Module 4 Crime and Punishment

Module 4 Crime and Punishment

Unit 1 Crimes and criminals

Unit 2 Theft, murder, drugs and other crimes

Unit 3 Economical crimes

Unit 4 Punishment


Module 5 Law Enforcement

Unit 1 Traffic and vehicles

Unit 2 Crimes against property

Unit 3 Out in the community: anti-social behaviour

Unit 4 Drugs & alcohol

Unit 5 At the station

Unit 6 Crime scene investigation

Unit 7 Criminal justice systems

Unit 8 Organized crime

Unit 9 International cooperation: interpol

Unit 10 Civil and criminal penalties







The Birth of Law

Rules and laws – and the conventions or customs from which they are descended – have been a part of human life ever since our ancestors first began to live in large and settled groups. But our knowledge is vague of laws that were in effect before the invention of writing in about 3500 B.C. The earliest known legal text was written by Ur-Nammu, a king of the Mesopotamian city of Ur, in about 2100 B.C. It dealt largely with compensation for bodily injuries, and with the penalties for witchcraft and runaway slaves.

Laws of Babylon

One of the most detailedancient legal codeswas drawn up in about 1758 B.C. by Hammurabi, a king of Babylonia. The entire code, consisting of 282 paragraphs, was carved into a great stone pillar,which was set up in a temple to the Babylonian god Marduk so that it could be read by every citizen.

The pillar, lost for centuries after the fall of Babylon in the 16th century B.C., was rediscovered by a French archaeologist in 1901 amid the ruins of the Persian city of Susa. Hammurabi's words were still legible. The pillar is now in the Louvre museum in Paris.

The laws laid down by Hammurabi were more extensive than any that had gone before.They covered crime, divorce and marriage, the rights of slave owners and slaves, the settlement of debts, inheritance and property contracts; there were even regulations about taxes and the prices of goods. Punishments under the code were often harsh. The cruelprinciple of revengewas observed:an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, which meant that criminals had to receive as punishment precisely thoseinjuriesanddamages they had inflicted upon theirvictims.Not only murderers but also thieves and false accusers faced the death penalty.And a child who hit his father could expect to lose the hand that struck the blow.

The code outlawedprivate blood feudsand banned the tradition by which a man could kidnap and keep the woman he wanted for his bride. In addition, the new laws took account of the circumstances of theoffenderas well as of the offence. So a lower-ranking citizen who lost a civil casewould be fined less than an aristocrat in the same position — though he would also be awarded less if he won.

Nevertheless, Hammurabi's laws represented an advance on earlier tribal customs,because thepenaltycould not be harder than the crime.


1. Find in the text “The Birth of Law” the words that mean the following:

the use of magic power, especially with the aid of evil spirits

a punishment imposed for a violation of law or rule

an accepted social custom or practice

payment for damage or loss, restitution

one from whom a person is descended

harm or damage done or suffered

Say whether the statement is true or false. If it’s wrong, give the right answer.

1. Our knowledge of ancient laws is vague.

2. The earliest known legal text was written by Hammurabi.

3. One of the most detailed ancient legal codes was drawn up in about 1458 B.C.

4. The entire code consisted of 282 paragraphs.

5. The pillar is now in the British Museum in London.

6. The cruel principle of revenge was observed.

7. Only murderers but also thieves and false accusers faced the death penalty.

8. The code outlawed private blood feuds.

9. In Hammurabi's laws the penalty could be harder than the crime.


Match the following English expressions with their Russian equivalents.

