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SHORT CHARACTERISTICS OF SOME ASPECTS OF LAW
SHORT CHARACTERISTICS OF SOME ASPECTS OF LAW.
(for the students of high school)
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Unit 1 . How Different the world is!
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
1 The United Kingdom and its Component Parts
When people say 'Britain' they usually mean the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland', which is a single state, and a member of the European Community and United Nations.
Wales and Scotland both have their own internal administrations, each with a Secretary of State who is a member of the UK cabinet - though some services which are separate for Scotland are not separate for Wales
Scotland and Wales both elect their MPs to the UK House of Commons, by the same electoral system, with each seat won by the candidate who receives more votes than any other. Both have more seats per million people than England has. Scottish and Welsh politicians have been important in the UK's national affairs.
In 1978-79 a bill was passed by Parliament to increase the autonomy of Scotland and Wales within the Kingdom, and to provide for them to elect national parliaments (though still keeping their seats in the UK House of Commons).
Northern Ireland is within the UK and most of its people feel themselves to be British, though a minority do not. Their political parties are entirely different from the British, being based on the Protestant and Catholic communities.
The islands of Jersey and Guernsey, near the coast of Normandy, and the Isle of Man (in the Irish Sea) are not within the UK, though all arе smaller in area than several Scottish islands, and less far from the British coast than some of them. They arc not represented in the UK Parliament, they have their own governments and finances, fix their own taxes, and have their own courts and judicial systems. They are self-governing 'crown dependencies". Their people regard themselves as British. When necessary the UK government represents their interests in foreign relations and in the European Community. They are very prosperous, and benefit from their peculiar status.
The only big towns in Wales are along the south coast and in the nearby coalmining valleys which run down from the southern hills. Less than half of the Welsh people live in the remaining nine-tenths of the country's area, most of which is mountainous and full of medieval ruined castles. The greatest of these, Caernarvon, in the north, was used, according to tradition, for the investiture of Queen Elizabeth IPs eldest son Prince Charles, as Prince of Wales. There are good castle ruins in the south as well, but the castle in the centre of the nation's capital at Cardiff was rebuilt a hundred years ago. Apart from the old castles, Welsh architecture is not distinctive, though Cardiff has some fine buildings of the early 1900s.
Choral singing is a national art. It is a fine thing to hear the spectators' hymns at a Welsh victory over England at the national game of Rugby football at Cardiff. All the Welsh team arc likely to have been chosen from towns within an hour's journey of Cardiff.
Another special Welsh art is an ability to use the English language with imaginative elegance, particularly in speech. The poet Dylan Thomas came from a place near Swansea; so did the actor Richard Burton (whose real name was Jenkins). For a long lime eloquence flourished among the preachers in the Baptist and Methodist chapels of the southern mining valleys. Now it is heard more in the trade unions and the Labour Party.
The Welsh language, which is Celtic, has survived in parts of the north and west. All over Wales children in the counties' schools are required to spend some time learning Welsh. Public documents and notices are in Welsh and English, and road signposts show place names either in Welsh only or in both Welsh and English spelling.
Welsh nationalism is mainly cultural and linguistic. The national flag, with its fine dragon, is regularly displayed, the Welsh national anthem played and sung. The 800-year-old National Eisteddfodd, a festival of Welsh music and poetry dating from the twelfth century, is held each year with official help.
Scotland has just over a tenth as many people as England, in an area more than half as big. It was a separate kingdom, with powerful local kings, until 1603, when its King James VI became King James I of England too. From then onwards the two countries had the same monarch, though the Act of Union was not passed until 1707. This Act incorporated Scotland with England in the United Kingdom, but the Scots kept their own legal system, religion and administration and still keep them now. The Gaelic language, a Celtic form, is still used rather than English among the people of Highland districts. English is spoken all over Scotland with a variety of regional accents, but all of these can be at once recognised as Scottish. Also, there are many words and phrases which are peculiar to Scottish use, and this is felt to maintain national distinctness quit enough.
Parts of south-western Scotland are full of farms, favoured by a mild climate. But even in this area most of the land is too high. Two-thirds of Scotland's people live in the industrial belt which stretches from the picturesque Clyde in the south-west, across the country's narrowest part to the River Forth and Edinburgh, then up the east coast to the great fishing port of Aberdeen, which now also serves as the mainland centre for the North Sea's oil industry.
Glasgow has always rivaled Edinburgh in medicine, scholarship and the arts, and in the age of iron and steel nearby coalmines helped the Clyde to become one of the world's main shipbuilding centres. Edinburgh, as Scotland's administrative and legal capital, is more prosperous. Its annual festival of music and the arts is truly international.
Scottish towns look very different from English ones. Architectural traditions have been quite distinct, with certain styles appearing all over Scotland but not at all in England.
The most interesting and beautiful part of Scotland - and of the whole of Britain - is the north and west, or the region commonly called 'the highlands and islands'. Great sea-lochs, or fjords, not unlike those of Norway, alternate with wild and empty hills, and on some of the lochs there are farms which can only be reached by boat. Shooting and fishing are rich men's sports, pursued mainly on estates belonging to old aristocrats or new tycoons of commerce, some of them English, some foreign. The old small towns and villages have hotels and caravan sites, but the country has not been spoiled by overdevelopment.
Many hydroelectric power stations have been built to make use of some of the vast water resources of the Highlands, and North Sea oil has brought a temporary prosperity to the north-east.
The foundation of Scotland's distinctness from England is partly religious. Calvin's influence at first affected doctrine in England and Scotland alike, but when the English adopted the moderately Protestant system of the Anglican Church the Scots would not follow them. Under the religious leadership of John Knox they fully accepted the Reformation and established their own Presbyterian church, which has survived, with some serious breaches in its own ranks, until the present time.
The Church of Scotland performs the function of a national Church. The Queen attends Church of Scotland services when in Scotland, but has no formal position in relation to it. Its sole head is Jesus Christ. Scottish Prcsbytcrianism has a puritan tradition, expressed in the past by doctrinal rigidity and by condemnation of Sabbath-breaking, the theatre, dancing and pleasure-seeking.
Because of the Puritan influence education was for a long time more easily accessible to the people and more democratic than in England. Three hundred years ago nearly every Scottish community had a good school, and for a very long time after that, while most students at Oxford and Cambridge were the sons of rich men amusing themselves, the four universities of Scotland were full of poor students who had no means or inclination to do anything but study. Some became school teachers or ministers of the Church of Scotland, but many others took the road to England to seek their fortunes and to use the abilities which education had developed in them. This process is sometimes called the conquest of England by the Scots, and it has not stopped yet.
