Professions In Great Britain
Who is who in the law? If you are prosecuted for a crime in Britain,
you may meet the following people during your process through the courts:
Magistrates are unpaid judges usually chosen from
well-respected people in the local community. They are guided on points of law
by an official, the clerk. There are magistrates' courts in most towns.
After the accused person has been arrested, the first person he
or she needs to see is a solicitor. Solicitors are qualified lawyers who advise
the accused and help prepare the defence case. The solicitor may represent the
accused in court. A person who is too poor to afford a solicitor will usually
get Legal Aid — financial help from the state.
In more serious cases it is
usual for the solicitor to
hire a barrister to
defend the accused. The barrister is trained in the law and in the skills
argue a case in court. The
barrister for the defence will be confronted by his or her opposite number, the
prosecuting barrister who represents the state.
A jury consists of twelve
men and women from the local community. They sit in the Crown Court with a judge
and listen to witnesses for the defence and prosecution before deciding whether
the accused is guilty or innocent. In
Britain the person is innocent unless found guilty: the prosecution has the burden of establishing guilt.
Judges are trained lawyers,
nearly always ex-barristers who sit in the Crown Court and appeal courts. The
judge rules on points of law and makes sure that the trial is conducted
properly. He or she does not decide on the guilt or innocence of the accused —
that is the jury's job. However if the jury find the accused guilty, then the
judge will pass sentence.
Coroners have medical or
legal training (or both) and inquire into violent or unnatural deaths.
of the court. Clerks
look after administrative and legal matters in the courtroom.
The most common sentences
are fines, prison
and probation. Probation is used often with more minor
offences. A person on probation must report to a local police station at
regular intervals, which restricts his
or her movement. A sentence of community service means that the convicted
person has to spend several hours a week doing useful work in his locality.
A few more facts. Children under 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence.
Offenders between 10 and 17
are tried by special
The death penalty technically still exists in
Britain for some rare
offences, such as treason, but is no longer used.
The punishment for murder is a life sentence.
This can be much less than a lifetime in prison, depending on factors such as
The most common punishment for crimes — 80 per cent of the total —
is a fine.
a magistrate — мировий суддя
a solicitor — повірений
у справах, який готує документи до суду a barrister — адвокат, який виступає в суді a juror — член
журі присяжних a
judge — суддя
a coroner — коронер,
accuse — обвинувачувати defence — захист
to hire — наймати
to argue — обговорювати;
— невинний burden — тягар доказу prison — тюрма, в'язниця probation — умовне
— обмежувати treason — зрада rare — рідкісний
in the blanks.
1. Magistrates are unpaid ... .
2. There are ... courts in most towns.
3. Solicitors are qualified ... .
4. Solicitors advise the ... and help prepare the defence case.
5. If the case is serious, the solicitor hires a
... to defend the accused.
6. The prosecuting barrister represents a ... .
7. A jury consists of ... men and women from
8. A jury sits in the Crown Court and listens to
... for the defence and prosecution.
9. A jury decides whether the accused is ... or
10. Judges are trained ... who sit in the Crown
11. The judge will pass ... if the jury find the
accused ... .
12. The most common ... are fines, prison and
13. A person on ... must report to a local police
station at regular intervals.
14. Children under 10 cannot be ... with a
criminal ... .
15. Offenders between 10 and 17 are tried by ...
16. The punishment for murder is a life ... .
17. The most common punishment for crimes is a.
Read the following sentences and decide if
they are true or false.
1. Juries sit in magistrates' courts.
2. Magistrates are legally qualified judges.
3. There are magistrates' courts in most towns.
4. Solicitors are not legally qualified.
5. The solicitor represents the accused in
6. The state helps poorer suspects to pay for
7. Barristers are hired to defend the accused.
8. A jury consists of ten men and women from
9. Barristers sit in the Crown Court and listen
to witnesses for the defence and prosecution.
