АВТОР-СОСТАВИТЕЛЬ МИНГАЗЕТДИНОВ Аскар Асхатович



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АВТОР-СОСТАВИТЕЛЬ МИНГАЗЕТДИНОВ Аскар Асхатович



ТОПИКИ ДЛЯ СТУДЕНТОВ ИНСТИТУТА ПРАВА БГУ

АВТОР-СОСТАВИТЕЛЬ МИНГАЗЕТДИНОВ Аскар Асхатович

REPUBLIC OF BASHKORTOSTAN

The Republic of Bashkortostan - a sovereign republic within the Russian Federation - is located along the South Urals and the adjacent plains. Its territory is 143,600 square kilometers and the population is over 4 million people. In terms of population, Bashkortostan ranks seventh among Russia's republics, territories and regions. About a hundred nationalities inhabit the Republic. The indigenous population is Bashkirs.

From the point of view of natural conditions Bashkortostan can be divided into three parts - western, mountainous and Bashkir Trans-Urals. The western part is located upon the Russian Plains. It is most favourable for life and business activities. It is here that the majority of the population lives. Highland Bashkortostan encompasses the South Ural Mountains, least auspicious to farming and manufacturing and thus least developed. Bashkir Trans-Urals forms a narrow strip to the east of the Ural Mountains along the Republic's eastern border merging with the West Siberian Plains.

Bashkortostan's climate is continental with moderately warm, sometimes hot, summers and cold winters.

More than 600 rivers and 800 lakes trim the beauty of the Republic's nature. Many of the rivers, including the largest - the Ural and the Aghidel - belong to the Caspian Sea basin.

Bashkortostan is rich in forests, the predominant species being birch-tree, conifers, lime-tree, oak and maple. About 6 million cubic meters of timber are annually procured and more than half of these are subsequently processed. The Republic accounts for nearly a third of all lime-tree forests of Russia. It is the lime-tree that makes Bashkir honey world-famous. The latter's taste and bouquet, as well as the superb quality of the famous healing koumiss(fermented mare's milk) are contributed to by a rare combination of the vegetation growing in Bashkortostan.

The mineral riches of Bashkortostan include iron ore, copper, gold, zinc, aluminum, chromium, brown coal, natural gas, salt, manganese, gypsum, lime-stone and many other deposits numbering well over three thousand.

Oil is the main mineral resource of the land. Oil-related industries - power generation, oil refining, chemical, gas and petrochemical - have become most prominent.

Diverse natural riches, a favourable pattern of population distribution, and a convenient geographical location promote the development of manufacturing and agribusiness. Bashkortostan ranks second in the Urals region as regards its manufacturing potential, and outstrips Russia's republics and many of the CIS countries in terms of national income.

Being the focal point of the major cargo traffic between the European and Asian parts of the country, the Republic of Bashkortostan offers extensive facilities for exports and imports of raw materials, fuel and manufactured items, maintaining trade and business ties with both the West and the East.

The BAL (Bashkir Airlines) carrier connects Ufa with the largest cities in Russia, the post-Soviet republics and abroad.

The length of railways is 2,900 km, and that of navigable river routes is 960 km.

* * * * *

Adoption on October 11, 1990, of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Bashkortostan opened up a new phase in the evolution of our Republic as a sovereign state within the Russian Federation, a state possessing an immense economic and spiritual potential. The Republic has established itself as a reliable, economically and politically stable region, which is prepared to co-operate and interact on an equal footing with all regions of Russia, with the federal authorities, and foreign partners.

Sovereignty has given to the Republic an opportunity to independently determine its economic policy, to rationally manage its natural riches, production capability and earnings in the best interest and for the benefit of the people.

The State Assembly - Kurultai of the Republic of Bashkortostan is the supreme representative and the single legislative body of the Republic. It consists of the two Houses - the House of Representatives and the Legislative Chamber. As distinct from the Federal Assembly and the legislative bodies of other subjects of the Russian Federation, the structure of Bashkortostani Parliament has certain features of its own. On the one hand, it is a bicameral, on the other hand - it is a unitary body. As per the requirement of the Constitution, the joint session of both Houses elects Chairperson of the State Assembly, as well as his or her Deputy who performs his or her functions without being released from the principal job. The Chairpersons of each individual House are elected at separate sittings. In accordance with the law provisions, they concurrently serve as Deputies to the Chairperson of the State Assembly. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Bashkortostan, only the State Assembly is entitled to adopt a Constitution, Codes, Laws, and any amendments thereto; it determines, jointly with the President, the domestic and foreign policies of the Republic, endorses the State Budget, supervises its execution; gives its consent to the President's nomination of a Prime Minister; passes a decision to hold elections of the President, deputies of the State Assembly and local authorities; elects the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Arbitration; appoints the Procurator and the Commissioner of the Republic of Bashkortostan for Human Rights. At least once a year the Parliament shall hear and discuss the President's message on the main guidelines of the home and foreign policies. The State Assembly wields many other powers and authority as well.

The competence of the Houses, matters related to the internal set-up of their activities are spelled out in the Law on the State Assembly and its Unified Regulations.

The Legislative Chamber functions on a continuous professional basis. It is exactly this house that makes Codes and Laws. The House of Representatives does not operate full-time, but takes an active part in the law-making process, approves or rejects Codes, Laws or other acts adopted by the Legislative Chamber, introduces amendments or supplements thereto as may be required.

Each House comprises seven equally named, "replica" committees, which work in parallel, each having its own specific tasks in the law-making process.

The House of Representatives comprises 150 Deputies, whereas the Legislative Chamber numbers 40.

The State Assembly is elected for the term of four years.

A Secretariat is formed to maintain its activities.

The republican legislative base will have to eliminate imperfections and conflicts existing with federal laws, to create a comprehensive system for legal regulation of the economy conforming to up-to-date conditions and requirements of the reforms. Streamlining is required for the legislation on investment activities (including those involving foreign capital), on consumer and manufacturing co-operatives, on finance-industrial groups, and on registration by the state of real estate and on transactions therewith.

