English for lawyers 1
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English for Lawyers 1. Lecturer: Miljen Matijašević G10, room 6/I, Tue 11:30-12:30 e-mail: miljen.matijasevic @ gmail.com Session 4, 25 Oct 2013. Today’s session. Revision of the last session Statute Law in Britain Translation practice. Revision of the last session.

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English for Lawyers 1

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English for lawyers 1

English for Lawyers 1

Lecturer: Miljen Matijašević

G10, room 6/I, Tue11:30-12:30

e-mail: [email protected]

Session 4, 25 Oct2013

Today s session

Today’s session

  • Revision of the lastsession

  • Statute Law inBritain

  • Translationpractice

Revision of the last session

Revision of the last session

Sources and Varieties of English Law

Revision questions

Revision questions

  • Namethree principal divisionsoflaw.

  • TranslateintoEnglish:

    • upravno pravo, radno pravo, ustavno pravo, pravo društava

  • Whatare the four sources of English law?

  • Explain the two meanings of common law!

  • Who is subject to EU law and where is it created?

  • What are the origins of common law?

  • What about equity?

Statute law in britain

Statute Law in Britain

Unit 3

The British Parliament Legislative Procedure

British government and parliament

British Government and Parliament

The Government

The Prime Minister (Premijer)

The Cabinet (Vlada)

Government departments (ministarstva)

Civil service (državni službenici)

The Queen

British government and parliament1

British Government and Parliament

the Cabinet also referred to as Whitehall

British parliament

British Parliament

The Palace of Westminster

British government and parliament2

British Government and Parliament

The British Parliament

The House of Commons

650 MPs

The House of Lords

789 members

The Queen

The house of commons

The House of Commons

  • 650 Members of Parliament (MPs)

  • salaried

  • elected in the national election by the people

  • each MP represents the voters in his constituency

  • ‘first past the post’ electoral system

    • the candidate with the most votes wins and goes to Parliament, the others lose

The house of lords

The House of Lords

  • 789 members (most of whom – peers)

  • non-salaried (may claim expenses)

  • appointed by the Queen (at the proposal of the Prime Minister)

    Lords Spiritual

    bishops – 24 (max. 26)

    Lords Temporal

    life peers – 675 (no limit)

    hereditary peers – 90 (max. 92)

The commons and the lords

The Commons and the Lords

Some peculiarities

Some peculiarities

The Commons

  • Searjant at Arms

  • the Mace

  • the Bar of the House

  • the red lines – two sword lengths

  • the Speaker of the House of Commons

    The Lords

  • the Throne

  • the Woolsack

  • the Lord Speaker (formerly the Lord Chancellor!)

The house of commons1


  • Choosesthegovernment (doesnotconfirm it)

  • Provides it with money and controls taxation

  • Enacts statute law

  • Supervisestheexecutive

  • Redressesgrievancesofitsconstituents

The house of lords1


  • Givesadvice on publicpolicy, representingthe British society

  • ReviseslegislationpassedbytheCommons

  • Possibility for persons who havecontributed to thepublic life ofBritain to participateingovernment

  • Acts as a constitutionalcheck

Statute law

Statute Law


  • In England originally enacted by the monarch

  • The role gradually taken over by Parliament, as its powers grew and the monarch’s powers diminished (notably as a result of the 17th century conflicts between Stuart kings and Parliament)

  • Statutes as we know them today developed in the 19th century

More on statute law

More on statute law

  • PARLIAMENT has supreme law-making power

  • ‘No limits’ to its law-making capacity – an act enacted by Parliament which has undergone the proper procedure may not be overturned! (no constitutional court!)

