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UNIT

COURTS

PRE-READING DISCUSSION
Before you read about the suggested topic, think of your own judicial
system:

How is the administration of justice organized?


Are there separate jurisdictions for different areas of law?
What is the relationship between the different courts?
What is the role and position of judges and other lawyers in our
country?

READING PASSAGE
Courts are the branch of government established to administer the
civil and criminal law. They are classified in many ways. Among the more
usual general classifications are courts of record and courts not of record;
courts of superior jurisdiction and courts of inferior jurisdiction; courts of
first instance and appellate courts; civil courts and criminal courts.
In courts of record the proceedings are recorded completely; no
detailed record is made of the proceedings in courts not of record. Courts of
superior jurisdiction, often called higher courts or appellate courts, are
generally those to which appeals are made from decisions of courts of
inferior jurisdiction, referred to as lower courts or courts of first instance.
Civil and criminal courts deal with cases arising from infractions of the civil
law and the criminal law, respectively. Courts with special, limited
jurisdictions are known by the names of those jurisdictions. For example,
probate or surrogates courts are tribunals dealing with the probate of wills
and the disposition of estates.
The judicial organs of military establishments are called military
courts. They have jurisdiction over infractions by military personnel.
Admiralty courts have jurisdiction over cases arising from maritime
contracts and from violations of maritime law.

COMPREHENSION PRACTICE
a)

Draw a diagram illustrating the classification of courts and their


role.
b) Decide if the following statements are true or false :
1. Courts are classified according to their jurisdiction.
2. Civil courts are also called appellate courts.
3. Probate courts have supreme authority.
4. Maritime law infractions fall under military courts
jurisdiction.
5. Courts of first instance may be referred to as courts of
inferior jurisdiction.

READING AND VOCABULARY PRACTICE


1.

Read the text and complete the diagram.

Courts in the United Kingdom


There are three legal systems in the United Kingdom: for England and
Wales; for Scotland; and for Northern Ireland. Because they have been
ruled by the same parliament for so long, the different systems have much
in common. However, their different origins and circumstances,
especially in Scotland, mean that they have their own procedures and
detailed law. Appeal can be made from all courts in the United Kingdom,
except in Scottish criminal matters, to the House of Lords in London.
The Structure of the Courts: Criminal
The most numerous courts in England and Wales are the magistrates
courts, where Justices of the Peace, or magistrates, sit. Most magistrates
are lay people who sit on a bench of three with a legally qualified clerk

who advises them on the law. In cities there are also stipendiary
magistrates who are legally qualified and sit alone.
Magistrates decide the vast majority of criminal matters and a limited
range of civil and administrative questions. Appeal can be made from the
magistrates decision to the Crown Court, where a circuit judge sits,
usually with two magistrates who did not hear the case in the magistrates
court.
Either the defendant or the prosecution may appeal to the House of Lords
in its appellate capacity, which does not involve lay members of the
House, but is heard by a committee of paid Lords of Appeal in Ordinary.
The Structure of the Courts: Civil Matters
Other than the limited jurisdiction of the magistrates court, mostly
concerned with family matters, most unexceptional civil disputes come to
the county court. This was created by Act of Parliament, but it has
concurrent jurisdiction with the High Court, which means that in most
areas the litigant has a choice of which court to use.
The High Court is the ancient civil court of England, divided into three
Divisions: Queens Bench; Chancery; and Family Division. Usually, one
judge sits in a High Court case, except when a divisional court is convened.
That consists of usually one High Court judge and a Lord Justice of Appeal,
and usually tries disputes about government decisions.

Courts in the United Kingdom


ENGLAND AND WALES
MOUSE OF LORDS
JUDICIAL COMITTEE

SCOTLAND
CRIMINAL
COURT OF
CRIMINAL
APPEAL

HIGH
COURT OF
JUSTICIARY

CIVIL
INNER HOUSE
OF COURT OF
SESSION

OUTER
HOUSE OF
COURT
SESSION

NORTHERN IRELAND
COURT OF APPEAL

PRINCIPAL
SHERIFF

HIGH COURT OF
JUSTICE

DISTRICT
COURT

IN BANKRUPTCY

SHERIFF COURT
(civil matters)

HIGH
COURT

CROWN
COURT

(1) (2) (3)

SHERIFF
COURT
(criminal
matters)

DISTRICT
COURT

COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL
CRIMINAL
DIVISION DIVISION

CROWN
COURT

COUNTY
COURT
(circuit judge)
COUNTY
COURT
(district judge)

(4)

COUNTY
COURT

MAGISTRATES
COURT

Arrows show either the course an appeal will follow from one court to
another, or the progression of a case if it is felt to be too complex or
serious for a lower-level court. No indication is given here of the
levels of the different courts represented in relation to one another.
2. Read the text below, study the diagram, and then match the
definitions on the right with the terms on the left.