Against the background of political tension in many of the country's regions Bashkortostan stands out for stability and peaceful atmosphere.

The Republic numbers 20 cities, the largest being Ufa, Sterlitamak, Salavat, Neftekamsk, Oktyabrski.

U F A

Over the 400-odd years of its existence, the capital of sovereign Bashkortostan has developed from a small fortress in the outskirts of Russia into a major manufacturing, scientific and cultural centre of the nation.

Ufa was founded by a detachment of Russian streltsi (archers) as a fortress in 1574. In 1588 Ufa was granted a town status and became Bashkiria's administrative centre. Gradually it developed into a trade mediator between European and Siberian towns and cities.

In 1922 Ufa became the capital of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Federation.

The history of Ufa has absorbed centuries-old traditions of its inhabitants - representatives of over 80 nations and nationalities, who harmoniously complement and enrich each other's cultures.

About 40 percent of the Republic's industrial capacity is concentrated in Ufa. The city's oil refineries and petrochemical facilities annually consume more than 35 million tons of crude. The engineering industry, accounting for more than 25 percent of the capital's industrial output, fabricates a wide range of produce including aerospace applications and household appliances. There are considerable capacities of the building materials industry; timber-processing, light and food industries are being developed.

Ufa ranks high in Russia as regards the production of diesel fuel, car petrol, petrochemicals, herbicides, "Moskvich" car engines, agricultural machinery, consumer goods, medicines.

The capital boasts 11 higher educational establishments with five universities among them; active research is being conducted by the Ufa Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

More than one hundred writers and poets live and work in Ufa. The writings of Mustai Karim, Nazar Nadzhmi, Anver Bikchentayev are acclaimed not only in Bashkortostan and Russia, but well beyond.

It is exactly at Ufa medrese that the famous writers G.Ibraghimov, S.Kudash, Kh.Tufan were schooled.

The renowned virtuoso Rudolf Nureyev started his dazzling dancing career in Ufa, his talent being a source of inspiration for the Bashkir school of ballet dancing. Ufa occupies a significant place in creative work of many distinguished writers, painters, musicians - S.T.Aksakov, M.V.Nesterov, F.I.Chaliapin.

The Aksakov and Chaliapin cultural events that are staged in Ufa on a regular basis draw guests and participants from many countries of the world. The city also hosts the M.Glinka International Music Contest, Turkic-speaking Theatre Festivals, international sporting events.

Thanks to its vibrant cultural life, the activities of many institutions of culture and arts, the existence of historical and literature shrines, as well as to a goodwill shown by the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Ufa is emerging as an increasingly attractive place for many countries.

BASHKIR STATE UNIVERSITY

The Bashkir State University was founded in 1957 on the basis of the Bashkir State Pedagogical Institute named after K.A.Timiryazev. The University is actually the legal successor of the Ufa Teachers' Training Institute (est. 1918) - the first higher education institution in the Republic of Bashkortostan, which in 1920 was transformed into the Institute of Public Education and later into the Pedagogical Institute. Today this major scientific, educational and cultural centre of the Republic ranks among the top ten classical universities of the Russian Federation.

The University currently employs over 700 instructors, including 110 Doctors and 400 Candidates of Sciences. 38 Doctors have been elected Full Members and Corresponding Members of various academies.

More than 6,000 full-time students are trained in 33 trades, with 4,000 students studying part-time. The University incorporates 13 departments in Ufa and the two branches located in Sibai and Sterlitamak. Instruction is effected by 74 chairs. The University provides post-graduate training in 57 specialties and doctorate training in 8, there being 14 boards for theses defence.

Science is represented by the R&D centre, three problem and multi-branch laboratories, the R&D Institute for Sociology, the Bashkir Patent Centre, the "Zaryad" experiment and design bureau focusing on building computer systems, measuring instruments and machine-tools for the engineering industry.

The University instructors annually issue 50 titles of monographs, textbooks and teaching aids.

The Bashkir University participates in international integration activities, co-operating on a contractual basis with universities in the U.S.A., Turkey, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Hungary, Japan and China in the sphere of science and higher education.

The Bashkir University is a vibrantly growing institution. The transition is currently accomplished to a multi-level system of higher professional training. The high standard of theoretical and methodological background of the professor and instructor staff supported by academic traditions facilitates training highly-qualified specialists.

The University is justly proud of its graduates. More than 53,000 specialists have been trained here since 1957 thus contributing significantly to Bashkortostan's intellectual potential. Over a thousand University graduates have been awarded honorary titles of the Russian Federation and those of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and 67 of them are members of the Writers' Union of Russia.

DEPARTMENT OF LAW

The Department of Law has been in existence since January 1972 and is the legal successor of the Ufa Branch of the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Law, which was transformed into the Ufa Faculty of the Sverdlovsk Institute of Law in 1964.

The full-time and part-time (evening and correspondence) divisions of the Department comprise 60 instructors with 6 Professors and 25 Assistant Professors and train more than 1,500 students.

At the chairs of Theory and History of State and Law, Civil Law and Procedure, Business and Financial Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Criminology and Forensic Expertise the students of the Department can specialize in various legal fields - state, business, financial, agrarian law, investigation, prosecution, foreign-economic activities. Two scientific schools are successfully functioning, one focusing on agrarian law, the other dedicated to combatting juvenile delinquency.

The instruction process is provided with excellent training facilities - criminology laboratories, a photography darkroom, a video-room, a computer class, a foreign languages laboratory.

Post-graduate courses are provided by the Chairs "Civil Law and Procedure", "Criminal Law and Procedure", "Criminology and Forensic Expertise". A specialized board has been set up for defending candidates' theses dedicated to Agrarian Law, Land, Water, Forest and Mining Law, Ecological Law.

A multi-level system of specialist training was introduced in 1994.