Two hundred years ago the typical Scotsman, hard-working., serious-minded and economical, was noticeably different from the Englishman of the privileged classes, who tended to admire extravagance and a certain frivolity, and this contrast may have much to do with the development of the Scottish reputation for meanness. Modern Scotsmen may still dislike wasting money, but most visitors to modern Scotland come away with an impression that the people are hospitable and generous.
Scottish law, based on Roman law, remains distinct from English. The Scottish courts are organized quite differently from the English, and the law itself is different - though on some matters legislation affecting Scotland has made the law the same in the two countries. Most cases in Scotland arc tried in sheriff courts, which have no exact equivalent in England. Sheriffs and sheriffs-substitute are advocates who have been appointed to judicial posts. They deal with fairly minor criminal cases under summary procedure, sitting without juries or with juries to try more serious cases. A Scottish jury consists of fifteen persons instead of twelve, and is not bound to find a person 'guilty1 or 'not guilty'; it may find a charge 'not proven'. The most important cases are tried before courts presided over by judges of the Court of Session, who travel around on circuit. They have the official title of 'Lord1, but are not members of the House of Lords.
Education, agriculture, housing, health, planning, roads, transport, public order and local government are the responsibility of departments of the Scottish Office, under the political control of the Secretary of State for Scotland, who must always be a Scottish MP. Legislation concerning these matters has for a long time been separately passed for Scotland. The Scottish health service is based, for example, on the National Health Service (Scotland) Act, and the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1973 reformed Scottish local government in a way different from the English, with 'regions' instead of 'counties'.
Although Scottish bills are passed by Parliament at Westminster, their details are in practice debated only by MPs representing constituencies in Scotland. (Most, but not all of these, are Scots and some Scottish people represent constituencies in England.) Apart from their work on bills, the MPs for Scotland have for many years held at least six debates a year on aspects of Scottish affairs.
4 Northern Ireland.
In a book about Britain something must be said of Irish history in order to make it clear what is the position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. The inhabitants of this large and beautiful island are mainly Celtic in origin, and the majority never accepted the Reformation. In 1801 a new law added Ireland to the United Kingdom. By this time much of the land belonged to Protestant English landlords, and the Act of Union followed a period in which rebellious peasants were brutally-repressed. Rut in the six northern counties the Protestants were not a dominant minority: they were a majority of the population. Most were descended from Scottish and English settlers who had moved into Ireland several generations before. They considered themselves to be Irish but remained as a distinct community, and there was not much intermarriage. There had been conflicts and battles between the two communities, still remembered along with their heroes and martyrs.
The Union of 1801 gave Ireland seats in the UK Parliament
Eventually the island was separated. In 1922 the greater part became effectively an independent state, and (in 1949) a republic outside the Commonwealth. (However, the many Irish citizens who live in the UK are not treated as foreigners.) Its laws, on divorce and other matters, reflect the influence of the Catholic Church. Its Protestant population soon fell by half.
The six northern counties remained within the United Kingdom, with seats in the UK parliament, but had their own parliament, prime minister and government responsible for internal affairs.
In the politics of Northern Ireland the main factor has always been the hostility between Protestants and Catholics.
Until 1972 the Northern Irish Parliament (called Stormont) always had a Protestant majority and a government formed from it.
In 1969 the UK Labour government sent troops to Northern Ireland, with orders to help impartially to keep order. But to most Catholics UK troops have become identified with the union of Northern Ireland within the UK. Although so many innocent victims have been killed, many of them by chance or through mistakes, it does not seem likely that any different British government policy would have succeeded in preventing the violence that goes on.
Northern Ireland's economy, based partly on farming, partly on the heavy industries of Belfast, has brought its people a standard of living well above that of the Republic, but lower than Great Britain's. With the decline of shipbuilding there is now serious unemployment, and vast sums have been spent by UK governments in attempts to improve the situation.
UNIT 2. WESTERN DEMOCRATICS. ARE THEY
Government and Politics
1 The Queen and the Constitution
Britain is a constitutional monarchy, without a written constitution. Some parts of the governmental system are written down in Acts of Parliament (also called 'laws' or 'statutes'), others are regulated by 'conventions', which are commonly accepted assumptions about the way things should be done, mostly based on precedents.
The present system has developed from the settlement which was the outcome of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. King James II had ruled for two years without a parliament, and had used powers which almost all sections of the people considered to be unjustified. By the end of 1688 he found himself deserted, even by his army, and he left for France, throwing the Great Seal of Highland into the River Thames on his way. An assembly of members of former parliaments declared the throne vacant, and offered it to King James's daughter Mary jointly with her husband William, who was also James's nephew. The army that he brought with him from Holland met no resistance. Instead, he was welcomed.
This revolution was accomplished without violence. The hereditary monarchy was preserved, but full sovereignty was placed in the hands of "the King in Parliament'. The Act of Settlement (1701) and other statutes provided for a maximum interval between elections to the House of Commons (still on a very narrow franchise), and declared that new laws and taxes must be approved by Parliament and the monarch. But there was no formal restriction on the types of laws that might be passed. Any existing law could be replaced by another, provided that it passed through the prescribed processes.
The new King and Queen appointed ministers, at first without reference to Parliament. However, as time went on it became clear that the ministers could not work effectively unless they were approved of by the majority in the House of Commons. As that House consisted of two parties (Whigs and Tories), this came to mean that the ministers were all members of the party holding a majority of the seats (though the party divisions were for a time less rigid than they became later). The foundations of modern government were soon established.
At first there was no chief minister, but soon after 1721 Robert Walpole came to be called Prime Minister, and later it became normal for all ministers to be appointed on the Prime Minister's advice. The principle of the 'responsibility' of ministers to the House of Commons became well established, though this has always been difficult to define. In theory it has two aspects, in its modern form. First, the House of Commons may force any minister to resign. Second, because the ministers' responsibility is not only individual but collective, if the Commons force one minister to resign the others either disown him or resign as well. In practice individual ministers resign either because they themselves have decided to or because the Prime Minister asks them to. In either case the opinions of the Members of Parliament (MPs) of the party may have some influence, without being expressed by formal vote.
