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Judges in Great Britain

In Britain, the vast majority of judges (that is, the people who decide what should be done with people who commit crimes) are unpaid. They are called “Magistrates”, or “Justices of the Peace” (JPs). They are ordinary citizens who are selected not because they have any legal training but because they have “sound common sense” and understand their fellow human beings. They give up time voluntarily.

A small proportion of judges are not Magistrates. They are called “High Court Judges” and they deal with the most serious crimes, such as those for which the criminal might be sent to prison for more than a year. High Court Judges, unlike Magistrates, are paid salaries by the State and have considerable legal training. There is no separate training for judges. They are trained as barristers. Judges cannot work as barristers once they are appointed. A barrister who is a part-time judge is known as a Recorder.


Reading tasks


Answer these questions.

1 How do we call an officer acting as a judge in the lower courts?

2 What kind of people are Magistrates?

3 Why are they selected?

4 Who would judge a person who had committed a crime like murder?

5 How are judges trained?

6 Who is called a Recorder?


Vocabulary tasks


Court personnel


A Below are 10 people (or groups of people) who work in the different courts.

Can you find them in the word square below?


C   J U G U I O P P P P O M T
H   N O E U Z V U P L F T N P
G   L O M C V U Q J B L R E R
N   A S A D R T J U D G E N O
C   H I G E T Y T R B O C P S
J   U D I C I A R Y A S O Y E
P   L E S F L E S F T A R Y C
M   O L T A X R T E V B D A U
A   B A R R I S T E R G E L T
T   E R A A T H I L K G R G O
A   N O T H E T M P L O X C R
A   C L E R K M L O I R T U K
C   H Y H A N B C T P O L T Z
X   P L E P R E S I D E N T A

B Now complete the following text choosing from the words in the square.


The 1) judiciary are perhaps the most prominent amongst those involved in running the court. The largest group of 2) ________ are 3) ________ , ordinary citizens who are not legal professionals but are appointed to ensure that the local community is involved in the running of the legal system. They sit as a group of three (as a 4)‘ _________’). Magistrates sit with a legally qualified

5) ________ , who can advise on points of law. A case is presented by the 6)_________ , who takes over the case from the police who have already charged the defendant (or accused) with specified crimes.

In the upper courts, the judges are almost all former 7) ________ . But many cases are also heard by 8) ________ – part-time barristers from private practice. The Crown Court 9) _________ consists of 12 persons, aged 18 to 70.



Unit 28 Lawyers in the USA

Before you read

Discuss these questions.


1How do lay people describe a lawyer’s duties?

2Why is a lawyer’s job so important?

3Why are lawyers’ fees high?


Text A

Date: 2015-12-24; view: 2563

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B Understanding main points | Comprehension check
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