OXFORD

Oxford University, comprising nearly 50 affiliated but autonomous colleges and halls, is a great centre of learning since its foundation in the 12th century.

Oxford is like London: it is international, it is old and it has great charm. It is also a town that grew up near the River Thames.

Oxford is international because people from many parts of the world come to study at its university. They join the university "family" that has more than 9,000 members.

In universities there are chancellors, principals, masters, wardens, deans, bursars, professors, readers, fellows and others in a variety of pecking orders.

The city of Oxford is old and historical. It has existed since 912. The oldest men's college is University (1249), and the oldest women's college is Lady Margaret Hall (1879). Some of the other old colleges are Merton College, Magdalen College, and New College. The major university library is the famous Bodleian.

You can see the charm of Oxford in the green fields and parks which surround the city and you can see it in the lawns and gardens which surround the colleges.

You can see the charm of Oxford in the River Thames and its streams which pass near the city. Punting is a favourite sport among the students at Oxford. It is a very peaceful sport and helps you to do a lot of thinking - especially if you are studying for an examination!

There are several sights not to be missed by a visitor to Oxford - the Martyrs' Memorial and the cobblestone cross in the middle of the Broad Street. On this spot in 1555 two bishops, Latimer and Ridley, were burned alive on the orders of Catholic Queen Mary. As the flames took hold, Bishop Latimer called across to his fellow martyr: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as I trust shall never be put out."

He meant the candle of the Protestant faith. A year later, on the same spot in 1556, Archbishop Cranner followed them to death. The flames from the pyre had scorched the door of Balliol College a few yards away. The scorch marks are plainly visible today.

Visitors one day should also stay up till midnight and listen to Great Tom, the bass bell at Christ Church, which tolls 101 times each night.

CAMBRIDGE

The story of the University begins in 1209 when several hundred students and scholars arrived in the little town of Cambridge after they have walked 60 miles from Oxford, where it was a hard life for students. One day a student accidentally killed a man of the town. The Mayor arrested three other students who were innocent and they were put to death. In protest, all the students moved elsewhere, some coming to Cambridge; and so the new University began. Its first college, Peterhouse, was established in 1284.

Today the University is coeducational, and has about 9,000 students. It has a total of 29 colleges and approved societies, and is a self-governing body, with authority vested in its senior members.

The Colleges join one another along the curve of the river Cam. They are built on a plan common to all. There is a chapel, a library and a large dining-hall. The student gets a clear idea of much of the English architectural styles of the past 600 years.

GREAT BRITAIN

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom, or UK) has existed as we know it today for a comparatively short time. England and Wales have functioned as a single political entity for centuries, but union with Scotland took place only in 1707, with the creation of a single parliament for Great Britain. Ireland did not join the union until 1801. However, in 1922, after a century of turbulence, the southern counties of Ireland (now the Republic of Ireland) became an independent state, leaving the six northern counties as part of the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy of NW Europe occupying the whole of the British Isles except the Republic of Ireland. The UK thus comprises the island of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and Northern Ireland. It does not include the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, which are Crown dependencies and are generally independent from the United Kingdom except in matters of defence and international relations.

Britain enjoys a mainly mild climate with changeable weather. Although notoriously variable, the weather is subject to few extremes of temperature and will only rarely rise above 32° C or fall below -10° C.

The area of the country is 94,251 square miles (244,110 square kilometers). With an estimated population of about 56.5 million, the UK is one of the world's most densely populated countries. More than five-sixths of the people live in England. Most British are urban-dwelling. About a fifth of the population of mainland Britain lives in eight major conurbations, which account for less than 2% of the total land area.

As a result of immigration the UK now is a multiracial society. Immigrants from India, Pakistan, the West Indies (Afro-Caribbeans) and other Commonwealth countries number at least 1,500,000. There are concentrations of ethnic minorities in most cities.

The total population has remained relatively constant in recent years, but shows a slight upward trend. Current projections are that the population will reach 57.7 million by 2001.

English is the main language throughout the UK. In Wales, however, both English and Welsh are used in some areas, and Welsh is as valid as English for many official purposes. In the north-west of Scotland a small minority still speaks Gaelic.

The United Kingdom is regarded as a Christian country. However, there is a complete religious freedom: anyone may practice any religion without state interference. Religious observance has been declining in recent years, but the majority of the population are Protestant, in name at least.

Scene of the world's first industrial revolution in the 18th century, the UK based its economic development on its coal and iron deposits. Recently North Sea oil and natural gas have been exploited. Industrial raw materials and food, however, often have to be imported. To pay for imports the UK exports manufactured goods and provides services like banking, insurance and shipping.

Major industries include iron and steel, engineering, textiles, electronics, chemicals and shipbuilding. Most industries are privately owned, but some of the most important are wholly or partly owned by the state. After WWII the UK failed to keep pace in economic growth with other West European countries due to the decline of its relative economic strength and the inflexibility of its management and labour practices. Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The United Kingdom has a largely free-market economy, but there is regulation of the financial services, banking, insurance and broadcasting sectors, as well as legislation concerned with competition and the protection of consumers and employees.

The United Kingdom is a major trading nation that maintains significant manufacturing and service sectors.

Manufacturing industry has undergone substantial restructuring since 1979. Many traditional industries, such as heavy engineering, have experienced a decline, whereas high-technology industries - in particular, electrical engineering - have enjoyed healthy expansion.

The services sector has grown much faster than the manufacturing sector over recent decades and now accounts for roughly 60% of gross domestic product and 65% of employees. The fastest-growing areas have been financial services, professional and scientific services, leisure and tourism. There has also lately been a boom in retail distribution.

The City of London is particularly significant as a centre for world banking and foreign exchange trading and has become the major market for Eurobond dealing.

The United Kingdom at present has a substantial energy-production sector, accounting for 8% of gross domestic product (GDP). The bulk of the sector is involved with oil and natural gas, although coal remains significant. Oil production from the North Sea fields is now past its peak, but it is estimated that coal reserves can last for at least two more centuries.