If a government is defeated on a vote of confidence, it does not need to resign at once. Instead, the Prime Minister may ask the monarch to dissolve Parliament for a new election. But any government with a clear majority of seats is unlikely to be defeated on a vote of confidence. Any MPs who vote no confidence in their own party's government have reason to fear that in a new general election they will lose their seats; so the supposed power of Parliament to remove a government has in fact become an instrument which helps the ministers, and the Prime Minister in particular, to maintain a rigid party discipline on all important issues. If a government has a solid party majority in the Commons it can normally feel secure in power until the next general election, which, by law, must be no more than five years after the one before.
As the system has developed, it gives almost unlimited power to a government whose party has an overall majority in the Commons. With no written constitution, any of the laws in force may be replaced by other laws, subject to the approval of the House of Commons and the monarch. Since 1949 the House of Lords has had no power except to delay the passing of a bill from one session of Parliament to the next; in practice this delay could be about three months. The need to get the Queen's approval seems to be a worthless safeguard, as she normally acts only as her ministers advise her. If she should ever think that she ought to reject her prime minister's advice, she would find no precedent for such action to guide her. It can be assumed that if she were to act alone, the government would resign, she would be unable to find other ministers acceptable to the majority in the House of Commons, and she would be obliged to call a general election. In that case she would be involved in party politics, and the whole status and position of the crown, as head of state and above party, would be destroyed.
In fact the existence of the monarch has until now provided some of the protection that a written constitution might provide against the improper use of governmental power. It is one of the most deeply respected of the rules or conventions of the unwritten constitution that the monarch should never be advised to act in a way which would seem to contravene the basis of the constitution, and so become involved in the controversies of politics.
2 The Government
The modern government is arranged in about fifteen departments, each with its ministerial head, normally entitled, for example, 'Secretary of State for Social Services'. The number of departments changes from rime to time, as they are split or joined together. Normally, all the heads of departments are members of the House of Commons, though sometimes one is in the House of Lords. Nearly every head of department has under him one, two or three 'ministers of state', and at a lower level one, two or three 'parliamentary under-secreiaries'. Altogether there are about fifty ministers of these lower ranks; about forty of them are MPs of the government's party, chosen by the Prime Minister for promotion from the 'back benches' of the House of Commons (which are used by MPs not holding ministerial offices) to join the government on the front bench. About ten others arc members of the House of Lords.
The cabinet consists of the sixteen to twenty-four senior ministers whom the Prime Minister has appointed as members of it. These are the heads of the departments, together with a few others. The cabinet meets about once a week in Number 10 Downing Street, a rather ordinary-looking house which also contains the Prime Minister's personal office. He or she lives on the top floor. Number 10 is not really as small as it looks: there are big extensions behind the house, and the whole group of buildings is used by the Cabinet Secretariat as well as the Prime Minister's own civil service group and political officers.
There is no constitutional definition of the cabinet, which is in fact the politically active section of a much bigger and older institution, the Privy Council, which now has about 400 members. All cabinet ministers and judges in the Court of Appeal become members of the Privy Council for life, along with various other office holders and some individuals to whom membership is given as an honour. It still has some formal functions. Certain governmental decrees have to be promulgated by it, but each meeting consists of the Queen and any three members of the Council. Once three members were flown out to the royal yacht for this purpose. There is no discussion: just signing of prepared documents. When the Queen goes on a foreign tour another member of the royal family is appointed temporarily as her deputy in case an Order-in-Council is needed while she is away.
The cabinet makes the main decisions about government policy, as well as some others about which individual ministers disagree. Its agenda and proceedings are secret, though individual ministers sometimes give some indications to journalists about what has happened. There are many cabinet committees, some permanent and meeting regularly, others set up to deal with special problems. Each of these committees includes ministers from relevant departments. The Prime Minister decides who is to be in each committee, what each one has to do, and what matters are included in the full cabinet's agenda; he or she also has informal meetings with one or two ministers alone.
These arrangements arc made necessary by the complexity of modern government, but they increase the Prime Minister's personal influence. This power is also helped by the Prime Minister's power to appoint all ministers, and to dismiss any of them at any time. Only one member of Mrs Thatcher's cabinet of 1979 was still there in September 1990 - and he then left too. Most had been dismissed or had resigned because of disagreements. Secretaries of state have so much to do in their own departments (not forgetting their work as MPs for their constituencies) that they cannot easily find time to think deeply about government policy as a whole. Because of this the Prime Minister is well placed to dominate the government. His or her position is strengthened by television, which tends to personalise politics; he or she is the effective equal of heads of foreign governments who are constitutionally more than first among equals; he or she has become party leader by defeating important rivals in a contest decided by the votes of parliamentary party colleagues.
Although they are commonly described collectively as 'ministers', nearly all the heads of departments have the official title of 'Secretary of State'. There were thirteen of them in 1991. The minister in charge of finance still has the archaic title 'Chancellor of the Rxchequer', and the Lord Chancellor performs most of the functions appropriate to a minister of Justice. Several other archaic offices survive, but are now used for new purposes. The Lord President of the Council (i.e. the Privy Council) has in recent years been Leader of the House of Lords, and the Lord PrivySeal has been Leader of the House of Commons; these two are in charge of the management of business in their respective Houses.
Members of the cabinet
Other ministers/ Ministers of state
Junior ministers (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries)
Thus we see that, out of the usual number of 330-400 MPs of the party in power, about eighty hold some actual office. All these share in the whole government's responsibility.
No minister of any rank is allowed to indicate disagreement with any aspect of settled government policy, either in Parliament or on any public platform outside. If even a junior minister should criticise government policy, even in reply to a question from a member of the public during a political meeting in a schoolroom far from London on a Friday evening, the local press will report his indiscretion, the Opposition will hear of it, and in the next week the Prime Minister will have to answer an embarrassing question in the House of Commons. If any minister disagrees with any aspect of the Government's policy he must hide his disagreement and give loyal support. A policy which has been settled without a minister's knowledge, at a meeting where he was not present, is binding on him because he shares the whole Government's responsibility for policy. If he will not accept his share of that responsibility he must resign.
The requirement of ministerial solidarity does not extend to matters about which the Government's policy is to leave the decision to a free vote of the House of Commons, with each individual MP voting according to his own preference, Until recently such exceptions were rare, except in matters commonly seen to involve personal conscience or religious sentiment. A minister who resigns through disagreement with the Government's policy may give reasons, and thereafter criticise his colleagues from the parliamentary back benches. Resignation often ends a person's career as a leading politician, but not in every case. Prime Ministers Eden, Maemillan and Wilson had all resigned office early in their careers and later come back with reputations strengthened; but each resigned for reasons in accord with party purity and in protest against compromise. It is probably more dangerous to resign on behalf of moderation than against it.