1) legal activities 2) legal address 3) legal advice 4) legal age 5) legal costs 6) legal decision 7) legal document 8) legal entity 9) legal ethics 10) legal expert 11) legal history 12) legal language 13) legal owner 14) legal procedure 15) legal protection 16) legal rights 17) legal status 18) of legal force 19) to enjoy one's legal rights 20) to enter the legal profession а) законные права b) законный владелец c) имеющий законную силу d) использовать свое законное право e) история права f) консультация юриста g) правовая защита h) правовой документ i) правовой статус j) правомерная, законная деятельность k) профессиональная этика юриста 1) решение суда m) совершеннолетие n) стать юристом о) судебные издержки р) судопроизводство q) юридическая терминология r) юридический адрес s) юридическое лицо t) юрисконсульт; юридический советник

Make word combinations.

legal rights settlement of property regulations about prices of to inflict to faced of slave owners taxes contracts codes goods injuries and damages the death penalty debts


Text A

The Legal Heritage of Greece and Rome

The ancient Greeks were among the first to develop a concept of law that separated everyday law from religious beliefs.Before the Greeks most civilizations attributed their laws to their gods or goddesses. Instead, the Greeks believed that laws were made by the people for the people.

In the seventh century B.C., drew up Greece's first comprehensive written code of laws. Under Draco's code death was the punishment for most offences. Thus, the terms draconian usually applies too extremely harsh measures.

Several decades passed before Solon - poet, military hero, and ultimately Athens' lawgiver- devised a new code of laws. Trial by jury,an ancient Greek tradition was retained, but enslaving debtorswas prohibited as were most of the harsh punishments of Draco's code. Under Solon's lawcitizens of Athens were eligible toserve in the assembly and courts were established in which they could appeal government decisions.

What the Greeks may have contributed tothe Romans was the concept of "natural law." In essence, natural law was based on the belief that certain basic principlesare above the laws of a nation. These principles arise fromthe nature of people. The concept of natural law and the development of the first true legal system had a profound effect on the modern world.


Write the correct word in the space before its definition. There may be more than one definition for each word.

ancient heritage law measures
government lawgiver jury measure


1 ............................... the direction and control exercised politically over people living in a community, state, or nation.
2 ............................... something that is inherited from earlier generations; tradition.
3 ............................... a body of persons summoned to a court of law who are sworn to hear evidence and give a true verdict in a case.  
4 ............................... the set of customs, statutes, or rules that govern a society.
5 .............................. things that are done to get a particular result.
6 .............................. one who makes or approves laws; legislator.
7 .............................. calculation of exact dimensions within time or space, such as length, quantity, duration, weight, or capacity.  
8 ............................ extremely old; existing for many years.

Make word combinations.

profound natural code appeal harsh religious measures beliefs law decisions of laws effect


3. Answer the following questions:

1.What does the ancient Greek concept of law comprise?

2.Why were the first laws mainly attributed to divine powers?

3.What is the origin and the meaning of the word "draconian"?

4.How do you understand the concept of "natural law"?

5.What was Solon's contribution to ancient law?

Text B

Solon (b. 630 — d. 560 B.C.)

Solon, the Athenian statesman, is known as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. He ended exclusive aristocratic control of the government, substituted a system of control by the wealthy, and introduced a new and more humane law code.He was also a noted poet.

Unfortunately it was not until the 5th century B.C. that accounts of his life and works began to be put together, mostly on the evidence ofhis poems and his law code. Although certain details have a legendary ring, the main features of his story seem to be reliable. Solon was of noble descent but moderate means.He first became prominentin about 600 B.C. The early 6th century was a troubled time for the Athenians. Society was dominatedby an aristocracy of birth,who ownedthe best land, monopolized the government, and were themselves split into rival factions. The social, economic, and political evilsmight well have culminated in a revolution and subsequent tyranny (dictatorship),as they had in other Greek states, had it not been for Solon, to whom Athenians of all classes turned in the hope of a generally satisfactory solution oftheir problems. Because he believed in moderation and in an ordered societyin which each class had its proper place and function, his solution was not revolution but reform.

Solon's great contribution tothe future good of Athenswas his new code of laws. The first written codeat Athens, that of Draco, was still in force. Draco's laws were shockingly severe— so severe that they were said to have been written not in ink but in blood. On thecivil sidethey permitted enslavement for debt,and death seems to have been the penalty for almost all criminal offenses.Solon revisedevery statute except that onhomicideand made Athenian law altogether more humane.


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