Three-quarters of the UK's land area is dedicated to agriculture. Whilst the agricultural sector satisfies two-thirds of the country's needs, it accounts for only 4% of gross domestic product.

From the seventeenth century to the nineteenth, Britain colonized a large part of the globe. Most of these colonies have now become independent states, and 48 of them, together with the UK, are members of the voluntary association of states known as the Commonwealth. The Queen is head of the Commonwealth.

Communications to and within the United Kingdom are now of a high standard. All major cities have airport facilities and rail links, while the motorway network has been considerably enhanced by the completion of the London Orbital motorway (motorways are generally without tolls).

The United Kingdom enjoys all the usual modern telecommunications facilities.

The Post Office is a government-owned body which has a monopoly on letter post, but which is subject to competition from private couriers and British Rail in respect of parcels. The letter post is divided into two classes: the slightly more expensive first class mail service will generally ensure delivery one day after posting. There are normally no Sunday deliveries or collections.

School education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16. Local authorities are obliged to provide schooling free of charge. Most schools admit boys and girls together. Some local authority schools ("voluntary schools") are specifically Anglican or Roman Catholic, but the majority are not associated with any particular religion or denomination (though the element of religious education is required).

Although education is compulsory until the age of 16, it is not uncommon for pupils, particularly those intending to go on to university, to stay at school until the age of 18.

Alongside the local authority schools, there is an independent sector, covering all ages. These schools are paid. Some offer boarding facilities, some are religious foundations, and many are single sex. Fees can be anything up to Ј2,000 a term for a boarding secondary school.

Most residents of the UK make use of the National Health Service (NHS) for both general practitioner and hospital care. The NHS provides a comprehensive health service which is generally free of charge (but fees are common if drugs or spectacles are prescribed or if one is visiting a dentist).

In addition to the NHS, there is private sector, funded by medical insurance. The major advantages of the private sector are the absence of waiting lists and the greater comfort of hospital accommodation.

After WWII Britain established a welfare state that involved the nationalization of key industries and the vast expansion of social services. One effect was to diminish the country's competitiveness in the world market; problems such as inflation, trade deficits and unemployment were chronic. When Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979 she resolved to dismantle the welfare state, check the power of labour unions, and instill an entrepreneurial spirit in the country. The change was wrenching, marked by persistent high unemployment, especially in the northern industrial cities. But by the late 1980s the economy was growing, unemployment was declining and taxes were being cut. The prime minister was criticized in many quarters for subordinating traditional British values to the drive for commercial success, but her re-election to a third term in 1987 ensured that her policy would be continued.

In 1990 Thatcher's resistance to full British participation in European economic union and her unpopular tax policy finally brought her down. She was succeeded by Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Major. On May 1, 1997, young and charismatic Anthony Blair led the Labour to the parliamentary election triumph.

The capital of Great Britain is London covering over 650 square miles along both banks of the River Thames. The national centre of government, trade, commerce, shipping, finance and industry, it is also one of the cultural centres of the world. The Port of London handles over 33% of UK trade. Many of the most important financial and business institutions such as the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange and Lloyd's of London, as well as many banking and shipping concerns, are concentrated in the single square mile known as the City. London is also a historic city with many beautiful buildings: the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace are major tourist attractions. Home of universities, colleges, and some of the world's greatest museums and libraries, it also has a flourishing night life. London's art galleries, concert halls, theatres and opera houses are world-famous. Distant areas of London are linked by the complex and highly efficient subway system known as the Underground. The population of the city is nearly 7 million.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The USA is the fourth-largest country in the world after Russia, Canada and China. The 50 states span North America from coast to coast. The largest state is Alaska, the smallest is Rhode Island. The state with the largest population is California, whereas the least populated state is Wyoming.

The federal capital is Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia). The area is 3,536,855 square miles, the population is 248,710,000 people.

The US is the world's third-largest nation by population after China and India. Until 1840 immigrants came mostly from England and Scotland, but thereafter increasingly from other, mainly European lands, including Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, Italy and the Slavic countries. From 1965 large number of Latin Americans and Asians have been admitted.

The first blacks came as slaves (from 1619). Today there are some 30 million black Americans, of whom the majority still live in the South and in large cities like Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago. Indians, the original inhabitants, are found in all states, with major concentrations in the Great Plains and the West. Other significant national groups include Spanish-Americans (Mexicans and Puerto Ricans), Chinese and Japanese.

About 75% of Americans are urban dwelling and about 16% of the total population lives in the highly urbanized Boston to Washington, D.C. stretch of the Atlantic coastal belt which contains the most densely populated states, New Jersey and Rhode Island. During the 1960s California overtook New York to become the most populous state in the Union.

The US has many religious groups, the strongest being the Protestants (73,700,000) and Roman Catholics (52,000,000).

The economy of the US is predominantly free-enterprise. The rich mineral resources include coal, iron ore, petroleum and natural gas and other valuable minerals. But reserves of some minerals are declining and the US has increasingly become an importer of ores and oil. Major products include steel (Pittsburgh, Chicago and elsewhere), automobiles (Detroit), aircraft and aerospace products, electric and electronic equipment, textiles and most kinds of consumer goods.

The supreme law of the nation is the United States Constitution. Written in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, the Constitution was approved by 55 delegates representing the 13 original states and went into effect on March 4, 1789, after ratification by the required nine states. A Bill of Rights to guarantee personal freedoms was also added as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

The US capital - Washington, D.C. - is located on the East bank of the Potomac River. The focal point is the domed Capitol, home of the Congress of the United States. To the North-West lies the White House. Other important buildings are the headquarters of numerous government departments and agencies, the Supreme Court, Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Library of Congress. Also a cultural and educational centre, Washington is the site of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art and the John F. Kennedy Centre of Performing Arts. There are many parks and famous memorials: the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. There is little industry but many large corporations and other organizations have their offices there.