Her Majesty's Government is matched, or shadowed, by Her Majesty's Opposition; the informal arrangements assume a two-party system. The Leader of the Opposition is paid a special state salary, and appoints MPs and a few peers of his party to a 'shadow cabinet', as well as others as shadow ministers below the equivalent of cabinet rank. The main task of the shadow ministers is to criticise the Government. They arc assumed to agree with all opposition policies and expected to support them, or otherwise to resign and return to the back benches. When the Labour Party forms the Opposition its shadow ministers are mostly elected by the party's MPs for the duration of an annual session of Parliament, but the Leader allocates the people to their departmental jobs.
Shadow ministers are helped by their party organisations and research staffs, but the ministers in office are more substantially equipped, each with a whole hierarchy of civil servants.
3 The Civil Service
When we speak of "the Government' we tend to think of the ministers, who arc politicians. But each department has a large staff of professional civil servants who do most of the work of running the department on the minister's behalf.
The Civil Service is wholly non-political. Those of its members who are in any way concerned with administration are forbidden to be candidates for Parliament or to give public support to any political party, though they may vote at elections. When a new government comes into office the same civil servants must work for the new ministers, who a faw weeks before led the attack on the old ministers' policies.
In the three weeks before a general election, when ministers, as leading party politicians, are away campaigning for their party, the civil servants maintain the continuity of the administration of their departments. But they have also to prepare themselves for the possibility of a change of government, so they study the election manifesto of the opposition party. so as to be prepared to advise new ministers on the implementation of their programme if the election results in a change of government.
The Civil Service is a life's career. Most of those who advise ministers have joined the service after taking bachelors' degrees at universities, at the age of about twenty-two, though some have joined at an earlier age without going to university, and made their way up by promotion. Entry to the Service is controlled by the Civil Service Commission. People who hope to become civil servants must pass through a long selection process, with a series of tests designed to measure their competence and suitability, and many of those who are chosen have been among the most successful students in their university examinations. They are trained at the Civil Service College which provides courses both for newly-appointed officials and for those at later stages of their careers.
A civil servant in an established post has almost complete security of tenure, and can in practice only be removed for improper conduct. Promotion is not automatic according to seniority, but selective, and based on the recommendation of superior officers. A civil servant does not necessarily remain in the same department all through a long career; in fact when a department has a vacancy in one of its top posts it is very likely that it will be tilled by someone brought in from another department. The chief official of a department is the permanent secretary, and below him are undcr-secretaries, assistant secretaries and others in a hierarchy. The permanent secretary is in close touch with the minister, and has the task of issuing directives which wi 11 put the minister's policies into force. Each civil servant must know exactly how far his personal responsibility extends, and what questions he ought to refer to someone higher up.
Many people say that Britain is really managed by the Civil Service, and that the ministers, being mere amateurs, just do what the civil servants tell them to do - or find themselves frustrated whenever they try to implement any new ideas. One of the main professional duties of civil servants is to shield their ministers from criticism in the House of Commons. Any innovation is likely to upset some established interest, which can be relied upon to feed some MP with material to attack it.
Genuine loyalty to the minister in office is the first element in the professionalism of any civil servant, skill in defending departmental positions is the second; and an ability to seem to reconcile the two, even when they conflict, demands intelligence, hard work and flexibility. A successful civil servant is rewarded by high pay, slate honours and a right to an inflation-proof pension at sixty.
Is there, then, a danger that the privileged civil servants may be prejudiced against the Labour Party's claimed defence and championship of the underprivileged? Many Labour ministers have paid tribute to the support which they received from their officials, though recently a few have dissented. Labour ministers in office in 1964-70 and 1974-79 appointed increasing numbers of their own party political advisers to supplement their civil servants, and Conservative ministers, in their turn, have done the same, but on a smaller scale.
The foundations of the electoral system were laid in the Middle Ages Since then numerous Acts of Parliament have modified the system, but never in a systematic way. Fundamentally the system still has its ancient form, with each community electing its (now) one representative to serve as its Member of Parliament until the next general election. If an MP dies or resigns his seat, a by-election is held to replace him. Any British subject can be nominated as a candidate for any scat on payment of a deposit of £500, though peers and Church of England clergymen are disqualifies from sitting in the I louse of Commons. There is no need to live in the area or to have any personal connection with it, and less than half of the candidates arc in fact local residents. There are usually more than two candidates for each seat, but the one who receives most votes is elected. A large proportion are elected with less than half of the votes cast.
The franchise (right to vote) became universal for men by stages in the nineteenth century; hence the rise of the Labour Party. Women's suffrage came in two stages (1918 and 1928), and in 1970 the minimum voting age was reduced to eighteen. Voting is not compulsory, but in the autumn of each year every householder is obliged by law to enter on the register oi electors the name of every resident who is over seventeen and a UK citizen. Much work is done to ensure that the register is complete and accurate, and each register is valid for one year beginning towards the end of February. People who are just too young to vote are included in the list, so that they may vote at any election which may be held after their eighteenth birthdays. It is only possible to vote at the polling station appropriate to one's address. Anyone who expects To be unable to vote there may apply in advance to be allowed to send the vote by post.
In 1974-83 there were 635 MPs for the UK- each representing one 'constituency'; in 1983 the number was increased to 650. Because some areas increase in population while others decline, the electoral map, or division of the whole country into constituencies, has to be changed from time to time so as to prevent gross inequalities of representation. The maximum intervals between “redistributions” is set by the Law at fifteen years – each time subject to Parliament’s approval.
8 How Laws are Passed
The British Parliament, like parliaments in other countries, is often referred to as 'the legislature' - the body which makes laws. Its essential function could probably be best described as 'to discuss what the Government has done, is doing and intends to do, and on occasion to try to show up the Government's errors and to try to persuade the Government to change or modify its policies'. Nevertheless, new laws can only come into force when they have passed through Parliament, and the way in which it deals with bills (that is, proposals for new laws) gives a good illustration of Parliament's working.
Nearly all important bills are introduced by the Government. About fifty bills are passed each year, some short, some long, some uncontrover-sial, some needing much discussion. Every bill brought in by the Government has been approved first by the Cabinet; in fact, in any year, there are nearly always more bills which the Government would like to have passed than it can find time to put through Parliament.