  • However, in enacting laws, the following must be taken into account: EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights

Statute law v common law law

Statute law v. commonlawlaw

  • The courts obliged to applystatute law

  • They do not have the power to overturnActs of Parliament

  • Statute law has precedenceover common law: if statute law provides a remedy, it will have supremacy over a common law remedy

Statute law v common law law1

Statute law v. commonlawlaw

  • However, in draftingActs of Parliament, judicial precedents established within common law are taken into account

  • On theotherhand, a court decisioncan re-interpret a statute and change theway it is applied in future (bysetting a precedent)

The queen in parliament

The Queen in Parliament

  • This term includes the three components of the legislative apparatus in the UK: the monarch (the Queen), the House of Commons and the House of Lords

  • An Act of Parliament has to be approved by all three in order to come into force

  • The Queen’s role in the legislative procedure reduced to formality and ceremony

The queen s role

The Queen’s role

  • At the beginning of each session of Parliament(usually November) and after a General Election, the Queen reads a speech outlining legislative proposals for the coming year

  • This speech is written by the Prime Minister

The queen in parliament1

The Queen in Parliament

  • The other role of the Queen is to give the Royal Assent to a Bill in order for it to become an Act of Parliament, i.e. enter into force

  • Royal Assent has not been refused since 1707 (today the Queen no longer signs bills with her own hand nor is she even consulted)

  • today: given automatically by clerks representing theSovereign, the Queen NOT involved or consulted

Legislative procedure

Legislative procedure

  • An Act of Parliament starts as a BILL(a legislative proposal)

  • There are four types of Bills, differing in scope and subject matter:




Legislative procedure1

Legislative procedure

  • PUBLIC BILLS – affect the public at large, proposed by the Government (e.g. Domestic Violence Bill)

  • PRIVATE BILLS – concern a limited section of the population (Local and Personal Bills), may be initiated by associations and companies

  • HYBRID BILLS – relate to matters of national importance affecting in particular a local area (e.g. Channel Tunnel Bills)

  • PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BILLS – introduced by a ‘back-bencher’, provided there is time and luck! Rarely enacted, but may spark a public debate and indirectly affect legislative trends

Legislative procedure2

Legislative procedure

  • Bills usually originate in the Commons

  • There are normally three readings for each bill, including a committee stage and a report stage

  • The procedure starts in the Commons and a largely similar procedure is followed in the Lords

  • Bills may be returned to the Commons for revision and amendments and the procedure may be repeated

Legislative procedure3

Legislative procedure

  • The Lords may not reject a Bill, they can only delay its enactment for up to one year

  • When the final agreement is reached and the final version of the Bill is approved, the Bill is given the Royal Assent, thus becominganAct of Parliament (statute)

Legislative procedure4

Legislative procedure

Devolved legislatures

Devolved legislatures

The Scottish Parliament

The Northern Ireland Assembly

The National Assembly for Wales

  • RESERVED POWERS (retained by Westminster)

  • DEVOLVED POWERS (given to the devolved legislatures)

Key terms

Key terms

the Cabinet

government departments




life peers




the (Lord) Speaker

to draft

a bill

the monarch - the Sovereign

Royal Assent

Act of Parliament



Translate into croatian


There is no constitutionalrestriction on thesubject-matter to beincludedinthestatutes. Nothingpreventsthepassingofany statute, even one ofobviouslyunreasonablecontent, providedthat it haspassedthroughtheproper procedure inthetwoHousesofParliamentandhasbeensignedbythe Queen. Once a statute hasbeenpassed, thecourts are obliged to follow it indealingwithanycasesthatmaycomebeforethemand to whichthe statute is relevant. They interpret it, andinterpretationscreateprecedents, but theycannotfind it invalid.

Translate into croatian1


Ne postoje ustavna ograničenja vezano uz temu kojom se može baviti neki zakon. Ništa ne sprečava donošenje bilo kojeg zakona, čak i onog naizgled nerazumnog sadržaja, pod uvjetom da je prošao propisani postupak u oba doma Parlamenta i dobio Kraljičin potpis. Nakon što je neki zakon usvojen, sudovi su ga dužni primjenjivati u slučajevima koji se pred njima pojavljuju te na koje se taj zakon odnosi. Sudovi tumače zakon, a tumačenja postaju presedani. No, sudovi nemaju ovlasti za proglašavanje zakona nevažećim.

English for lawyers 1

Thank you for your attention!

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