Courts in the United States

Courts in the United States are judicial organs of government, comprising


two principal systems: the federal courts, referred to as United States
courts, and the state courts.
Federal Courts
The jurisdiction of the federal courts is defined in the Constitution, as
extending in law and equity to all cases arising under the Constitution and
federal legislation; to controversies to which the United States shall be a
party, including those arising from treaties with other governments; to
admiralty and maritime cases; to controversies between states; to
controversies between a state, or its citizens, and foreign governments or
their subjects; and to controversies between the citizens of one state and
citizens of another state.
The courts established under the powers of the Constitution are known as
constitutional courts. Judges of constitutional courts are appointed for life
by the president with the approval of the Senate. These courts are the
district courts, tribunals of general original jurisdiction; the courts of
appeals, exercising appellate jurisdiction over the district courts; and the
Supreme Court.
Other federal courts, established by Congress, are called legislative courts.
These are the Claims Court, the Court of International Trade, the Tax Court,
and the territorial courts established in the federally administered territories
of the United States. The US Congress defines the special jurisdictions of
these courts.

State Courts
Each state in the United States has an independent system of courts
operating under the constitution and laws of the state. Broadly speaking, the
state courts are based on the English judicial system as it existed in colonial
times, but as modified by statutory enactments; the character and names of
the courts differ from state to state. The state courts as a whole have general
jurisdiction, except in cases in which exclusive jurisdiction has been vested
in the federal courts.

Cases involving the federal Constitution, federal laws, or treaties may be


brought to either the state courts or the federal courts. Ordinary civil cases
not involving any of those elements can be brought only to the state courts,
except in cases of diversity of citizenship between the parties, in which
event the case may be brought to a federal court.
In some states, the same courts of original jurisdiction deal with both civil
and criminal cases; these courts usually have two levels, one handling
misdemeanors and civil claims under US$5,000, the other handling felonies
and civil claims over US$ 5,000.
Between the lower courts and the supreme appellate courts, in a number of
states, are intermediate appellate courts which, like the federal courts of
appeals, provide speedier justice for litigants by disposing of a large number
of cases that otherwise would be added to the overcrowded schedules of the
higher courts.
Courts of last resort, the highest appellate tribunals of the states in criminal
and civil cases and in law and equity, are generally called supreme courts.
In New York State, however, the Supreme Court is a trial court; the highest
appellate court of New York, as well as of Maryland, is called the Court of
Appeals.
The state court systems also include a number of minor courts with limited
jurisdiction. These courts dispose of minor offences and relatively small
civil actions. Included in this classification are police and municipal courts
in cities and larger towns and the courts presided over by justices of the
peace in rural areas.

Court System of the United States


SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

COURTS OF APPEALS
12 Circuits

TAX
COURT

TERRITORIAL
DISTRICT
COURTS with
Federal and Local
Jurisdiction Guam
Virgin Islands
Northern Mariana
Islands

COURTS OF APPEALS
FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT

DISTRICT COURTS
with Federal
Jurisdiction Only 89
Districts in 50 States
1 in District of
Columbia
1 in Puerto Rico

CLAIMS
COURT

COURT OF
INTERNATIONAL
TRADE

Most of the courts in the federal court system of the United


States are constitutional courts; the exceptionsthe Tax Court,
the Court of International Trade, and the Claims Courtare
legislative
courts.
Constitutional
courts
decide
the
constitutionality of federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
The Supreme Court makes final decisions regarding
constitutionality and is the highest court of appeals in the
country. Although this court hears cases never tried before, the
bulk of the work of the nine Supreme Court justices is made up
of appeals from lower courts.