10. Crown Court judges decide on the guilt or
innocence of the accused.
11. The judge passes sentence.
12. Children under 10 are tried by special
13. The punishment for murder is a life sentence.
14. The most common punishment for crimes is
Find words and expressions in the text which
public officer with authority to hear and decide cases in a law court;
2. say that smb has done wrong, broken the law,
is to be blamed;
3. not guilty;
4. system when offenders are allowed to go
unpunished for their first offence while they continue to live without further
breaking of the law;
6. allow the use or services of smb for fixed
7. body of twelve persons who give a decision on
issues of fact in a case in a court of justice.
Answer the following
1. Are magistrates legally qualified judges?.
2. Who does the accused person need to see after
he has been arrested?
3. Who may represent the accused in court?
4. In what cases does the solicitor hire a
5. How many people does a jury consist of?
6. Who has the right to decide whether the
accused is guilty or innocent?
7. Where do judges sit?
8. Whose job is it to pass sentence?
9. What are the most common sentences?
10. What does a sentence of community service
11. Can children under 10 be charged with a
12. Does the death penalty still exist in
13. What is the punishment for murder?
14. What is the most common punishment for
Complete the following text by translating
the words and expressions in brackets.
criminal trials take place in a (Магістратському
суді). Magistrates listen
to all the (показання
decide whether the person accused of the crime is (винен) or not. If the defendant is found guilty, the magistrates usually decide
on the (вирок). The magistrates are normally three Justices
of the Peace chosen from the community. In court there will also be a solicitor
who argues for (обвинувачуваний).
more serious cases are dealt with in the (Королівському
суді) in front of a judge.
A (суд присяжних) of twelve men and women (who are ordinary
members of the public) decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. The (суддя) will decide on a sentence. Judges and other (юристи) who speak in Crown Courts wear black gowns and wigs. In Crown Courts
there are two (адвокати)
instead of solicitors, one
arguing for the prosecution and the other for the defendant.
Choose the correct definition for each legal
profession. Translate into Ukrainian.
a. magistrates d. judges f. corones
e. jury g. clerks of the
1. An officer acting as a judge in the lower
2. A public official with authority to hear and
decide cases in a law court.
3. A group of people who swear to give a true
decision on issues in a law court.
4. An official who investigates the cause of any
death thought to be violent or unnatural causes.
5. A lawyer who has the right to speak and argue
in higher law courts.
6. A lawyer who prepares legal documents,
advises on legal matters and speaks for them in lower law courts.
7. An official who looks after administrative
and legal matters in the courtroom.
the text and fill in the gaps with the appropriate words from the box.
In England there are no
minimum except for which carries a penalty of life ... . There are maximum
sentences for other ... . Crimes are first heard by a ... who can either pass
sentence, or refer the crime to a ... Court with a ... and ... . Here are maximum
sentences for some crimes. Sentences can be reduced for good often by one-third
or more. "Life sentences" are rarely more than 14 years and it would
be possible to release ... after 7 years.
Work in pairs and find
arguments for and against the death penalty. Discuss the following questions.
sentences are a sign of a civilized society;
punishment is not a deterrent to murder;
punishment must fit the crime. Use the following words and expressions.
just what I think.
see what you mean, but on the other hand ...
think so too.
afraid I can't agree with you.
Read, translate and discuss the text.
is almost unique in having two different kinds of lawyers, with separate jobs
in the legal system. The two kinds of lawyers are solicitors and barristers.
a person has a legal problem, he will go and see a solicitor. Almost every town
will have at least one. In fact there are at least 50,000 solicitors in Britain
and the number is increasing.
problems are dealt with exclusively by a solicitor. For instance, the solicitor
deals with petty crimes and some matrimonial matters in Magistrates' Courts,
the lowest Courts. He prepares the case and the evidence. He actually speaks in
Court for you.