The largest city is New York, consisting of five boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond. The long narrow island of Manhattan is the city's economic and cultural heart. New York is the nation's richest port, and a world leader in trade and finance. It is also a manufacturing (notably garments), communications (broadcasting, advertising and publishing) and performing arts center.

New York occupies a central position in the nation's and the world's cultural and business affairs. New York has over 100 parks. The city's cultural and entertainment facilities offer an enormous range of interest and opportunity.

New York's population is 7,323,000 (city) and 8,547,000 (metro).

UNITED KINGDOM

System of Government

Britain is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch - Queen Elizabeth II - as head of State. Its formal title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"Great Britain" (England, Wales and Scotland) came into existence when the English and Scottish crowns were united at the beginning of the 17th century and their parliaments a century later. The British and Irish Parliaments were united in 1801. In 1922 the southern part of Ireland, predominantly Roman Catholic, became a separate state - now the Irish Republic. Northern Ireland, with its Protestant majority, chose to continue as part of the United Kingdom and had its own parliament between 1921 and 1972.

Political stability owes much to the monarchy, the continuity of which has been broken only once (during the brief republic in the 17th century) in over a thousand of years. Democratic government has developed from the establishment of Parliament over 700 years ago. As a constitutional monarch, the Sovereign now performs the functions of an impartial head of State, acting on the advice of her ministers.

Parliament comprises the House of Lords and the House of Commons, together with the Queen in her constitutional role. The Lords is made up of hereditary and life peers and peeresses and the two archbishops and 24 most senior bishops of the established Church of England. The Commons is the elected House, consisting of 650 members of Parliament (MPs), each representing a local constituency area.

The two-chamber system has long been a feature of British parliamentary government, although over the years the balance between the two Houses has undergone a complete change. In modern practice the centre of parliamentary power is in the Commons. Limitations on the Lords' powers of legislative veto are based on the belief that the main function of the House is to complement the Commons and not to rival it. In these days the Lords hardly ever executes its powers to delay Bills.

General elections to choose MPs and the next Government must be held at least every five years. Voting, which is not compulsory, is by secret ballot and is from the age of 18.

Under the traditional two-party system, governments are formed by the party which has majority support in the Commons.

After each general election the King or Queen invites the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons to become Prime Minister and form the Government. This Minister has an official London house while he (or she) is in office; it is at No.10, Downing Street. He also has the use of a country house, named Chequers.

The leader of the Government, the Prime Minister, chooses a number of ministers, including 20 or so in the Cabinet. The second largest party traditionally forms the official Opposition with its own leader and "shadow cabinet". Ministers are collectively responsible for government decisions, and individually responsible for their own departments.

Local government is carried out by elected authorities which deal with planning and housing, education, personal social services, police, fire brigades and many other local services.

The United Kingdom has no written constitution or bill of rights. The "unwritten constitution" is a mixture of law, convention and tradition which has evolved over the centuries.

Essentially people in Great Britain are not granted specific rights but are instead free to do anything not forbidden by law. However, Britain now accepts the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, and it is possible to take complaints to these forums if internal remedies prove unsatisfactory.

One feature arising from the historic development of the United Kingdom is the fact that its constituent parts, England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, all have their own legal systems and law courts. However, most law, particularly that affecting businesses, applies throughout the United Kingdom.

Criminal law is concerned with wrongs against the community as a whole, civil law with the rights and duties of individuals among themselves.

Keeping the peace and bringing offenders to trial are primarily the concern of the police, whose action depends on common consent since the number of officers is small in relation to the population (roughly one to 400 people). The police are not normally armed and their powers are carefully limited. Special efforts are being made to improve relations between the police and the community.

In England and Wales where prosecutions are initiated by the police, proposals have been made for a prosecution service independent of the police. In Scotland the police make the preliminary investigations and a public prosecutor decides whether or not to prosecute. As soon as anyone is arrested he or she must be charged and brought to court with the minimum of delay. Unless the case is serious, the arrested person is usually granted bail if he or she cannot quickly be brought to court.

Compensation may be paid to victims of violent crime and people hurt while trying to prevent offenses.

Judges are independent and non-political and, except for lay magistrates who try less serious criminal cases, are appointed from practicing barristers, or solicitors.

Criminal cases take place in open court although there are some restrictions, such as those to protect children. The more serious cases take place before jury of ordinary, independent citizens who decide on guilt or innocence. People accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proved guilty, and every possible step is taken to deny the prosecution any advantage over the defence. Other than in cases of murder, for which the sentence is life imprisonment, courts can choose penalty most appropriate for a particular offender.

The legal profession has two branches: solicitors and barristers (advocates in Scotland). Solicitors undertake legal business for lay clients, while barristers advise on problems submitted through solicitors and present cases in the higher courts.

People with little money are given help to meet the costs of legal advice and representation in court.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

System of Government

The United States is a federal union of 50 states. The District of Columbia is the seat of the national government. The Federal Constitution outlines the structure of the national government, its powers and activities. Other activities are the responsibility of the individual states, which have their own constitutions and laws. Within each state are counties, townships, cities and villages, each of which has its own government.

All government in the United States is "of, by and for the people". Members of Congress, the President, the state leaders, and those who govern counties and cities are elected by popular vote. Heads of federal departments are named by the President, and judges are either elected directly by the people or appointed by the elected officials. Voting is done in secret so that no one need to know for whom a citizen is voting. Public officials may be removed from office for failing to perform their duties properly.

America declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. At that time it was a loose confederation of states. It took five years to win the War of Revolution and then it took eight more years to arrive at the system of government that the US has today.

When the Constitution was written in 1787 there were only 13 states. The drafters of the Constitution saw that the future might bring a need for changes, so they provided for adding amendments. Over the years 25 amendments have been added. The pattern of government planned so long ago for 13 states, today meets the needs of 50 states and over 50 times as many people.

