Partie 5 : Problèmes de société

Chapitre 47 : The law and the courts

The law, page 100

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judicial power
by law
to pass a law
to enforce the law
to make something legal
to break the law
lawful, legal
unlawful, illegal
to defend one’s rights
to take the law into one’s own hands

Civil law deals with personal matters, such as marriage and property, rather than crime, which falls within the realm of penal codes.

Tennessee was one of the first states to pass a tough law on drunken drivers.

The courts, page 100

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to commit an offence
to bring somebody to trial, to take somebody to court
a trial
a case
to prosecute somebody, to sue somebody
to charge with
a barrister, a lawyer
a plea
to take an oath
to give evidence against somebody
a testimony
evidence, proof
to sentence
a conviction
the culprit
attenuating circumstances
to bail somebody out
to release on parole
a fine
an alternative sentence
a suspended sentence
a criminal record

The key witness will testify at the trial next week.

The prime suspect in this case denies all allegations.

The burglars got a two-year sentence.

Food for thought, page 101

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  1. The two phrases “death penalty” and “capital punishment” are often used interchangeably to refer to the condemnation to death, after conviction by a court of law.
  2. In most countries, the death penalty is only used as a punishment for murder. But in some countries treason, drug smuggling, adultery are capital crimes.
  3. The majority of countries have abolished it. About 20% of countries retain it. China executes the most people per year overall, followed by Iran, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
  4. People who defend capital punishment say it fits their sense of justice. It’s also supposed to act as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.
  5. Those against it say they value human life above anything else, that it’s barbaric, unfairly applied and that innocent people may be executed too.