COURT SYSTEM OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION



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COURT SYSTEM OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION



Unit

COURT SYSTEM OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Section 1 Sources of Law

Pre-reading tasks.

Ex. 1 Answer the following questions using your background knowledge:

What sources of law do you know?

What do you think is the primary source of law in Russia?

Ex. 2 Read and guess the meaning of the following word-combinations: legislative instrument, legal system, principle of superiority, legal source, executive agencies, Governmental regulations, constituent components, legislative power, constitutional amendments.

Ex. 3 Match the words and the word-combinations from the text with their Russian equivalents:

1. legal source a. налагать вето
2. regulations b. законодательный акт
3. legal system c. субъект
4. written law d. постановление
5. constituent component e. в случае конфликта
6. executive agency f. писаное право
7. legislative power g. исполнительный орган
8. in regard to h. конституционная поправка
9. constitutional amendment i. законодательная власть
10. to veto j. относительно
11. in case of a conflict k. правовая система
12. legislative instrument l. источник права

Reading tasks

EX. 4 Skim the text and divide it into the logical parts. Entitle them.

Sources of law

Historically, Russia belongs to the continental legal system, and a written law,which was passed under the established legislative procedure, is the main legal source. About 10,000 laws, regulations, and other legal acts are passed in Russia annually.

The Constitution is the supreme Russian law and major legislative instrument. It establishes the principle of superiority of law in the system of legal sources. The law cannot contradict the Constitution. All other legal acts, such as decrees of the President, Governmental regulations, acts of Ministries and other federal executive agencies, as well as legislation passed by the constituent components of the Russian Federation cannot contradict laws. All laws are passed exclusively by the Federal Assembly (legislature). Delegation of the legislative power is prohibited.

Federal Constitutional Laws establish the group of most important legislative acts. They are passed in regards to the jurisdiction encompassed by the authority of the Russian Federation only. The federal constitutional law is adopted if it has been approved by at least three-quarters of the total number of the Federation Council members and by at least two-thirds of the total number of the State Duma members. The president of Russia cannot veto federal constitutional laws. The list of federal constitutional laws is prescribed by the Constitution. It includes laws on the state of emergency, the change of the status of a constituent component of the federation, on constitutional amendments, on government, on referendum, on the judiciary, on the Constitutional Court, and some other.

Federal laws constitute the second category of legal sources. They regulate issues included into executive authority of the Russian Federation and its components. The Constitution protects priority and direct effect of federal laws throughout the territory of Russia. In case of a conflict between federal law and another act issued in Russia, the law will prevail.

 

Ex. 5 Read the text in details and answer the following questions:

1. What is the main legal source in Russia?

2. How many laws and by-laws are passed in Russia annually?

3. What is the major legislative instrument?

4. Can the President of RF veto the federal constitutional laws?

5. When is the federal constitutional law adopted?

6. What is included in the list of federal constitutional laws?

7. What issues are regulated by federal laws?

8. What does the Constitution protect?

Ex. 6 Read and translate the following derivatives from the word “law”:

law, lawfulness, unlawful, law-abiding, law-maker, law-breaker.

Ex. 7. Find, read and translate the derivatives from the word “legislation”.

Ex. 8 Fill in the chart with the word families, translate them into Russian language.

VERB NOWN ADJECTIVE
to establish    
  constitution  
    prohibitive
    introductory
    adoptive
  amendment  
to contradict    
  government  
to approve    
  regulation  
  change  

Ex.9 Complete the text below using the proper form of the word to fill in each gap.

 

Often Russian laws are … in the form of a Code of Law. adoption
A Code is a complete … of rules in an entire subject area such as: civil law, criminal law, labour law… collective
Although Codes are usually supplemented by numerous pieces of special … . legislate
Codes retain their … as major sorces of law in a given area. prior
In addition to these codes legislative bodies…more specific laws, decrees and edicts. enactment

Ex. 10 Read the following short texts and match them with their titles.

1. Laws of the Constituent Entitles

2. International Treaties

3. Presidential Decrees

4. Edicts of the Government

5. Judicial Decisions

6. Acts of local Government

 

 

a)

The government is empowered to enact edicts on the basis of , and in implementation of, the Federal Constitution, Federal laws, presidential decrees of a normative nature and for their implementation. In contrast to presidential decrees which the President issues on the basis of his inherent power, it is clear from this provision that government edicts derive their power from the Constitution, Federal laws, and even presidential decrees.
Constituent entities are empowered to enact laws and other normative acts, but these acts cannot contravene Federal laws. In cases of conflict, Federal law prevails. Regarding matters which are neither within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation or the joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and its constituent entities. Constituent entities may enact laws and other normative acts independently and at its discretion in this area.  

 


b)

 

 

Universally acknowledged principles and standards of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation are a part of Russia’s legal system. Should an international treaty of the Russian Federation establish rules other than those established by a domestic law, the rules of the international treaty will prevail.  
c)

 

 

Following the traditional civil law approach, judicial practice is restricted to applying and interpreting the law, and the precedent cannot serve as a legal source. According to Russian legal doctrine, judges are supposed to use only written law contained in codes, statutes, or regulations in deciding a case. Even though attorneys use prior judicial decisions in their arguments, judges should not refer to prior cases in their decisions.  