Individual rights and freedoms are assured in the Constitution and are listed in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution - the Bill of Rights - which were added in 1791. They include freedom of speech, of the press and of worship; the right of citizens to meet peacefully; the right to be secure in one's own home against unreasonable searches and seizure of person or property; and the right of any person charged with breaking the law to have a speedy trial by a jury of fellow citizens.

The Constitution divides the powers of the government into three branches - the Executive, headed by the President; the Legislative, which includes both houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives; and the Judicial, which is headed by the Supreme Court. The Constitution limits the powers of each branch, and prevents any one branch from gaining undue power.

For example, the Constitution gives Congress authority to make laws necessary for the common defense and good of the nation. As the country has grown, these laws have been adopted to provide for social welfare, public works, economic control and protection of the right of labor. But if any law passed by the Congress and signed by the President is contested, it may - or may not - be held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and nullified.

The whole system of American government is based on long-established principles. The people believe that the government should provide a frame-work of law and order in which they are left free to run their own lives.

The state governments follow much the same pattern as the Federal Government. Each has a governor as the chief executive, with power divided among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. State governments manage such affairs as highway building and public higher education. The Federal Government deals with national and international problems and problems that involve more than one state. Laws affecting the daily lives of citizens are enforced by police in the cities and towns. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation track down criminals who cross state borders and who break federal laws.

Before an accused person can be put on trial for a serious crime in a federal court - or in the courts of many states - his case must be presented to a Grand Jury of private citizens who decide whether there is enough evidence of guilt to try him.

The President of the United States is chosen in a national election for a four-year term of office, and may be re-elected for a second term. He must be a native-born citizen at least 35 years old. His salary is $200,000 a year, and he also gets an extra $50,000 for expenses; but he must pay a federal income tax on the whole amount. He gets an added $40,000, tax-free, for travel and entertaining, and is provided a home - the White House.

As head of the Executive Branch, his duty is to carry out government programs and enforce the laws. He recommends many laws to Congress and requires money for Federal Government operations. If he refuses to sign a bill passed by the Congress, a two-thirds vote of both houses is needed to override his veto and make the bill a law. The President appoints federal judges, ambassadors, and hundreds of government officials.

Under the President are 11 executive departments. The President appoints heads, collectively known as the Cabinet, with the Senate's approval.

The Department of State, headed by the Secretary of State, advises the President on foreign matters. The department carries on relations with other countries, and issues passports to American citizens who wish to travel abroad, and visas to visitors to the United States.

The Treasury Department manages government finances, collects taxes, and coins and prints money. The Secret Service, which protects the President and Vice President and their families, is also part of the Treasury Department. So are the Bureau of Customs, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Coast Guard.

The Department of Justice is headed by the Attorney General. He acts for the government on legal matters and moves against violators of federal laws. The FBI and federal prisons are his responsibility.

The Department of the Interior protects and develops the nation's natural wealth, and is in charge of the national parks. It also enforces federal hunting and fishing laws, checks on the safety of mines and looks after the welfare of the Indian tribes.

The Department of Labor is concerned with the welfare of the nation's workers. It enforces, among others, the laws on minimum wages and maximum hours for workers engaged in interstate commerce or in producing goods that cross state lines. A mediation and conciliation service helps employers and workers to settle labor disputes.

The Legislative Branch, Congress, is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. There are 535 members, each of whom gets a salary of $42,500 a year. Each Senator is elected for six years and each representative for two years, with no limitations on the number of terms.

There are two Senators from each of the 50 states. One-third of the Senate is elected every two years. A Senator must be over 30 years old and have been an American citizen for at least nine years. Thus, smaller states received a great degree of protection by their equal representation in the senior legislature.

The House of Representatives has 435 members. A member must be at least 25 years of age and have been an American citizen for no less than seven years. The number of representatives from each state depends on the state's population.

Both branches of Congress must approve bills before they become law. The Senate alone must approve appointments of officials by the President, and treaties with other nations.

The judicial branch of the government is headed by the Supreme Court, made up of the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. The Court decides on questions of the constitutionality of laws when such questions are raised in appeals from lower courts. It acts on disputes involving the national government, or two or more states, or citizens of different states.

The lower federal courts are the circuit courts of appeal and district courts. The judges of all the federal courts are appointed for life. They can be removed from office only for misconduct and after trial by the Senate.

ТОПИКИ ДЛЯ СТУДЕНТОВ ИНСТИТУТА ПРАВА БГУ

АВТОР-СОСТАВИТЕЛЬ МИНГАЗЕТДИНОВ Аскар Асхатович

REPUBLIC OF BASHKORTOSTAN

The Republic of Bashkortostan - a sovereign republic within the Russian Federation - is located along the South Urals and the adjacent plains. Its territory is 143,600 square kilometers and the population is over 4 million people. In terms of population, Bashkortostan ranks seventh among Russia's republics, territories and regions. About a hundred nationalities inhabit the Republic. The indigenous population is Bashkirs.

From the point of view of natural conditions Bashkortostan can be divided into three parts - western, mountainous and Bashkir Trans-Urals. The western part is located upon the Russian Plains. It is most favourable for life and business activities. It is here that the majority of the population lives. Highland Bashkortostan encompasses the South Ural Mountains, least auspicious to farming and manufacturing and thus least developed. Bashkir Trans-Urals forms a narrow strip to the east of the Ural Mountains along the Republic's eastern border merging with the West Siberian Plains.

Bashkortostan's climate is continental with moderately warm, sometimes hot, summers and cold winters.

More than 600 rivers and 800 lakes trim the beauty of the Republic's nature. Many of the rivers, including the largest - the Ural and the Aghidel - belong to the Caspian Sea basin.