Once the Government has decided to introduce a bill, a minister is put in charge of it. The preparation of the text may take many months, with long consultations involving civil servants in the minister's department on the one hand and Parliamentary Counsel on the other. (These are a small group of legal experts who are concerned with the technical side of the drafting, or writing, of bills. All the laws in force are collected together in the 'book* of statutes, in which each law is a 'chapter1. Acts of Parliament have to be interpreted by the courts, and every law must conform to the special usages and interpretations of the statute book.) At the same time, the civil servants will probably have conferences with officials from other departments, and also with representatives of groups of people (such as associations of traders, manufacturers, workers, dentists, cyclists or people who keep bees) who may be affected or interested in some way by the proposed new law.
At last the bill is ready to be submitted to Parliament. It will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament, one after the other. It can begin its journey in either the House of Commons or the House of Lords, though all really important or controversial bills are in fact submitted to the House of Commons first.
The typical bill of moderate importance, then, will begin in the House of Commons. According to very ancient practice, it must have three 'readings' there, although the use of this word is a little misleading. The 'first reading' is in effect merely an announcement that the bill is coming forward. After the text has been in circulation for a reasonable length of time (usually one or two weeks at least), a period of time, for example a whole day, is provided in the timetable of the House of Commons for the debate on the 'second reading'. This is the main debate on the general principles and objectives of the bill, and at the end of the debate a vote is taken; if the Opposition do not like it they will vote against it. A vote on the second reading of a Government bill is, like almost all votes in the House of Commons, an occasion when the members of the two main parties vote in blocks, with few deviations. The important thing about this stage is not the final decision, but the words spoken in the debate, the arguments for and against, the discussion of principles and of details from many points of view. A Government supporter may make a speech objecting to a bill or part of it, and then vote for it.
After a bill has passed its second reading, a 'standing committee' of up to forty-five MPs is set up to consider it in detail. (The very rare bills affecting the constitution have their details considered by the whole House, converted into a committee for the purpose). In any of these small committees, the parties have seats in the same proportion as in the whole House, so the government party normally has a majority. The seats in a committee are allocated by the Committee of Selection, a group of senior MPs who are supposed to be impartial but who may be influenced byparty whips. For some bills too many MPs want committee seats, for others hardly anyone wants them, so that party whips can punish MPs who have given trouble by pushing them into committee jobs that they do not want. The ministerial chief of the department concerned, and/or one or more junior ministers, are always included as well as their Opposition 'shadows'.
Standing committees normally meet on two mornings a week in rooms offa long corridor on the upper floor of the Palace. The seats are arranged like a miniature House of Commons, with Government and Opposition facing each other, led from their front benches by ministers and shadow ministers.
A bill is printed in clauses divided into subsections, and committee members may propose changes to the text, one by one, in order. Whenever an amendment is proposed, the minister either agrees to accept it, refuses, or asks for it to be withdrawn so that there may be some private discussion about it. If he refuses, there may be a vote, but the minister's fellow party members usually vote so as to ensure a Government majority. Ministers do in fact very often accept proposals for amendment, either in their original form or in some form which is agreed to as a compromise. Committee proceedings on a single bill may take two mornings a week for two to ten or even fifteen weeks, with dozens of proposals for amendment debated one after another. A debate may be closed by a majority vote if the chairman (who acts impartially) thinks the debate has been long enough. T.ongand controversial bills are usually 'guillotined', with a time limit for debate on each group of clauses.
The committee stage of a bill illustrates very clearly the position of organised groups of people who have particular interests in relation to the political process. Mont proposals for amendments to a bill are suggested to committee members by associations which think that their interests arc threatened, or not helped, by the bill as it has been brought in by the Government. They may have already presented their arguments to the minister or his civil servants privately beforehand, and their suggestions may then have been refused; in that case the committee discussion gives an opportunity to a Member of Parliament, acting as their spokesman, to oblige the minister to think again, perhaps to make a concession, or at least to make a public defence of his reasons for not giving them what they want.
After the committee has finished with a bill, the next stage is called 'the report stage'. The House itself now repeats the committee stage, though taking much less time. The House has before it the new text of the bill, incorporating the committee's amendments. Some new amendments are proposed and there may be further discussion of the amendments which were proposed in committee but withdrawn so as to give the minister time to examine them thoroughly. These amendments are now decided upon, or withdrawn again, pending further discussion in the House of Lords.
The last stage is the debate on the proposal to 'read the bill a third time'. This debate is usually fairly short. It is a final review and discussion of the bill as it stands after amendment.
Next the bill must go through the same stages in the House of Lords. If the House of Lords rejects a bill which has been passed by the Commons, the bill can go no further for a few months; but if the Commons pass it again, in substantially the same form as before, it must go to the Queen for her signature no matter what the Lords do. The position of the House of Lords is discussed on pages 50-53.
Normally, when a Government has an overall majority in the Commons, Parliament is not acting as a pure legislature, or law-making body, but as a forum in which ministers hear arguments about their own proposals and impose their own decisions. But there is also some opportunity for Parliament to act as a true legislature, when it deals with bills proposed by its own back-bench Members. Every MP may introduce a bill at any time. Several dozens of such Private Members' bills are proposed each year but make no progress because no time is provided for their debate. But about six Fridays a year are allocated for second reading debates on these bills proposed by back-bench MPs, and six more Fridays for the later stages of such bills which have passed second reading and committee. Priority on these Private Members' Fridays is allocated by a ballot.
Private Members' bills usually deal with matters about which Governments do not wish to legislate because they involve personal conscience or private behaviour. Votes are free, but without any instructions from the Whips MPs often go off to their constituencies on Private Members' Fridays, so the attendance is very small. Nevertheless, since 1965 several important reforms have been introduced in this way, including the abolition of the death penalty and the liberalisation of the laws concerning divorce, abortion and censorship of obscenity. In most years about ten Private Members1 bills are enacted into law.
LAW, THE COURTS AND THE POLICE.
1 The Legal System
England and Wales have a single system of law and courts, and Scotland has a system of its own; this chapter will deal only with England and Wales. The first thing to notice is that there is no civil code and no criminal code. The law as a whole consists partly of statutes, or Acts of Parliament, and partly of common law which may be said to be made up of past decisions of judges, with regard to matters not regulated by statutes, in accordance with custom and reason and the previous decisions of courts. A large part of the civil law is not contained in statutes at all but made up of a mass of precedents, previous court decisions, interpreted in authoritative legal textbooks. By now, however, almost all actions for which a person may be punished are actions which are specifically forbidden by some statute or other, with the statute usually including a provision for a maximum penalty. It is almost as though there were a sort of criminal code scattered through a large number of laws.