 


d)

 

The structure of local self-government varies from place to place. As a rule, there is a representative body and an executive body. Representative bodies are called duma, assembly, sovet, etc. The executive body is organized under the head of administration. Local self-governments are empowered to enact such acts via a representative body, or by direct referendum on matters of local significance. This includes the creation of taxes and levies, the maintenance of law and order in the locality and the registration of inhabitants.  
e)

 

 

The president is empowered to issue decrees and orders. Although it is binding in the same way as decrees, the latter normally does not have a normative character; it addresses individual matters. Presidential decrees and orders may not contradict the Constitution and the Federal laws. Federal laws in this context include both Federal constitutional laws and Federal laws.  


f)

Ex. 11 Scan the text “Sources of law” and pick out the sentences with passive voice constructions. Define the tense and translate the sentences.

Ex. 12 Find the mistakes and correct the following sentences.

1. The Russian legal system not based on judge-made law.

2. The laws adopted in the Russian Federation may not contravene the Constitution.

3. Two types of legislation enacted by the Federal Assembly.

4. The Constitutional court of Russia vested with the power of constitutional review.

Classification of law

Law is a system of rules established by the state.

Civil law concerns disputes among a citizens within a country, and public law concerns disputes between citizens and the state, or between one state and another.

The system of law in our country consists of different categories of law.

Constitutional law is the leading category of the whole system of law. Its principal source is the country’s Constitution. It deals with social structure, the state system, organization of state power and the legal status of citizens.

Administrative law is closely connected with constitutional law but it deals with the legal forms of concrete executive and administrative activity of a government and ministries.

Criminal law defines the general principles of criminal responsibility, individual types of crimes and punishment applied to criminals. Crimes are wrongs which, even committed against an individual are considered to harm the well-being of society in general. Criminal law takes the form of a criminal code.

International law regulates relations between governments and also between private citizens of one country and those of another.

Financial law regulates the budget, taxation, state credit and other spheres of financial activity.

Civil law is connected with relations in the economic sphere of life, with relations involving property, its distribution and exchange. The right in property is the central institution of civil law.

The rules of employment law include the legislation on the employment of industrial and office workers and regulate matters arising from employment relations.

 

Speaking tasks.

Pre-reading tasks

EX. 28 Answer the questions. Get into groups of 3 or 4 and find out the following:

Are there criminal and civil courts in our country?

Are there specialized courts? What cases do they consider?

EX.29 Read the names of the courts in our country:

Courts of General Jurisdiction; Arbitrazh (or Commercial) Courts; the Russian Federation Constitutional Court, Justices of peace; district courts; regional courts; the Supreme Court; the highest judicial body;trial courts; appellate courts; military courts; the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

Reading tasks

EX. 33 Skim the text and divide it into the logical parts. Entitle them:

The Russian Court System

The Russian court system is composed of three independent parts. They are

(1) the Courts of General Jurisdiction;

(2) the Arbitrazh (or Commercial) Courts;

(3) the Russian Federation Constitutional Courts.

The Courts of General Jurisdiction include Justices of peace, District courts, Regional courts and the Supreme Court as the highest judicial body within the courts of general jurisdiction.

Justices of peace resolve small claims at the local level.

District (rayon) courts function as courts of first instance and courts of appeals for decisions of justices of peace. These courts make initial decisions in the majority of criminal and civil cases.

Regional (oblast) courts serve as trial courts in more serious crimes and civil matters, and as appellate courts reviewing district court’s judgments.

The Supreme Court hears civil, administrative, criminal, and other cases by way of supervision and for newly discovered circumstances. The Supreme Court may issue explanations on questions concerning to judicial practice.

The military courts are included into the system of courts of general jurisdiction. They form a three tier system organized under the territorial principle and include garrison, district (navy) courts and the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

The Commercial Courts adjudicate commercial and economic disputes between business entities. These courts are organized at the level of constituent components of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation Constitutional Court adjudicates matters governed by the Russian Federation Constitution. Rulings of the Constitutional Court are binding and final. Some subjects of the Russian Federation may adopt their own "subject" constitutions, and that’s why, they have their own "subject" constitutional courts.

Commercial courts

the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation

(the Plenum, the Presidium, the Department of Civil Cases, and the Department of Administrative Cases)

 


Federal Territorial Commercial Courts (10 )

 


appellate commercial courts (20)

 

commercial courts of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation( 81)

The Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court is the only body that officially interprets the Constitution and can declare that a certain legal act does not comply with the Constitution and, therefore, is invalid.

The Constitutional court consists of 19 judges. There are two chambers with 9 and 10 judges in each respectively. The chambers consider the majority of cases; the most important issues are resolved on the Plenum Session of the Constitutional Court.

The Court is competent to examine laws and legal acts at federal as well as at the regional level as regards to their compliance with the constitution.