Bashkortostan is rich in forests, the predominant species being birch-tree, conifers, lime-tree, oak and maple. About 6 million cubic meters of timber are annually procured and more than half of these are subsequently processed. The Republic accounts for nearly a third of all lime-tree forests of Russia. It is the lime-tree that makes Bashkir honey world-famous. The latter's taste and bouquet, as well as the superb quality of the famous healing koumiss(fermented mare's milk) are contributed to by a rare combination of the vegetation growing in Bashkortostan.

The mineral riches of Bashkortostan include iron ore, copper, gold, zinc, aluminum, chromium, brown coal, natural gas, salt, manganese, gypsum, lime-stone and many other deposits numbering well over three thousand.

Oil is the main mineral resource of the land. Oil-related industries - power generation, oil refining, chemical, gas and petrochemical - have become most prominent.

Diverse natural riches, a favourable pattern of population distribution, and a convenient geographical location promote the development of manufacturing and agribusiness. Bashkortostan ranks second in the Urals region as regards its manufacturing potential, and outstrips Russia's republics and many of the CIS countries in terms of national income.

Being the focal point of the major cargo traffic between the European and Asian parts of the country, the Republic of Bashkortostan offers extensive facilities for exports and imports of raw materials, fuel and manufactured items, maintaining trade and business ties with both the West and the East.

The BAL (Bashkir Airlines) carrier connects Ufa with the largest cities in Russia, the post-Soviet republics and abroad.

The length of railways is 2,900 km, and that of navigable river routes is 960 km.

* * * * *

Adoption on October 11, 1990, of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Bashkortostan opened up a new phase in the evolution of our Republic as a sovereign state within the Russian Federation, a state possessing an immense economic and spiritual potential. The Republic has established itself as a reliable, economically and politically stable region, which is prepared to co-operate and interact on an equal footing with all regions of Russia, with the federal authorities, and foreign partners.

Sovereignty has given to the Republic an opportunity to independently determine its economic policy, to rationally manage its natural riches, production capability and earnings in the best interest and for the benefit of the people.

The State Assembly - Kurultai of the Republic of Bashkortostan is the supreme representative and the single legislative body of the Republic. It consists of the two Houses - the House of Representatives and the Legislative Chamber. As distinct from the Federal Assembly and the legislative bodies of other subjects of the Russian Federation, the structure of Bashkortostani Parliament has certain features of its own. On the one hand, it is a bicameral, on the other hand - it is a unitary body. As per the requirement of the Constitution, the joint session of both Houses elects Chairperson of the State Assembly, as well as his or her Deputy who performs his or her functions without being released from the principal job. The Chairpersons of each individual House are elected at separate sittings. In accordance with the law provisions, they concurrently serve as Deputies to the Chairperson of the State Assembly. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Bashkortostan, only the State Assembly is entitled to adopt a Constitution, Codes, Laws, and any amendments thereto; it determines, jointly with the President, the domestic and foreign policies of the Republic, endorses the State Budget, supervises its execution; gives its consent to the President's nomination of a Prime Minister; passes a decision to hold elections of the President, deputies of the State Assembly and local authorities; elects the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Arbitration; appoints the Procurator and the Commissioner of the Republic of Bashkortostan for Human Rights. At least once a year the Parliament shall hear and discuss the President's message on the main guidelines of the home and foreign policies. The State Assembly wields many other powers and authority as well.

The competence of the Houses, matters related to the internal set-up of their activities are spelled out in the Law on the State Assembly and its Unified Regulations.

The Legislative Chamber functions on a continuous professional basis. It is exactly this house that makes Codes and Laws. The House of Representatives does not operate full-time, but takes an active part in the law-making process, approves or rejects Codes, Laws or other acts adopted by the Legislative Chamber, introduces amendments or supplements thereto as may be required.

Each House comprises seven equally named, "replica" committees, which work in parallel, each having its own specific tasks in the law-making process.

The House of Representatives comprises 150 Deputies, whereas the Legislative Chamber numbers 40.

The State Assembly is elected for the term of four years.

A Secretariat is formed to maintain its activities.

The republican legislative base will have to eliminate imperfections and conflicts existing with federal laws, to create a comprehensive system for legal regulation of the economy conforming to up-to-date conditions and requirements of the reforms. Streamlining is required for the legislation on investment activities (including those involving foreign capital), on consumer and manufacturing co-operatives, on finance-industrial groups, and on registration by the state of real estate and on transactions therewith.

Against the background of political tension in many of the country's regions Bashkortostan stands out for stability and peaceful atmosphere.

The Republic numbers 20 cities, the largest being Ufa, Sterlitamak, Salavat, Neftekamsk, Oktyabrski.

U F A

Over the 400-odd years of its existence, the capital of sovereign Bashkortostan has developed from a small fortress in the outskirts of Russia into a major manufacturing, scientific and cultural centre of the nation.

Ufa was founded by a detachment of Russian streltsi (archers) as a fortress in 1574. In 1588 Ufa was granted a town status and became Bashkiria's administrative centre. Gradually it developed into a trade mediator between European and Siberian towns and cities.

In 1922 Ufa became the capital of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Federation.

The history of Ufa has absorbed centuries-old traditions of its inhabitants - representatives of over 80 nations and nationalities, who harmoniously complement and enrich each other's cultures.

About 40 percent of the Republic's industrial capacity is concentrated in Ufa. The city's oil refineries and petrochemical facilities annually consume more than 35 million tons of crude. The engineering industry, accounting for more than 25 percent of the capital's industrial output, fabricates a wide range of produce including aerospace applications and household appliances. There are considerable capacities of the building materials industry; timber-processing, light and food industries are being developed.

Ufa ranks high in Russia as regards the production of diesel fuel, car petrol, petrochemicals, herbicides, "Moskvich" car engines, agricultural machinery, consumer goods, medicines.

The capital boasts 11 higher educational establishments with five universities among them; active research is being conducted by the Ufa Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

More than one hundred writers and poets live and work in Ufa. The writings of Mustai Karim, Nazar Nadzhmi, Anver Bikchentayev are acclaimed not only in Bashkortostan and Russia, but well beyond.