1. jurisdiction
2. controversy

3. treaty
4. approval
5. tribunal
6. claim
7. tax
8. enactment
9. involve
10. citizenship
11. misdemeanor
12. felony
13. litigant
14. schedule

a. a type of court that is given official authority to


deal with a particular situation or problem
b. someone who is making a claim against
someone, or defending themselves against a claim
in a court of law
c. amount of money that you must pay to the
government
d. a serious crime
e. the right to use an official power to make legal
decisions
f. the legal right of belonging to a particular
country
g. an illegal action or a crime
h. a crime that is not very serious
i. the act of officially accepting a plan or decision
j. a formal list of something
k. making a proposal into law
l. to include something
m. a serious argument or disagreement
n. the principle that a fair judgment must be made
in a situation where the existing laws do not
provide an answer

15. equity
16. offence

3.

o. request for money


p. formal agreement between two or more countries
or governments

Work in groups. Discuss these questions about the judicial branch


of the federal government and decide on the answers.
A. What is the highest court of the land?
a. the Supreme Court
b. the Presidential Tribunal

SUPREME COURT

COURT
COURT
OF
OF CUSTOMS
CLAIMS

COURT OF COURT OF
CUSTOMS
MILITARY
AND PATENT APPEALS
APPEALS

11
Circuit Courts of Appeals

94
District Courts

B. The Supreme Court is the Last Court of Appeal. What does this
mean?
a. No other court has higher decision-making power.
b. Citizens can appeal its decision (take the same case) to lower
courts.
C. What does the Supreme Court do?
a. It approves or overturns decisions of lower courts and explains
and interprets laws.

b. It hears cases from individual citizens without lawyers.


D. In the system of checks and balances, how does the judicial branch
have power over the other two branches of government?
a. The Supreme Court appoints all judges.
b. The Supreme Court can decide on the constitutionality of laws
and Presidential Actions.
E. Where is the Supreme Court?
a. in every state capitol
b. in Washington, D.C. (the nations capital)
F.

Who chooses the justices of the Supreme Court?


a. The voters elect them.
b. The President appoints them, but the Senate must approve them.

G. Who chooses the Chief Justice (head judge) of the Supreme Court?
a. the President and the Cabinet
b. The nine justices of the Supreme Court elect him or her.
H. Has there ever been a woman Supreme Court justice?
a. Yes. Sandra Day OConnor became the first woman justice in
1981.
b. No, because the Constitution states that all Supreme Court
justices must be men.
I.

How long do Supreme Court justices serve?


a. for the same length of time as senators from their states
b. for life

J.

Must the Supreme Court hear all appeals from lower courts?
a. Yes, because hearing appeals is its only responsibility.
b. No. It takes only the more important cases (especially cases
concerning individual rights and the constitutionality of laws or
actions.)

K. Can the President or Congress abolish the Supreme Court?


a. Yes, with a two-thirds majority of both houses.
b. No. Only a Constitutional Amendment could abolish it.

L. What other kinds of courts and how many of them are there in the
federal system?
a. eleven Circuit Courts of Appeal and ninety-four District Courts.
b. two Executive Courts and three Legislative Courts.
M. Are there any special federal courts?
a. Yes. There are a Court of Claims, a Court of Customs, a Court
of Customs and Patent Appeals, and a Court of Military
Appeals.
b. No. All courts must accept all kinds of cases.
N. What do the Circuit Courts of Appeals do?
a. They hear appeals (request to hear the case again) from lower
courts.
b. They overturn decisions of the Supreme Court.

O. What are the District Courts and what happens in them?


a. They are state courts. All cases concerning state laws begin
there.
b. They are the lowest level of federal courts. Federal cases begin
there.
P. How do federal courts differ from other courts?
a. Federal courts take only cases concerning federal law. Other
courts hear cases about state or local law.
b. There is no difference. All courts take the same kinds of cases.
4.

Supreme Court decisions are very important to the nation because they
set precedents. They serve as a guide in law making and the future
decisions of all courts. Here are some examples.

Year
1803
1824
1832

Case
Marbury v.
Madison
Gibbons v.
Ogden
Worchester v.
Georgia

Decision
The Supreme Court has the right to interpret
laws and judge their constitutionality.
Only Congress can regulate interstate
commerce (trade between states)
No state may control Indian Lands.