The proceeding before the constitutional court can be initiated by the president, parliament or a group of members of parliament comprising a fifth of all members of the State Duma or the Council of the Federation, the Government, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Commercial Court, legislative and executive bodies of the Subjects of the Federation. A court may suspend proceedings and ask the Constitutional Court to examine whether a particular legal Act complies with the constitution.

The Constitutional Court can also resolve disputes about competence between state bodies if the dispute cannot be resolved by other means.

 

Speaking tasks

Ex.45 Describe the court system of Russia according to the plan:

1. Sources of law in the Russian Federation.

2. Bodies of law.

3. The main groups of courts in the RF.

4. The Courts of General Jurisdiction (structure and competence).

5. The Commercial Courts (structure and competence).

6. The Russian Federation Constitutional Courts (structure and competence).

 

Glossary

 

1. binding adj. –m,(of an agreement or promise) involving an obligation that cannot be broken

e.g. Business agreements are intended to be legally binding.

 

2. code n. — a systematic collection of laws or regulations

e.g. A criminal code (or penal code) is a document which compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law.

3. court of appeals n.— court to which appeals are taken in a federal circuit or a state

e.g. The Court of Appeal has clarified its position.

4. court of first instance n.— a court in which legal proceedings are begun or first heard

e.g. Unusual for Russian patent disputes, the court of first instance did not follow the conclusions of the forensic examination.

5. decree n.— an official order that has the force of law

e.g. According to the Constitution of Russia the President of Russia may issue decrees.

6. general jurisdictionadj.+n. – the court's authority to hear all kinds of cases, which arise within its geographic area.

e.g. A court of general jurisdiction is one that can hear different types of cases like a tort case, a contracts law case, or any number of other related cases.

 

7. judicial adj. – relating to the legal system and to judgements made in a court of law

e.g. There are many officers of the court, including jurors, but the Prosecutor General remains the most powerful component of the Russian judicial system.

 

8. invalid adj.— not legally recognized and therefore void because contravening a regulation or law

e.g. The vote was declared invalid due to a technicality.

 

9. judiciary n. – the judicial branch of government, the court system, or judges collectively

e.g. The judiciary must think very hard before jailing non-violent offenders.

10. private law adj.+n. – a branch of the law that deals with the relations between individuals or institutions, rather than relations between these and the state

e.g. Major subdivisions of private law include torts and contracts or the law of obligations.

11. proceedings n.— legal action taken against someone

Criminal proceedings were brought against him

12. public law adj.+n. – the law of relationships between individuals and the government

e.g. Constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are some of the major subdivisions of public law.

 

13. regulations n.— rules or directives made and maintained by an authority

e.g. The European Community has proposed new regulations to control the hours worked by its employees.

14. rule of lawn. – 1). a situation in which the people in a society obey its laws and enable it to function properly

e.g. I am confident that we can restore peace, stability and respect for the rule of law.

2). a legal principle

e.g. The European Court has thus established an important legal principle.

 

15. supervision n. – the observing and directing of the execution of (a task or activity)

e.g. First-time license holders have to work under supervision.

 

16. supreme court n. – the highest court in the country

e.g. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States.

 

17. to adjudicate v. - to make a formal judgement on a disputed matter

e.g. The case was adjudicated in the High Court.

18. to comply with v. — to act in accordance with what is required

e.g. We are unable to comply with your request.

19. to contradict v. — to be in conflict with

e.g. The result seems to contradict a major U.S. study reported last November.

20. to hear (a case) v. – to listen to a case officially in order to make a decision about it

e.g. He had to wait months before his case was heard.

 

21. to interpret v. – to explain the meaning of (information or actions)

e.g. The evidence is difficult to interpret.

22. to review cases v. – to submit (a case, etc.) for reconsideration by a higher court or authority

e.g. The Attorney General asked the court to review the sentence.

23. to veto v. – to exercise a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body

e.g. The president vetoed the bill.

24. trial court n. — a court of law where cases are tried in the first place, as opposed to an appeal court

e.g. A trial court or court of first instance is a court in which trials take place.

 

Unit

COURT SYSTEM OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Section 1 Sources of Law

Pre-reading tasks.

Ex. 1 Answer the following questions using your background knowledge:

What sources of law do you know?

What do you think is the primary source of law in Russia?

Ex. 2 Read and guess the meaning of the following word-combinations: legislative instrument, legal system, principle of superiority, legal source, executive agencies, Governmental regulations, constituent components, legislative power, constitutional amendments.

Ex. 3 Match the words and the word-combinations from the text with their Russian equivalents:

1. legal source a. налагать вето
2. regulations b. законодательный акт
3. legal system c. субъект
4. written law d. постановление
5. constituent component e. в случае конфликта
6. executive agency f. писаное право
7. legislative power g. исполнительный орган
8. in regard to h. конституционная поправка
9. constitutional amendment i. законодательная власть
10. to veto j. относительно
11. in case of a conflict k. правовая система
12. legislative instrument l. источник права

Reading tasks



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