The courts and lawyers have a strong tradition of independence from the government. There is no Minister of Justice, though the Lord Chancellor, who is effectively the head of the legal profession, is always a member of the cabinet. Mrs Thatcher's first Lord Chancellor was a lawyer who had spent his whole career as an active party politician, but in 1988 she appointed a Scottish judge who had never been involved in politics.
There arc two kinds of lawyers: solicitors and barristers. People who need the professional assistance of a lawyer go to solicitors. There are solicitors* offices (mostly partnerships^ even in very small tow:ns, and they deal with most people's legal problems. An ancient rule, much criticised and perhaps soon to be abolished, has until now forbidden solicitors to act as advocates in the higher courts, so if any civil or criminal matter is to go before a crown court a client's solicitor must hire a barrister to act as advocate in the court. A barrister who takes on a job of advocacy for a client is said to accept a 'brief, and to act as 'counsel'. These two words arc part of the vast special vocabulary of the law, part of which is Latin, part old French.
The barristers form the "senior' part of the legal profession, and have kept many ancient traditions. Every barrister belongs to one of four institutions called by the curious name "Inns of Court'. Physically these are rather like colleges at Oxford or Cambridge University, and all arc grouped close together, along with London's main central courts, in a compact area a little to the west of St Paul's Cathedral. Each Inn has a hall where the aspiring barristers who have joined it must have dinner at least six times in each of twelve terms (trimesters). They also have to pass the bar examinations, and work for a time as 'pupils' in [he chambers of established barristers (these may be outside London). Newly-qualified barristers earn very little, but once they are established they can earn a great deal if they are successful.
There is no judicial profession. All judges are appointed after many years' work in the courts as barristers (very rarely as solicitors). Once appointed they cannot be dismissed except by a joint address of the two Houses of Parliament -and very few have ever been removed from office. There are less than a hundred judges, all with the title 'Mr Justice" (Brown, etc.), in the three divisions of the high court, from which some arc promoted to the Court of Appeal with the title 'Lord Justice', and fewer still onward to the House of Lords. In 1988 all the high court judges were aged over fifty, and some had been over sixty on appointment. Some were continuing to work at seventy-five or more before retiring.
The high court judges hear only the most difficult or important cases. Most cases which go to crown courts or (civil) county courts are dealt with by circuit judges, who are appointed in the same way as the high court judges but are paid less and have less prestige. It is unusual for a circuit judge to be promoted to the high court, though some barristers appointed to the high court have already worked part-time doing the same jobs as those of circuit judges.
A large proportion of the work of the courts is concerned with civil litigation. Some barristers specialise in libel, tax problems, commercial disputes, patent law or some other subject for which very detailed knowledge may be useful. In general, more difficult questions of the law arise in civil than in criminal cases, and some of the barristers who become high court judges have experience mainly in civil litigation.
Apart from the ordinary courts of law there are many kinds of administrative tribunals to deal with special problems, such as claims about unfair dismissal or disputed rights to social security benefits or to compensation for industrial injury or illness. Lawyers may be involved in these, and in some cases there may be appeals to the ordinary courts of law. But of all the adjudications needed in the modern world none arouse such wide interest as the public inquiries which hear objections to proposals for great new building projects, such as nuclear power stations, new roads, new housing schemes, hypermarkets or reservoirs. A big inquiry may take several months, with proposers and objectors represented by senior barristers. The total cost to all the parties may be several million pounds. When all the arguments have been presented the presiding officer, who may be a judge or barrister or civil servant, produces a decision based on a long and detailed summary balancing the favourable and unfavourable arguments.
2 Criminal Courts
There are two main kinds of courts, and two kinds of judicial officers to correspond with them. Courts of first instance are presided over by magistrates, who are normally Justices of the Peace (JPs); higher courts (‘crown' courts) by judges, or in some cases, senior barristers specially appointed to perform judicial functions for part of their time.
Every person charged with an offence is summoned to appear before a local magistrates' court, which may impose a fine up to a general limit of £2,000 or twelve months' imprisonment, though for some specified offences the laws prescribe maximum penalties below these limits. With 98 per cent of cases the magistrates on the bench decide on guilt or innocence, and if necessary what penalty to impose. With more serious cases the magistrates can decide only to send them for trial in a crown court. A person accused before a magistrates' court may demand to be sent for trial before a crown court in some of the more serious cases with which in general the magistrates could have dealt themselves.
A magistrates' court normally consists of three Justices of the Peace (occasionally, two or four or more). The JPs are ordinary but worthy citizens who have been appointed to their positions by the Lord Chancellor on the advice of local appointing committees. JPs have no formal qualifications; they are chosen merely for their good reputation, often with the support of political parties or approved voluntary bodies. Once appointed, they arc expected to attend courses of instruction about their work. There are 27,000 JPs in England; each of them works in the
courts on about 30-50 days a year. Those who have jobs must take time off, and receive a small compensation for loss of earnings; but otherwise the JPs receive no payment for their work. Attempts are now being made to ensure that JPs are of widely differing social backgrounds, but inevitably most are middle class.
In their courts the JPs are advised on points of law by their Clerks, who are professional lawyers; otherwise they decide each case brought before them according to their sense of what is fair and suitable, within the limits of their powers, and with some attention to general guidance which they receive. There are a few special exceptions to the general pattern. Some of the courts in London and in some other big towns have stipendiary magistrates, who are qualified lawyers, work full time and are paid salaries; but there are only seventy stipendiary magistrates in England, and a few in Wales.
About 2 per cent of criminal cases are sent up to crown courts. The most serious of these are dealt with before high court judges, the vast majority before circuit judges or senior barristers who spend only part of their time working as judges, the rest of it pleading as counsel on behalf of litigants.
In crown courts many people accused of offences plead 'guilty', so that the judge proceeds at once to hear excuses, or pleas in extenuation. At this stage too the court is told about any previous convictions. Either at once, or after taking time for thought, the judge pronounces sentence - prison, fine, probation or other treatment. People found guilty may have to contribute towards the cost of their trial, and to pay compensation to their victims.
