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The question "What is law?" has troubled people for many years. A whole field of study known as juris­prudence (the study of law and legal philosophy) is de­voted to answering this question. Many definitions of law exist. For our purposes, however, law can be de­fined as the rules and regulations made and enforced by the government that regulate the conduct of peo­ple within a society.

As a child, you learned about rules first at home and later at school. At home, your parents made and enforced rules concerning issues like chores and bed­times. Rules made and enforced by the government are called laws. The government makes laws that af­fect almost every aspect of daily life.

One thing is certain: every society that has ever existed has recognized the need for laws. These laws may have been unwritten, but even pre-industrial societies had rules to regulate people's conduct. Na­tive American societies, for example, were governed by unwritten laws. When Europeans first arrived on the North American continent, each of the native American nations (or tribes, as they are commonly called today) maintained order through a system of unwritten rules. Because many non-native American government officials and others did not see or under­stand these traditional mechanisms, many non-native

Americans held the erroneous view that the societies were lawless. Today, some native American groups are still governed, at least in part, by traditional unwrit­ten law.

Without laws, there would be confusion and disor­der. This does not mean that all laws are fair or even good, but imagine how people might take advantage of one another without a set of rules.


1. Найдите в тексте эквиваленты для следующих слов и выражений:

существовать, приводить в жизнь, внутри обще­ства, каждый аспект повседневной жизни, признать необходимость законов, неписаный закон, до индустриальное общество, поведение людей, поддержи­вать порядок, ошибочное мнение, путаница и бес­порядок, набор правил.


2. Ответьте на вопросы:

1. Why has the question "What is law?" troubled people for many years?

2. Read and translate the text. What is jurispru­dence?

3. What definition of law is given in the text?

4. Why does any existing society need laws?

5. Have laws always been written?

6. What would happen if people lived without laws?

Ответьте на вопросы, исходя из данных ниже просьб.

Peter, write the word “Parliament”, please.

  1. What’s Peter doing?
  2. What has he done?
  3. Who has written the word “Parliament”?
  4. What did he do a minute ago?

4. Поставьте глагол в скобках в нужную видо-временную форму:

1. What are you doing? – I (to prepare) a report on criminal law.

2. I (to get) all the necessary materials last week.

3. The witness for the prosecution (to answer) the questions of the judge when we came to the court.

4. I cannot meet you tomorrow morning. I (to represent) Jack Green before the Court.

5. The state and public organizations (to discuss) the Draft of the new Constitution before it became the law.

6. She (to write) 10 letters today.

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