10

Year

Case

1941

Poor
Migrants

1954

Brown v. the
Board of
Education of
Topeka, Kansas

1963

Gideon v.
Wainwright

1964
1966
1971

Escobedo v.
Illinois
Miranda v.
Arizona
Womens
Rights

1973

Roe v. Wade

1981

Rotsker v.
Goldberg

1982

Plyer v. Doe

1987

INS v. Cardoza
- Fonseca

Decision
It is unconstitutional for states to control or stop
migration (movement) of people from one state
to another.
Segregated schools are unconstitutional because
they are unequal. Integration (the bringing
together of different races) is a part of
education.
Even in small cases, the government must
provide a lawyer to a defendant (person on
trial) if he or she cant afford one.
The police must tell an arrested person about
his or her right to remain silent and to have an
attorney (lawyer) present when he or she
answers questions.
Unequal treatment based on sex violates (goes
against) the Fourteenth Amendment.
States cannot make abortion illegal, except in
the later stages of pregnancy.
Congress may draft (take for military service)
only men (not women) into the armed forces.
Illegal (undocumented) aliens are persons under
the Constitution and have the same protections
under the law as citizens and residents.
The United States government can give asylum
(protection) to refugees if they have reason to
fear death or mistreatment in their native
countries. Refugees no longer have to prove
that their lives are in danger.

Read each situation and answer this question: Why would the Supreme
Court disapprove of the situation? On the line, write the name and year of
the Supreme Court case that is the precedent.
1) __Plyer v Doe (1982)___________________________:
Texas keeps the children of illegal aliens out of its public schools.
2) ___________________________________________:

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California taxes all goods from Nevada.


3) ___________________________________________:
Oregon refuses to let a family move there from Washington
because they have no home and little money.
4) ___________________________________________:
Arizona sends a woman to jail because she went to the doctor to
abort a two-month old fetus.
5) ___________________________________________:
Without permission, Nebraska takes land from an Indian
reservation to build a state prison.
6) ___________________________________________:
A young man refuses to enter the U.S Army because his sister does
not have to serve in the armed forces.
7) ___________________________________________:
The police send a man to prison for drunk driving but do not give
him an attorney because he cant afford one.
8) ___________________________________________:
A public university refuses to admit a student because she is not
white.
9) ___________________________________________:
You are the best-qualified candidate for police chief but the city
wont give you the job because you are a woman.
10) ___________________________________________:
The INS sends a political refugee back to his country because he
cannot prove that his government would take his life.
11) ___________________________________________:
The police arrest a man and tell him to confess his crime on
videotape in a room with no one else present.
12) ___________________________________________:

12

Congress makes the Speaker of the House the head of the armed
forces even though the Constitution gives that position to the
President.

5.

After reading the text below suggest your own comprehensive


questions.

The Jury
If the parties in a civil case cant agree on how to settle the case on
their own, or if a defendant in a criminal case pleads not guilty, the court
will decide the dispute through a trial. In a civil case, the purpose of a trial
is to find out whether the defendant failed to fulfill a legal duty to the
plaintiff. In a criminal case, the purpose of a trial is to determine whether
the defendant committed the crime charged.
If the parties choose to have a jury trial, determining the facts is the
task of the petit jury. If they decide not to have a jury and to leave the factfinding to the judge, the trial is called a bench trial. In either kind of trial,
the judge makes sure the correct legal standards are followed. If there is a
jury, the judge tells the jury what the law governing the case is. For
example, in a robbery case in which an unloaded gun was used, the judge
would tell the jury that using an unloaded gun to rob a store is legally the
same as using a gun that is loaded. But the jury would have to decide
whether the defendant on trial was actually the person who committed the
robbery and used the gun.
The group of people seated in the boxed-in area on one side of the
courtroom is the petit jury or trial jury.
Juries were first used hundreds of years ago in England. The jury
was a factor in the events that led to the Revolutionary War. The
Declaration of Independence charged that King George III deprived the
colonists in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury. Thus, the U.S.
Constitution now guarantees the right to a jury trial to most defendants in
criminal cases and to the parties in most civil cases.
In federal criminal cases, there are usually twelve jurors and
between one and six alternate jurors. Alternate jurors replace regular jurors
who become ill, disqualified, or unable to perform their duties. In federal
civil cases there can be from six to twelve jurors. All of the jurors are
required to join in the verdict unless the court excuses a juror from service
during the trial or deliberations.

13

6.