If the plea is 'not guilty* there must be a trial. A large number of citizens is ordered to attend the court for jury service after being chosen by lot from the list of electors living in the area. Twelve people are chosen by lot from the waiting group to serve as a jury for the trial, but both the prosecution and the defence can reject up to seven of them. For some kinds of case defending counsel reject people who look too severe or even too soberly dressed. Also, any juror who knows anything about the accused person or the case must be replaced by another. Both judge and jury must try the case only on the evidence immediately relevant to it.
When the trial begins, the prosecution describes the crime with the help of questions answered by witnesses, who may then be questioned by defence counsel. Some of the prosecution witnesses may be police officers reporting what they saw, with evidence of fingerprints or searches. Statements made by the accused person after being arrested may be quoted only if the accused has been given the routine warning that the statement may be used as evidence.
The defence counsel then calls witnesses for the defence, including the accused if that seems useful. Hither side may ask the judge to rule any evidence out of order, for example because it is indirect, or 'hearsay', that is, based on something told to the witness by another person.
When the presentation is finished, counsel on both sides make closing speeches, and finally the judge sums up for the benefit of the jury, tells them about points of law, and sends them out to decide their verdict, which cannot be 'guilty' except on the vote of at least ten of the twelve.
If the jury's verdict is 'guilty' the jury is dissolved and the process goes on as if the plea had been guilty. One fundamental assumption is that the accused person is innocent until guilt is proved or admitted. Anyone who is arrested may refuse to answer questions put by the police, or insist on answering only in the presence of a solicitor as a legal adviser - though it is now proposed that the police, in giving their evidence to a court, should be allowed to report a refusal to give answers.
No trial process can be perfect. Some people have been found guilty of crimes which they did not commit; and probably some who were really guilty have been found 'not guilty' and set free. There are two possible stages of appeal, and occasionally an appeal court rejects the conclusion of a trial, or alters the sentence imposed.
Justice, both civil and criminal, operates with reasonable speed. The magistrates' courts are often criticised on the ground that the Justices of the Peace arc not professionally trained, but their critics may forget that the most important part of their work, that of imposing penalties on minor wrongdoers, is essentially social rather than legal in character. At the same time there is very much less complaint about the lack of social or criminological training of some of the high court judges, who have to pass sentence in the more serious cases. The main weakness of the legal system is the cost, though a system of legal aid pays poorer people's costs.
3 Crime and Punishment
Like many other countries, Britain has experienced a great increase in criminal activity of nearly every kind. Nearly five times as many acts of violence were reported to the police in 1987 as twenty years before. Although most burglars are not caught, those who are caught overload the courts and prisons. Although the courts try, in theory at least, to use probation, community service and other devices to avoid sentencing people to prison, the 50,000 people in prison arc more, in proportion to
the population, than in any other Western European country. Vast sums are being spent on building new prisons, but the prisons are still overcrowded, and the humiliation suffered by their inmates make rehabilitation difficult. Many prisoners are released early on parole.
The prisons in England are run by the Home Office, though each prison has a local Hoard of Visitors (some of them JPs) who make reports about conditions and also deal with serious bad behaviour. Normally prisoners are released after serving two-thirds, or less, of the time for which they were sentenced, but an offence in prison may be punished by the loss of some days of remission. There are several kinds of prisons, including open ones, and some prisoners go out to work in groups outside. Prisoners who want to study for examinations are helped to do so, and there are training courses in prison. But in practice some spend very little time outside their cells.
4 The Police
One of the most British institutions is the British policeman, with the odd helmet reminiscent of the topees that Europeans used to wear in India. To an Englishman a motorised policeman with a fiat-topped hat looks somehow a little less reassuring than one with a helmet. Outside London the police are all local forces, employed and paid by police authorities based on counties. The central government gives the local authorities grants towards the cost of policing. Inspectors from the Home Office visit the local forces, and the Home Secretary can approve or disapprove of appointments and removals of Chief Constables, but the actions of a local police force are normally not the responsibility of any minister. In London the regime is different. The Metropolitan Police, whose zone of operation covers Greater London, is under the direct responsibility of the Home Secretary, as good order in the capital concerns the central government. The Metropolitan Police provides certain national police services, including the maintenance of a national record of all criminals and crimes, to which local police forces may refer. The famous 'Scotland Yard' is the Criminal Investigation Department, which gets its popular name from New Scotland Yard, where its offices are situated, close to Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament.
The policemen and women of today need a great variety of new professional skills to deal with modern crime and with the other problems which afflict life in Britain no less than other countries. Moving mostly in cars rather than on foot, the police are less obviously in contact with the public than in the past. When going about their normal work the police do not carry guns: they themselves prefer to be unarmed.
The police come into the news from time to time when they have to deal with large-scale riots and other breaches of public order. During the coalminers1 strike of 1984 huge crowds gathered outside some mines intending to prevent people from going to work. Hundreds of policemen were needed to control these crowds and to protect those who were regarded as strike breakers. In cases such as these a local police force may 'borrow' from other police forces. But only a few strikes have produced mass violence, which occurs much more often at football matches, or even among crowds of youths who have drunk too much on some Saturday night or public holiday.
Most people have a positive attitude to the police, and opinion polls have indicated that there is much public sympathy with men and women who have to deal with mob violence. There is a formal system through which complaints of police behaviour may be investigated, but in the late 1980s it was found that these procedures had not prevented some serious failures in the system of administering justice. Some Irish people had been convicted of a terrorist offence on the basis of confessions which had been improperly extracted from them, and the truth was discovered only after they had spent several years in prison.
There were other cases too in which there were grounds for suspecting that the police had persuaded people to confess to crimes which they had not committed. Some other inquiries revealed more cases of misconduct by the police.
Meanwhile, in the 1980s the central government increased its expenditures on the London police as well as its grants towards the cost of local police forces. The size of police forces was increased, and the pay of the police was increased more generously than that of many other workers in the public sector. But all this expenditure to promote 'law and order' has not stopped the growth of crime.
Notifiable offences recorded
by the police
in England and
Notifiable offences recorded
Violence against the person
Theft and handling stolen goods
Fraud and forgery
As factors influencing the increase in crime, how would you assess the following?
a) decline in respect for authority in general
b) violence on television, films, etc.
c) encouragement, through advertising, of excessive expectations
e) other factors
Explain the difference, in England and Wales, between a magistrate (JP) and a judge.
What is your opinion about the use of people without legal training for judicial functions in magistrates' courts?
Does Britain seem to you to be backward in its treatment of offenders?
Unit 3. What is hot about young generation.
