Law and Society
Families of Law
Unit 3- Written Assignment
Unit 3 Essay- Part Two
Name of Country: Great Britain Family of law followed: Common law
How disputes are settled: Litigation, Arbitration, and Mediation
How cases are handled: Adversary system; case law takes precedence
In this section, discuss the following:
• How would your friend’s theft be dealt with under the law in this country?
In Great Britain, the Theft Act of 1968 is an Act of the Parliament of the UK. It governs most of the general property offenses in English law. Theft is defined as a person shall be guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Any person convicted of theft is punishable by imprisonment of up to seven years. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60/introduction)
• What type of legal proceedings could she expect? What type of punishment might be applied? The legal proceedings to be expected in Great Britain are similar to those of the United States. Their legal system is based on common law or stare decisis which are the principal that similar cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so they will reach similar results (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law). She will be tried in a court called the "Crown Court". This court usually hears all criminal cases. It consists of one judge and maybe a jury (http://www.jura.uni-duesseldorf.de/aal/AAR/SoSe04/einf_text6.pdf). If she is convicted and found guilty of theft, she could face up to seven years in prison as a result. She may also receive a fine and/or community services.
• Identify any other factors for consideration. Would the fact that your friend is female impact her treatment under the law in this country?
The fact that she is a female has no bearing on the outcome of the court proceeding or the sentencing. In the eyes of the legal system in Great Britain, she is treated as an equal no matter her sex, age, race or religion as opposed to other countries. The legal system of England is a common law one, so the decisions of the senior appellate court become law. The UK is part of the European Union (EU), which means that EU law takes precedence over UK law. The European Union is an economic and political union comprised of 27
member states which are located in Europe. It ensures the free movement of people, goods, services and capital, enacts legislation in justice and home affairs and maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union).
Name of Country: France Family of law followed: Civil law
How disputes are settled: Inquisitorial model
How cases are handled: The judges arbitrate between the prosecution and the defense. The French judicial system does not have recourse to juries.
In this section, discuss the following:
How would your friend’s theft be dealt with under the law in this country?
The legal system in France is based on civil law. These laws are set out in the Civil Code of France. Theft is a pecuniary offense and is governed by Criminal Code called Code Napoleon or Code Civil. This Code is governed by doctrines and they use these doctrines to fashion a code by which all legal controversies are decided (http://law.jrank.org/pages/5235/Civil-Law.html). Judges are expected to follow decisions that agree on the interpretation of a code.
What type of legal proceedings could she expect? What type of punishment might be applied?
The proceedings would be more of an arbitration type proceeding. In order for the process to start, a private party has to file a law suit against the defendant and, in turn, becomes the plaintiff. The judge plays an active role in the investigation of the case. One judge will work...
References: Bluehouse, P. and J. Zion (1996). Hozhooji Naat’aanii: The Navajo Justice and Harmony
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