GROUP WORK. How can an attorney for the benefit of his/her


client use jury selection?
Clues:
Know the demographics, attitudes and experiences of jurors who
will respond most/least favorably to your case
Know the questions to ask to identify those jurors
Educate the jurors to your arguments
Establish your power position over opposing counsel
Make intelligent strike decisions
Win your case in voir dire
In jury selection you are expected to decide which jurors will most
fairly judge your case, but are given precious little information on
which to base that decision. The following 7-step jury selection process
facilitates that effort and provides you a crucial edge over your
opponent.
1) Getting educated: Read the relevant documents which summarize
the evidence and arguments on both sides.
2) Brainstorming the case: Identify the main issues, outline case
themes and map out Case Strategy.
3) Identifying Juror Profile: Outline the demographics, experiences,
attitudes and personality characteristics of those jurors who will be
more/less receptive to that strategy.
4) Mapping out Voir Dire Strategy: Pin-point subject areas to explore
in voir dire and design specific questions to reveal jurors biases,
experiences and attitudes.
5) Developing a Juror Questionnaire: Develop a Juror Questionnaire
to identify the juror characteristics.
6) Developing an Evaluation Sheet: Design an Evaluation Sheet by
which to evaluate each juror according to his/her responses to the
Juror Questionnaire.
7) Selecting jurors: In the courtroom, report to counsel, not only
listening to the verbal message, but the nonverbal one, as well, as
an important indicator of bias and character.

7.

The following paragraphs deal with Western European Tribunals. Put


them in the right order.

14

A. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they imposed the


Carolingian judicial system on the Anglo-Saxons. In the long
struggle between the king and landed nobility that ensued, one of the
principal weapons of the Crown was the Curia Regis (Kings
Court), which was held wherever the royal household was situated.
The principal judicial strongholds of the nobility were the manorial
courts. Judicial supremacy was eventually won by the Crown, and,
since the reign of Edward I, in the 13th century, English courts have
been organized on a centralized basis.
B. Before this victory of the Crown, however, King John had been
compelled in 1215 to sign the Magna Carta, which initiated the
gradual separation of judicial from executive and legislative
governmental powers. The terms of this charter of liberty established
the Court of Common Pleas as a court of a fixed location to try cases
initiated by commoners against other commoners. The process of
separation continued during the reign of Edward I with the
establishment of the Court of Exchequer as a tribunal having
exclusive jurisdiction over revenue cases arising out of unpaid debts
to the Crown, and the establishment of the Court of Kings, or
Queens, Bench as the supreme appellate tribunal of the realm,
presided over by the monarch. The Court of Kings, or Queens,
Bench was also invested with original jurisdiction over both civil and
criminal cases and thus encroached on the jurisdiction of the Court
of Common Pleas. In fact, the jurisdictions of all three courts
overlapped and were not entirely differentiated until much later.
C. Medieval courts developed from the tribal courts of the Germanic
peoples, whose highest judicial authorities were the popular
assemblies that met regularly throughout the year. The tribal judges
supervised the proceedings and executed the judgments rendered by
the assemblies. During the development of the Germanic tribal
organization into territorial states, the tribal courts underwent a
corresponding evolution, increasing in number and becoming
differentiated. Among the new features of this Teutonic system were
a royal court, presided over by the king and modeled on the Roman
system of courts; special lower courts, under the control of royal
officials, which handled minor matters; and, later, a corps of
permanent lay judges, with power to render judgments.

15

D. In the 8th century the Teutonic judicial system experienced a further


significant development: the practice, initiated by Charlemagne, of
dispatching royal commissioners to examine the functioning of local
courts and, when necessary, to supplement the justice they
dispensed. In this innovation were the seeds of three later important
legal developments: assize courts, circuit courts, and a central legal
authority. This innovation was adopted by other feudal monarchs in
their struggles with the landed nobility, who controlled the manorial,
or seigniorial, courts.

8.

1.

Match the words with their meanings on the right.


Write the letters on the lines.
a.

2.
3.

______ a search
warrant
______ charge (noun)
______ grand jury

4.
5.
6
7.

______ a trial
______ testify
______ guarantee
______ jurors

f.
e.
f.
g.

8.

______ a unanimous
verdict
9. ______ witnesses
10. bail

9.

h.

people who examine evidence to decide if


a trial is necessary.
legal permission to search
members of a jury who hear evidence and
come to a verdict
an accusation of a crime
people who give evidence
promise or give assurance
money paid to guarantee that someone
freed from jail will return to the trial
the hearing of a case in court

i.
j.

give evidence
decision agreed on by everyone

b.
c.

Choose the right answer.