a civil action he can speak in the County Court, when the case is one of
divorce or recovering some debts. In the County Court the solicitor wears a
black gown over his ordinary clothes.
solicitor also deals with matters outside Court. He does the legal work
involved in buying a house, for instance. He writes legal letters for you and
carries on legal arguments outside Court. If you want to make a will, the best
man to advise you is a solicitor.
qualify as a solicitor, a young man or woman joins a solicitor as a
"clerk" and works for him whilst studying part time for the "Law
Society" exams. Interestingly enough, it is not necessary for you to go to
university. When you have passed all the necessary exams, you can
"practice", which means you can start business on your own.
are different from solicitors. Barristers are experts in the interpretation of
the Law. They are called in to advise on really difficult points. The barrister
is also an expert on advocacy (the art of presenting cases in Court). Indeed,
if you desire representation in any Court except the Magistrates' Court, you
must have a barrister, with one or two exceptions.
are rather remote figures. If you need one, for instance, you never see him
without your solicitor being with him. Barrister do not have public offices in
any street. They work in what are known as chambers, often in London. They all
belong to institutions called Inns of Court, which are ancient organizations
rather like exclusive clubs. In many ways the remoteness they have and, the job
they do are medieval in conception.
To qualify as a barrister you have to take
the examinations of the Bar Council. These are different from solicitors'
examinations. There are over 5,000 barristers in England. A good one can earn
30,000 pounds a year. Only barristers can become judges in an English Court
above a Magistrates' Court.
Barristers are also found in South Africa and New South Wales
11 Answer the questions.
1. What is almost unique about the English legal
2. What kind of problems does a solicitor deal
3. How do you qualify as a solicitor?
4. What are barristers experts in?
5. When must you have a barrister?
6. What reasons are there for saying a barrister
is rather remote?
7. How do you qualify as a barrister?
Read the following text and answer the
One of the most important figures in the
British legal system is the solicitor. It is his job to advise you on legal
matters of all kinds. If you get into trouble with the police, you will
probably ask a solicitor to help prepare your defence and, if the offence is to
be heard in a Magistrates' Court, you can ask a solicitor to appear for you and
argue your case. If the case goes to a higher Court, the solicitor still
advises you, but you must get a barrister to appear for you.
On this tape a young solicitor discussed his
experience: the reasons for theft, crimes of violence and how he feels when he
knows the man he is defending is guilty. He gives his reason for defending
someone in these circumstances.
1. What are the two main jobs of a solicitor?
2. What does the young solicitor talk about on
Match each word or expression on the left
with the correct definition.
a) witness 1.
everything witnesses say in court: facts, etc.
2. where witnesses stand in court
c) witness-box 3. someone who sees a crime or an
4. ask all witnesses involved in a case
5. to say something happened though the fact
hasn't been proved yet
all the evidence, facts, things, etc. that a
can use to prove a man is not guilty.
translate and discuss the text.
ATTORNEYS IN THE USA Growth
of the Profession
Today the number of lawyers in the United
States exceeds 675,000. This translates to one lawyer for every 364 people.
Twenty-five years ago there was one lawyer for every 700 people. The rate at
which the legal profession is growing will probably continue to outpace rate of
population growth through the end of the century.
Why is a career in law so popular? Market
forces account for some of the allure. We know that in 1984 the average salary
of experienced lawyers was 88,000 dollars. If we could include in this average
the salaries of all lawyers, whatever their experience, the figure would
probably be much lower, certainly well below the 108,000 dollars average salary
of physicians. But lawyers' salaries are still substantially greater than those
of many other professionals. Salaries for newly minted lawyers heading for
elite New York law firms exceeded 71,000 dollars in 1987; some firms offered
additional bonuses for clerkship experience in the federal courts and state
supreme courts. The glamour of legal practice strengthens the attraction of its
There are other reasons for the popularity of
the legal profession and the great demand for legal services. Materialism and
individualism in American culture encourage dispute.