), international law ( regulation of relations between governments and also between private citizens of one country and another ).
Differences in procedures
The standarts of proof are higher in a criminal action than in a civil one. The prosecution must prove the guilt of a criminal “beyond reasonable doubt”. But the plaintiff in a civil action is required to prove his case “on the balance of probabilities”. The party bringing a criminal action is called prosecution, but the party bringing a civil action is the plaintiff. In both means of action the other party is known as the defendant. A criminal case against a person called Ms.Brown would be described as “The people vs. Brown” in England. But acivil action between Ms.Brown and Ms.White would be “Brown vs.White” if it was started by the Brown and so on.
Points of contact
It is all the same there are many point of contact between criminal and civil law. If the loser of a civil case refuses to comply with the order made against him the prosedures for forcing him to comply may result in a criminal prosecution. Criminal conduct can be constituted disobeying any court.
4 JUDICIAL INSTITUTIONS
There are institutions for creating, modyfying, abolishing and applying the law in all legal systems. It takes the form of hierarchy of courts. Because of the reason that a particular court can specialize in particular kind of legal action we have various courts. Second reason would be that a person who feels his case was not fairly treated in a lower court can appeal to a higher court.
House of Lords
Court of appeal
Criminal Division Civil Division
Queen’s Bench Division Chansery Division Family Division
Magistrates Court County Court (Magistrates Court)
There is shown how courts relate to one another. The Crown Courts deal exclusively with criminal matters, the County Court, with civil. The highest court, the Haouse of Lords deals with all matters. Magistrates court begins criminal case. Having arrested someone suspected of commiting a crime, the police must decide if they have enough evidence to make a formal accusation, or charge. If they charge the suspect, they may release him on the condition that he appear on a certain date at a Magistartes Court. This is known as a conditional bail. The magistrate may decided that it is not necessary to hold the suspect in custody and may agree to unconditional bail, or the magistrate may grant conditional bail (release the suspect provided that he puts some money as security or agrees to surrender his passport or some similar condition). Serious crimes go to the Crown Court. It takes much longer to have a case heard in this court, but some defendants prefer it because the facts or the case are decided by a jury, members of the public, who can be 18 – 70 years old and who are selected at random. Jury must not have knowledges of the law science. This is because the job of jury is to listen to the case and to decide questions of fact.
In some countries cases are decided by jurors and judges together. In the US juries decide that the defendant is guilty and have a say in what punishment he should receive. Now in Japan jurors are not used: all decisions are made by professional judges.
A defendant found guilty by the amgistrates may appeal against the finding or against the punishment to the localCrown Court, and the Crown Court judge will hear the appeal without a jury. If a defendant has good reason to believe the magistrates have made a mistake about apoint of law, then he may appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. The appeal system is mostly for the benefit of the defendand, but there are cases of the prosecution succesfully appealing for a more severe punishment. In Japan it is even possible for the prosecution to appeal that not guilty decision be changed guilty. Appeals from the Crown ourt go first to the High Court and, in special cases, to the Court of Appeall. Occasionally, a case is carried through this system of appeal all the way to the House of Lords.
County Court is the lowest court in a civil action, which is in every town in England and Wales.Judges may hear matters such as contract and tort disputes, actions regarding claims to land or those regarding the property of a dead person.Appeals from the County Court go to the Court of Appeal.
In Britain most court cases are open to the public. Any member of the public may witness a court case, although he doesn’y have the right to speak and may be ordered from the court if he tries to interrupt proceedings. Also there are some proceedings that are closed. In proceedings where a child is giving evidence of sexual abuse.
5 LAWYERS AT WORK
THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
In the Republic of Lithuania justice is administered exclusively by courts. Such a thing is provided in the Constitution of the republic of Lithuania. The formation and competence of courts are defined in the Law on Courts of the Republic of Lithuania. The court system of the Republic of Lithuania consists of:
• The Supreme Court of Lithuania;
• The Court of Appeal of Lithuania;
• County Courts;
• 54 District Courts.
These are the courts of general jurisdiction.
On May 1, 1999, for the adjudication of administrative cases specialized administrative courts were established. A two-tier system of administrative courts consists of:
• 5 County Administrative Courts;
• the Superior Administrative Court;
• the Administrative Cases Division of the Court of Appeal of Lithuania.
In 1999, the number of judges in Lithuania was:
District Courts – 344;
County Courts – 131;
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania – 28;
The Supreme Court of Lithuania – 26;
Administrative Courts – 28;
Lithuania is divided into 54 court districts, that consist of: Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson (is appointed in District Courts with at least 6 judges), other judges and an office of the clerk of the court. Specialisation of judges was introduced inDistrict and County courts of Lithuania in cases involving under – age parties, including juvenile delinquents. A District Court is the first instance for:
1) civil cases;
2) criminal cases;
3) cases involving violations of the administrative law;
4) cases relative to the enforcement of judgments;
5) passing of decisions relative to the application of coercive measures established by laws;
6) in cases involving complaints against the action of an investigator or a prosecutor.
A County Court consist of :
• Division Chairperson
• other judges.
This court contains the Civil Cases Division and the Criminal Cases Division. It’s the first instance for civil cases where the amount in controversy exceeds 100.00,00 LTL. The County Courts also hear civil cases involving property rights, company bankryptcy, when a forign country is a party, etc. The County Court is the first instance for criminal cases like high treason, espionage, attempted assassination of a state official or a representative of a foreign country, instigation of war, genocide. Illegal transportation of persons, etc. It is the appelate instance for the decisions, judgements and rullings of District Courts.
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania
The Court of Appeal of Lithuania consists of:
• Chairperson of the Court of Appeal;
• Division Chairpersons;
• other judges.
It contains the Civil Cases Division, the Criminal Cases Divisions and the administrative Cases Divisions. The Court of Appeal of Lithuania is located in the capital of Lithuania – in Vilnius. It is the appelate instance for cases heard by county courts as the courts of first instance and the last instance for all administrative cases.
The Supreme Court of Lithuania
The Supreme Court of Lithuania consists of:
• Chairperson of the Supreme Court;
• Chairpersons of Divisions;
• other judges.
This court contains the Civil Cases Divisions, the Criminal Cases Divisions and the Supreme Court senate. It is located in Vilnius and is the only instance for effective court decisions, judgements and rulings. Such cases are heard by the chamber of three or seven judges or by the plenary session of the Supreme Court.
The jurisdiction of Administrative Courts is equal to that of courts of general competence of the respective level. Administrative Courts hear cases concerning the legality of legal acts adopted by state and municipal councils and their executive bodies, institutions, and their officiers, as well as the legality and validity of actions carried out by certain officials, or their refusal to perform, or obvious procrastination in performing actions within their competence.
The Constitutional Court
The Constitution of Lithuania provides for the establishment of the Constitutional Court. It was established in 1994. It is not a part of the Lithuania judicial system. Its status and the procedure for the execution of its powers are defined in the law on the Constitutional Court of the republic of Lithuania. This court consists of 9 judges appointed for an unrenewable term of 9 years. Every 3 years, one-third of the Constitution is reconstituted. The Constitutional Court decides whether the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas are in conformity with the Constitution and whether the legal acts adopted by the President and the Government do not violate the Constitution and laws. The decisions of the Constitutional Court on issues assigned to its jurisdiction by the Constitution are final and may not be adopted.