1) The high court judge will pass .. next week.


a) justice
b) punishment
c) sentence

a) for

2) If you break the law, you will be trouble.


b)in
c) out

16

d) verdict

d) out of

a) bad

3) The judge was very on pickpockets.


b) hard c) strict
d) strong

4) It was impossible for her to tell the truth so she had to a


story.
a) combine
b) inventc) lie
d) manage
5) Peter gives one account of the accident, and John another; it is
difficult to the two versions.
a) adjust b) coincide
c) identify
d) reconcile

a) on

6) The witness testified that he could bear what the


defendant had claimed.
b) out
c) up
d) with

7) The suspect is not under arrest, nor have the police placed any
.. on his movements.
a) obstacle
b) regulation
c) restriction d) veto
8) You should only make serious accusations like that if they
have a sound in fact.
a) basis b) foothold
c) framework
d) principle
9) The judge the pedestrian for the accident.
a) accused
b) blamed
c) charged
d) sued
10) His legal training enables him to put his case very
convincingly.
a) down b) out
c) over
d) up
10. Study the following words:
grand jury/ petit jury
In law, a jury is a group of people sworn to hear the evidence and
inquire into the facts in a case, and to give a decision based on their
findings. A grand jury is a special jury of a statutory number of citizens,
usually more than 12, that nowadays investigates accusations against people
charged with crime. If there is sufficient evidence, the grand jury indicts
those people for trial before a petit jury (or trial jury). This is a jury of 12 or

17

fewer citizens picked to weigh the evidence in, and decide the issues of, a
trial in court.
plaintiff/defendant
Two parties are involved in every civil lawsuit-that is, every court
action relating to rights and injuries. The party who initiates the suit is
called the plaintiff or complainant.( at first glace, these two words may not
seem to be related. Yet, both having in their development a from of the
Latin verb plangere, which meansto beat the breast, they share the sense
of giving expression to one`s grievance. That is why we talk about a
plaintive song, the plaintive sound of an oboe, and the like.) The party
defending or denying-that is, the one sued or accused in the suit-is called the
defendant.
The adversarial roles of the opponents can be seen in the way the
cases are referred to, the Latin word versus( usually abbreviated as v. or vs.)
meaning in contest against. As the following case titles show, the plaintiff
or the defendant, or both, can be one or more individuals, companies, or
federal, state, or local agencies: Hellman v. McCarthy, Namath v. Sports
Illustrated, Westmoreland v. CBS, United States v. Louisiana, and Dawson
v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. In saying a case title, some people
pronounce the v. asvee; some give the full from, versus; and some
substitute the word against.
In the case title of the original suit, the plaintiff is listed first.
However, if the losing party in a suit in a federal court appeals the case, this
party`s name appears first; in other words, the case title in the appellate
procedure gives appellant versus appellee. If the appeal goes all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court, the party seeking the review is called the petitioner
and the party responding to the petition is called the respondent. For
example, when James J.Hill sued Time, Inc., for invasion of privacy, the
case was titled Hill v.Time, Inc., but on appeal the title became Time, Inc. v.
Hill.
Every criminal case-that is, every court action taken to redress a
public wrong-also has a defendant, but here the initiator of the proceedings
is called the prosecution. The prosecutor, or prosecuting attorney, who is a
public official such as a district attorney, conducts the criminal suit on
behalf of the state or the people.
Criminal actions are referred to much the same way as civil ones.
In the original case title the prosecution ( the name of the federal, state, or
local entity) precedes the name of the defendant; but in any appellate

18

procedure whoever seeks the review is listed first. For example, by the time
Illinois v. Gacy reached the U.S. Supreme Court for review, it was called
Gacy v. Illinois, John Wayne Gacy having appealed his conviction and
death sentence for murder.

11. If you commit a crime you may be:


accused arrested
charged
convicted
interrogated
paroled
sent to prison
tried.

suspected

Put these actions in the correct order.


12. Choose the right answer.
1. The sentenced the accused to 15 years in prison.
a) barrister
b) counsel
c) judge d) solicitor
2. If you cant resolve the dispute, it will have to be settled by
a) arbitration b) court c) election
d) referee
3) His comments little or no relation to the facts of the case.
a) bear
b) give
c) possess
d) reflect
4) They all thought he was guilty, but no one could anything against
him.
a) accuse
b) ensure
c) point
d) prove
5) It has been decided to hold a Public into the cause of the
accident.
a) Autopsy
b) Examination c) Inquiry
d) Interrogation
6) To protected victims of blackmail their names are often in court.
a) covered
b) erased
c) hidden
d) not given
7) The youth involved in the disturbance at the demonstration made
a(n) to the police.