It is exactly at Ufa medrese that the famous writers G.Ibraghimov, S.Kudash, Kh.Tufan were schooled.

The renowned virtuoso Rudolf Nureyev started his dazzling dancing career in Ufa, his talent being a source of inspiration for the Bashkir school of ballet dancing. Ufa occupies a significant place in creative work of many distinguished writers, painters, musicians - S.T.Aksakov, M.V.Nesterov, F.I.Chaliapin.

The Aksakov and Chaliapin cultural events that are staged in Ufa on a regular basis draw guests and participants from many countries of the world. The city also hosts the M.Glinka International Music Contest, Turkic-speaking Theatre Festivals, international sporting events.

Thanks to its vibrant cultural life, the activities of many institutions of culture and arts, the existence of historical and literature shrines, as well as to a goodwill shown by the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Ufa is emerging as an increasingly attractive place for many countries.

BASHKIR STATE UNIVERSITY

The Bashkir State University was founded in 1957 on the basis of the Bashkir State Pedagogical Institute named after K.A.Timiryazev. The University is actually the legal successor of the Ufa Teachers' Training Institute (est. 1918) - the first higher education institution in the Republic of Bashkortostan, which in 1920 was transformed into the Institute of Public Education and later into the Pedagogical Institute. Today this major scientific, educational and cultural centre of the Republic ranks among the top ten classical universities of the Russian Federation.

The University currently employs over 700 instructors, including 110 Doctors and 400 Candidates of Sciences. 38 Doctors have been elected Full Members and Corresponding Members of various academies.

More than 6,000 full-time students are trained in 33 trades, with 4,000 students studying part-time. The University incorporates 13 departments in Ufa and the two branches located in Sibai and Sterlitamak. Instruction is effected by 74 chairs. The University provides post-graduate training in 57 specialties and doctorate training in 8, there being 14 boards for theses defence.

Science is represented by the R&D centre, three problem and multi-branch laboratories, the R&D Institute for Sociology, the Bashkir Patent Centre, the "Zaryad" experiment and design bureau focusing on building computer systems, measuring instruments and machine-tools for the engineering industry.

The University instructors annually issue 50 titles of monographs, textbooks and teaching aids.

The Bashkir University participates in international integration activities, co-operating on a contractual basis with universities in the U.S.A., Turkey, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Hungary, Japan and China in the sphere of science and higher education.

The Bashkir University is a vibrantly growing institution. The transition is currently accomplished to a multi-level system of higher professional training. The high standard of theoretical and methodological background of the professor and instructor staff supported by academic traditions facilitates training highly-qualified specialists.

The University is justly proud of its graduates. More than 53,000 specialists have been trained here since 1957 thus contributing significantly to Bashkortostan's intellectual potential. Over a thousand University graduates have been awarded honorary titles of the Russian Federation and those of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and 67 of them are members of the Writers' Union of Russia.

DEPARTMENT OF LAW

The Department of Law has been in existence since January 1972 and is the legal successor of the Ufa Branch of the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Law, which was transformed into the Ufa Faculty of the Sverdlovsk Institute of Law in 1964.

The full-time and part-time (evening and correspondence) divisions of the Department comprise 60 instructors with 6 Professors and 25 Assistant Professors and train more than 1,500 students.

At the chairs of Theory and History of State and Law, Civil Law and Procedure, Business and Financial Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Criminology and Forensic Expertise the students of the Department can specialize in various legal fields - state, business, financial, agrarian law, investigation, prosecution, foreign-economic activities. Two scientific schools are successfully functioning, one focusing on agrarian law, the other dedicated to combatting juvenile delinquency.

The instruction process is provided with excellent training facilities - criminology laboratories, a photography darkroom, a video-room, a computer class, a foreign languages laboratory.

Post-graduate courses are provided by the Chairs "Civil Law and Procedure", "Criminal Law and Procedure", "Criminology and Forensic Expertise". A specialized board has been set up for defending candidates' theses dedicated to Agrarian Law, Land, Water, Forest and Mining Law, Ecological Law.

A multi-level system of specialist training was introduced in 1994.

OXFORD

Oxford University, comprising nearly 50 affiliated but autonomous colleges and halls, is a great centre of learning since its foundation in the 12th century.

Oxford is like London: it is international, it is old and it has great charm. It is also a town that grew up near the River Thames.

Oxford is international because people from many parts of the world come to study at its university. They join the university "family" that has more than 9,000 members.

In universities there are chancellors, principals, masters, wardens, deans, bursars, professors, readers, fellows and others in a variety of pecking orders.

The city of Oxford is old and historical. It has existed since 912. The oldest men's college is University (1249), and the oldest women's college is Lady Margaret Hall (1879). Some of the other old colleges are Merton College, Magdalen College, and New College. The major university library is the famous Bodleian.

You can see the charm of Oxford in the green fields and parks which surround the city and you can see it in the lawns and gardens which surround the colleges.

You can see the charm of Oxford in the River Thames and its streams which pass near the city. Punting is a favourite sport among the students at Oxford. It is a very peaceful sport and helps you to do a lot of thinking - especially if you are studying for an examination!

There are several sights not to be missed by a visitor to Oxford - the Martyrs' Memorial and the cobblestone cross in the middle of the Broad Street. On this spot in 1555 two bishops, Latimer and Ridley, were burned alive on the orders of Catholic Queen Mary. As the flames took hold, Bishop Latimer called across to his fellow martyr: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as I trust shall never be put out."

He meant the candle of the Protestant faith. A year later, on the same spot in 1556, Archbishop Cranner followed them to death. The flames from the pyre had scorched the door of Balliol College a few yards away. The scorch marks are plainly visible today.

Visitors one day should also stay up till midnight and listen to Great Tom, the bass bell at Christ Church, which tolls 101 times each night.

CAMBRIDGE



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