The Judicial System of the Republic of Belarus. Legal Professions in Belarus
Words and expressions
1. to resolve disputes
2. People’s assessors
14. on the consent of...
4. courts of first and second instances 15. legal adviser
Belorussian courts are judicial organs of government, which resolve disputes of civil and criminal cases on the territory of Belarus. The Constitution of Belarus (Articles 151-161) provides the system of election of judges and People’s assessors and the collective order of trying criminal and civil cases in courts.
In general the court system is divided into 3 stages – district (municipal) People’s courts, regional courts and Minsk city court and the highest one –
the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. It is the highest appellate court in our country. It is headed by the Chairman who is appointed by the President on the consent of the Counsel of the Republic.
Criminal and civil courts are distinguished as courts of first and second instances. Courts of first instance pronounce verdicts in criminal cases and pass judgement in civil cases after trial.
Courts of second instance are courts of cassation and can control the legality and justification of verdicts or judgement pronounced by courts of first instance.
In national economy lawyers are entrusted the control on the legality of orders and instructions issued by governing body: they participate in drawing up different agreements and contracts, which are concluded with other enterprises; lawyers also inform workers on the current legislation and give help in legal matters, conduct their cases in courts. So you may work as a judge, an advocate, a counsel for the defence, public prosecutor, procurator, notary, investigator, and legal adviser.
In addition to this professional group there are non-professional legal counsellors who give advice on various legal problems and are often employed by business firms.
All lawyers in our country are incorporated either in the national or regional bar. Members of the bar work at legal advisory offices, which function in every town administrative district.
All our citizens are equal before the law. Judges are elected for a term of 5 years. Not only professional lawyers but also the representatives of the population hear all criminal and civil cases having equal authority.
The defendants are guaranteed the right to defence. Proceedings of all courts are open. All people before the court are presumed innocent, until the court, having observed all procedural guarantees, finds them guilty. Only then is the sentence pronounced. An appeal can be made against the ruling to a higher court, right up to the Supreme Court.
Crime and Punishment.
Words and expressions
The definition of a “crime” has always been a matter of difficulty and no really satisfactory definition of a “crime” has yet been evolved. You may say that “crime” is a violation of the public rights and duties, which is punishable by the State. But a distinction must be drawn between breaches of law which are crimes and those which are merely illegal without being criminal.
Besides, there are some acts, which are crimes in our country but not in another. For example, it is a crime to drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia, but not in Egypt. It is a crime to smoke marijuana in England, but not in the Netherlands. However, there are quite a lot of agreements among states as to which acts are criminal.
No one knows why crime occurs. Since the 18th century various scientific theories have been advanced to explain crime. But since the mid-20th century, the notion that crime can be explained by any single theory has fallen into disfavour among investigators. They explain it by so-called multiple factor, which includes biological, psychological, cultural, economic and political reasons.
As a general rule “crime” involves guilty conduct (actus Reus) and guilty intention (mens Rea).
Treason, sabotage, banditry, desertion at a time of war, armed robbery, premeditated murder, rape under aggravating circumstances and certain other singularly dangerous social crimes are qualified as particularly grave offences. In such an event deprivation of liberty of up to 15 years may be applied or the death sentence which is regarded as an exceptional measure. (The death penalty was abolished in Britain in 1969.)
The purpose of punishment is to reform the offender and to rehabilitate him, on the other hand when punish, we warn other people of what will happen if they break the law.
Criminal sentences ordinarily embrace four basic modes of punishment. In descending order of severity these are: incarceration, community supervision, fine, and restitution. The death penalty is now possible only for certain types of atrocious murders and treason. It is never applied in respect to persons under 18. The majority of criminal sanctions are confined to short terms of deprivation of liberty and penalties not involving deprivation of liberty: corrective labour and public censure.
Criminal and civil procedures are different.
Criminal actions are nearly always started by the state. Civil actions are started by individuals. The party brining a criminal action is called the prosecution, but the party brnging a civil action is called the plaintiff. In both kinds of action the other party is known as the defendant.
Types of punishment: community service, fixed penalty fine, suspended sentence, short-term imprisonment, probation, long-term imprisonment, capital punishment, life imprisonment, disciplinary training in a detention centre.
Types of crime: murder, shoplifting, rape, manslaughter, fraud, selling drugs, drinking and driving, robbery, possession of a gun without a licence, fight in a club, treason, theft, arson, pickpocketing, terrorism, blackmail, mugging, smuggling, bribery, burglary, hijacking, kidnapping, trespass
Курс 5 семестр.
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