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a) account

b) notice c) statement

d) summary

8) I to say anything unless I am allowed to speak to my solicitor.


a) deny
b) neglect
c) refuse d) resist
9) I should like to call two who can testify on my clients behalf.
a) witnesses b) onlookers
c) passers-by
d) spectators
10) You are surely not suggesting that these young children could
have planned such and evil deed.
a) innocent
b) lovely
c) natural
d) pure
11) The case against Mary Wrongdoer was for lack of evidence.
a) discarded b) dismissed
c) refused
d) resigned
12) The new law comes into on May 15.
a) condition
b) date
c) force d) power
13) The question in this case is whether the accused had a motive for
this crime or not.
a) crucial
b) forcible
c) supreme
d) valuable
14) The driver admitted that the accident was partly his own
a) blame
b) cause c) evil
d) fault
15) In fact, the murderer was from the country before extradition
proceedings could be started.
a) barred
b) deported
c) exported
d) interned
16) The suspect man has a on his right cheek.
a) point
b) scar
c) sign
d) trace
17) It is a criminal offence to the facts.
a) express
b) oppress
c) repress

d) suppress

18) After a close cross-examination, the barrister was his client was
telling the truth.
a) contend
b) glad
c) happy d) satisfied

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19) At the end of the trial he was of murder.


a) condemned b) convicted c) convinced d) penalized
20) In the legal profession, men women by five to one.
a) outclass
b) outnumber
c) overcome
d) supersede
21) All barristers are expected to study at the Inns of Court..
a) hopeful
b) prospective
c) willing
d) wishful
22) The judge will hear the next after lunch.
a) case
b) charge
c) lawsuit

d) trial

23) The suspect that he had assaulted a policeman.


a) contradicted
b) declined
c) denied

d)

refused

24) I wish youd let me speak for myself and not the words out of my
mouth.
a) grab
b) pull
c) snatch
d) take
25) The suspect is to have been in the neighborhood at the time of the
crime.
a) accused
b) affirmed
c) alleged
d) announced

13. Choose the right answer.


1. The high court judge will pass next week.
a) justice
b) punishment c) sentence
d) verdict
2. If you break the law, will be trouble.
a) for
b)in
c) out

d) out of

3. The judge was very on pickpockets.


a) bad
b) hard c) strict d) strong
4. It was impossible for her to tell the truth so she had to a
story.
a) combine
b) inventc) lie
d) manage

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5. Peter gives one account of the accident, and John another; it is


difficult to the two
versions.
a) adjust
b) coincide
c) identify
d) reconcile
6. The witness testified that he could bear what the defendant
had claimed.
a) on
b) out
c) up
d) with
7. The suspect is not under arrest, nor have the police placed any
on his movements.
a) obstacle b) regulation
c) restriction
d) veto
8. You should only make serious accusations like that if they have a
sound in fact.
a) basis b) foothold
c) framework
d) principle
9. The judge the pedestrian for the accident.
a) accused b) blamed
c) charged
d) sued
10. His legal training enables him to put his case very
convincingly.
a) down
b) out c) over
d) up

14. Put each of the following words and phrases into its correct place in the
passage below.
accused
court

acquit
cross-examination

judge

jurors

legislature
panel
trial

list

sentence

civil suits

counsel

fault

guilty

jury

legal disputes

money
swear

witnesses

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officer
testimony

Trial by Jury
A jury is a selected group of laymen that hears the .. in .. and
decides the facts.
A courtroom trial in which a .. decides the facts is called a .. by
jury.
Before each .. term, a jury commissioner or another public ..
prepares a panel, or large initial .. of qualified jurors. For each trial, ..
are selected by lot from this .. . Before the trial begins, the jurors .. to
decide the facts fairly. They hear the .. given by witnesses for both sides,
including .. . Then .. for each side sum up, or summarize the case, and
the .. explains the applicable law in his instructions to the jury.
In .. for financial damages, the jury must decide who is at .. and
must determine the amount of .. to be paid. In criminal cases, the jury
must decide whether or not the .. is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt ,
and then either return a verdict of guilty, or .. the defendant by a verdict
of not guilty. If the verdict is .. the judge imposes the .. , or
punishment, within limits that have been fixed by the .. .
GRAMMAR PRACTICE
Fill in the text below with the missing prepositions:
The evolution of courts in ancient Rome was marked (1) the development
of a complex structure (2) which criminal, civil, and other jurisdictions
were differentiated and exercised by separate courts and officials.
Violations (3) criminal law were prosecuted by the state; higher and
lower courts were organized; the right of appeal was juridical guaranteed;
and a corps (4) professional jurists was established (5) the first time
(6) the history of Mediterranean civilization. (7) Christianity became
the state religion of Rome, the ecclesiastical courts, previously established
by Christians who had refused to have recourse (8) pagan courts, became
a part (9) the Roman legal system. As the Roman Empire disintegrated,
the ecclesiastical courts survived and assumed jurisdiction (10) secular
affairs.

