Key vocabulary

medieval - средневековый

feudal lord — феодал 

baron - барон

administer – управлять, осуществлять

enforce - принуждать, обязывать

Common Law - общее право

remedy - средство, мера

monetary - монетный, денежный

damage - вред, компенсация [возмещение] ущерба [убытков]

relief– помощь

refer– направлять, отсылать

chancellor – канцлер

clergyman – священник

con­science – совесть

court of equity - суд права справедливости


In early medieval England, there was no written law. Each feudal lord or baron administered justice personally. Although these baronial courts had similarities, the laws were different in different places. Disputes were settled on the basis of local customs and the baron's judgment. In time, the king was able to establish a system of courts, which enforced a common law throughout England. The rules of law, which were stated in these early cases, became precedents (examples) for settling future, similar cases. In the beginning, few decisions were recorded, and so the early common law was sometimes known as “unwritten law." Finally, the principles and rules announced by the courts were preserved in writing. Thus, particular rules became fixed, and people knew what to expect if similar problems arose in the future. This resulted in what has come to be known as the Common Law— judge-made case law that has its origin in the traditions, customs, and trade practices of the people.

The English common law began to develop after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. To keep order and peace, the Kings of England tried to create a uniform or «common» law to govern the dif­ferent regions of the British Isles. Circuit-riding judges (выездная сессия) and the use of the jury aided the Norman Kings in the consolidation of their kingdom. In medieval England, sometimes there was no remedy available from a common law court to enforce certain rights or to correct certain wrongs. This was because in civil cases the court could give only monetary damages. A person who wanted any other kind of relief would appeal directly to the king. The king would refer the person to his chancellor, who was usually a clergyman of good con­science and fairness. The chancellor would hear the case without a jury and would then give appropriate relief. Such hearings developed into what came to be known as a separate system of Courts of Equity.

Задание № 1. Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующим словам и словосочетаниям:

1 … который обычно являлся священником …

2 … не было доступного средства …

3 Для поддержания порядка и мира …

4 … после покорения Англии …

5 Это выразилось в том, что …

6 … для разрешения будущих подобных дел …

7 … были сохранены в письменной форме …

 Задание № 2. Перескажите текст, используя слова и словосочетания, приведенные в Key vocabulary


                                      Unit 4. THE MAGNA CARTA


                                            Key vocabulary

sign – подписывать; знак, символ

provide – снабжать, обеспечивать

guarantee - гарантия; обязательство; гарантировать

unreasonable - необоснованный; неумеренный

colony – группа людей, проживающая на новой для них территории, колония

foundation – обоснованность, основание

federal – федеративный, союзный, объединённый

civil – гражданский

objective – цель; стремление

origin – начало, источник

 method – метод, способ; приём, средство

originate – давать начало, порождать; создавать

collection – коллекция

impose – облагать (налогом) ; налагать (ограничения, штраф)

uniquely – единственно, единственным образом

peer - лорд, пэр

In 1215, the English barons forced the English King John I to sign and adopt the Magna Carta, which provided for them certain guarantees and protection against unreasonable acts of the king. Later, the Magna Carta was revised, and other documents, such as the English Bill of Rights (1689), were adopted.

When the thirteen American colonies broke away from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War, the colonists adopted the principles of the Magna Carta and the common law. These principles became the foundation of the legal system of US federal government and of all the states.

Today, the two great systems of law in the Western world are the Common law of the English-speaking world and the Roman civil law found on the continent of Europe. Both systems have the same objectives, but they differ in origins and methods. The Roman civil law originated in codes (systematic collections of written rules of law) imposed on the people by the emperors of ancient Rome. In contrast, the English common law originated in decisions of judges based on widely held customs of the people. Also, English common law uniquely provides for trial by a jury of one's peers (equals).

The English colonies in America recognized the English common law as governing until July 4, 1776. After that date, existing rules were retained, but further changes in the law were made in the courts of the newly formed American country. The Common Law, with its emphasis on judges making rules of law, continues to serve well till now.


Задание № 1. Найдите в тексте английские эквиваленты следующим словам и словосочетаниям:

1 … подписать и принять …

2 … определённые гарантии…

3 … были приняты …

4 … но они отличаются…

5 В противоположность этому…

6 … на Европейском континенте…

7 … эти принципы…

Задание № 2. Перескажите текст, используя слова и словосочетания, приведенные в Key vocabulary


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