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THE ARTICLE AND THE NOUN (Review)


1. Supply A/AN or THE if they are necessary:
(1) United States has 51 separate court systems. They include (2) federal
court system, established and maintained by the national government, and
the courts of the 50 states. Because of (3) separate state and federal systems,
the United States is said to have (4) dual court system.
The federal court system is more limited in (5) size and purpose than are the
state courts. (6) Federal courts have jurisdiction over five basic kinds of
cases. They hear: cases in which the United States is (7) party and cases
involving foreign officials. In civil matters, if more than $10,000 is
involved, they may also hear cases with (8) parties from different states,
and cases involving the Constitution of United States and federal laws. (9)
Federal courts also hear federal specialties, cases involving (10) patents,
copyrights, or bankruptcies.
2. Complete the following sentences using suitable words from the box
below:
patents
decisions

Constitution
offenses

jurisdiction
governor

cases
nomenclature

lawyers
judgeships

State courts share jurisdiction with federal courts, and they exercise sole, or
exclusive, jurisdiction in other cases, mainly those involving state law. Only
those state court decisions that involve the U.S. (1) and federal law may be
appealed to the federal courts.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest appellate court for
cases within federal jurisdiction. The Court agrees to decide only about 150
of the 4,000 to 4,500 (2) appealed to it each year; the other federal courts
decide approximately 330,000 cases a year, and the state courts, far more
than that. The Supreme Courts (3), however, are binding on all other
courts.
Throughout U.S. history, the federal court system has been small. In the
mid-1990s there were 179 permanent circuit (4) in the 13 courts of appeals;
the 89 district courts had 610 permanent judgeships in the 50 states plus 15

24

in the District of Columbia and 7 in Puerto Rico. Three special courts hear
cases involving customs duties, (5), and monetary claims against the
government. Congress provided (1978) for bankruptcy courts in each
district, staffed by bankruptcy judges.
The state court systems are similar in structure, but they vary widely in
specifics and (6). The major trial court may be a circuit court in one state
and a district court, or superior court, in another. Some courts derive their
titles and functions from a past era and are not the result of systematic
planning.
Most states have a trier of trial courts with limited or special jurisdiction,
such as justice-of-the- peace courts or juvenile courts. Courts having
jurisdiction over cases involving minor criminal (7) may also conduct
preliminary hearings for more serious crimes to be tried in higher trial
courts. These limited-jurisdiction courts often receive most of their financial
support from local governments. Next is a level of general-jurisdiction trial
courts that hear the full range of serious cases and often appeals in minor
cases from lower courts. Finally, each state has courts with mainly appellate
(8). Every state has a supreme court, although it is not always called by that
name; about half of the states have intermediate appellate courts below the
level of their highest courts.
There are about 7,600 judges in state courts of general jurisdiction and over
1,000 judges in state appellate courts. Additional thousands of judges serve
in special state courts. Historically, state judges were popularly elected, but
increasingly states are adopting a judicial selection system in which the (9)
appoints judges from a list submitted by a commission composed of judges,
(10), and representatives of the public.
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT
1) If you have not already done so, make vocabulary cards for the legal
words that you want to remember, or add them to your own personal
vocabulary lists.
2) Comment on the following: The law is the last result of human wisdom
acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
3) Is the Death Penalty a necessary and proper means of punishment?

25

4) Answer the following questions after searching for information relating


to trials.
1. What are the qualifications required to be a juror?
2. How are future jurors selected for jury service?
3. Can a person change his/her jury service report date?
4. Can a person be transferred to another courthouse?
5. Can a person be excused from jury service?
6. What is the Opt-Out Program for jurors 70 years of age or older?

SUGGESTED PRESENTATIONS

Courts of Appeal
European Court of Justice
Supreme Court of the United States
European Court of Human Rights
International Court of Justice (UN), World Court
Personal experience in a law court
What may happen if the witness gives false
evidence?
Or if the jurors do not agree on the verdict?
Your opinion on films about court trials
Jury trials vs. Judge trials

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