Schools and Universities
1 The Educational System
Even more than in other countries, discussion of education in Britain tends to be dominated by argument about its effect» on inequality and privilege in society. This is partly because the state was slow in building up its role in education. The private sector (as it is now called) filled the vacuum for such a long time that it is still significant.
Free and compulsory education, funded by the state and guaranteed by law, became available in 1870 for children aged from five to ten. Some primary schools had already been provided by churches and charities, and in time these bodies agreed to having their schools taken over by the new system, which was run by local authorities (education committees of county councils) most of whose costs were covered by grants from the central government.
Meanwhile, secondary education was left to the private sector, though the main day schools in towns received grants directly from the central government. The grants covered a large part of their costs, and up to half of their pupils, chosen for merit, paid no fees. This direct grant system was ended in 1976, when a few of these schools joined the state system, while the majority became wholly self-supporting. Meanwhile, the most prestigious secondary boarding schools have always remained wholly independent of the state system.
Before 1944 the state system developed in two ways. The school leaving age had been raised by stages to fourteen, and some local education authorities had developed their own grammar schools. In 1944 a new law raised the leaving age to fifteen. All education beyond the age of eleven became 'secondary'. At that age most children went to secondary modern schools, while about a fifth of all children, chosen by examination, went to grammar schools, aiming to gain certificates at sixteen, and then eighteen, leading to further education
By the 1960s, this division of children in the state system was criticised for sustaining inequalities. The school leaving age was raised to sixteen, and by 1980 almost all state secondary schools were 'comprehensive', taking all children from their areas at the age of eleven. This change, combined with the abolition of direct grants to some private sector schools, has tended to widen the gap between the private and state sectors of secondary education, and to increase some inequalities which had previously been reduced.
In 1986 a new GCSE qualification, (General Certificate of Secondary Education), was introduced. This was designed to give scope for children of all types and inclinations to pass, at about the age of sixteen, in at least some subjects corresponding with their talents. The certificates are awarded on the basis, partly of examinations, partly of course work, partly of work on projects undertaken by the children. The tests are administered by several different examining boards wrhich are independent of central and lo'cal government.
Children who continue their education after sixteen, in what is commonly called the 'sixth form', prepare themselves to try to gain vocational or professional certificates or diplomas. Those who hope to continue after eighteen, at universities or other higher-level colleges, aim to gain advanced-level GCSH certificates, usually in three subjects, and entry to the universities, etc. is based on the grades (A, B, C, D, E) gained.
There is no formal division of the teaching profession between primary and secondary school teachers, though primary teachers are normally trained in three-year Bachelor of Education courses, enabling them to teach young children in all subjects, while secondary teachers are prepared in one-year postgraduate pedagogical courses after getting university degrees in the subjects which they will eventually teach. There is a single pay scale, with additions to the salaries of teachers with special responsibilities. It is rare, and becoming rarer, for teachers to move, during their careers, between state and private-sector schools.
There are some Roman Catholic secondary schools in the state system, and recently some Muslim ones have been added. As with the Church of England primary schools, the religious bodies provide only a very small part of the capital costs, and in return determine the content of religious teaching, and influence the appointment of heads and some other teachers. To this extent Britain has dealt with the problem of religious education quite satisfactorily. In the ordinary state schools the law requires that Christian instruction be given, but this has developed mainly into informal study of different religions. However, in 1988 the Government proposed that all children should participate in religious
worship, cither in assemblies or in classrooms (with individual parents having the right to withdraw their children from these occasions). The proposal caused so much consternation among teachers that it is unlikely that it will be effective.
The academic year begins in September, after the summer holidays, and is divided into three 'terms', with the intervals between them formed by the Christmas and Easter holidays. The exact dates of the holidays vary from area to area, being in general about two weeks at Christmas and Easter, plus a week in the middle of each term, and five weeks in the summer.
Day schools mostly work Mondays to Fridays only, from about 9 a.m. to between 3 and 4 p.m. Lunch is provided and parents pay most of the cost unless their income is low enough to entitle them to free children's meals. Subsidies for school meals were reduced in the 1980s, and many children who cannot go home for lunch now bring their own sandwiches.
2 State Education
In the past the central government has not involved itself directly in matters of the school curriculum, though it appoints about 500 experienced teachers as Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI). Each school is visited quite frequently by an Inspector and every few years a team of IIMIs carries out a thorough examination of each school's work. Their reports include criticism and advice, relating to general and particular matters, and to the work and methods of individual teachers. They have great influence, but no defined powers, though it seems likely that their role will be enhanced in the 1990s by the effects of a new law of 1988.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the schools and colleges are run by local education authorities under the general responsibility of the Secretaries of State for these three countries, and of their central education offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. But these three are members of the UK cabinet, and their policies in principle form parts of the policy of the UK government (see Chapter 13 pp. 178-81). I n England the Secretary of State for Education and Science has overall responsibility.
In primary schools the first two years, beginning at the age of five, are spent on informal development of expression and ability to concentrate. Often children stay with the same teacher all the time for this whole 'infant' period. More formal 'junior level' teaching begins at the age of
seven, though at this stage there is more concern with making children interested than with traditional instruction. Competitiveness in the learning process is not encouraged, though there is now a reaction against extreme permissiveness, and in favour of increased attention to the teaching of basic skills and knowledge.
Although almost all state secondary schools are now comprehensive schools, the equalising purpose of the system has not altogether been achieved. All comprehensive secondary schools may be intended to be of equal standard, but in some schools far bigger proportions of the pupils perform well in the certificate examinations than in others. The highest success rates tend to be in schools in comfortable suburban areas, the lowest in those parts of big towns where the social indicators are least favourable.
Parents may ask for their children to go to one school rather than another: a school with a good reputation may attract the more academically inclined. Even in the most favoured schools there are problems with a proportion of the pupils, but the majority of comprehensive schools provide a thorough academic education- In a minority of schools, mainly in inner cities, the teachers' main task is to keep disruption to a minimum. In spite of the efforts of school attendance officers many pupils attend irregularly, and have little interest in their work when they do attend.
The old practice of 'streaming', or teaching children in classes separated according to ability, has been unfashionable but is still used. Mixed-ability classes are obviously less 'elitist' than streamed ones, and some inconclusive evidence suggests that children of high ability do not develop more quickly when they arc separated from the rest. This argument is not settled; it has political implications.
Outside the academic curriculum there is great concern with the development of the child's personality. Clubs are encouraged for the joint pursuit of interests in nature, such as bird-watching, or music, dancing or drama. There is also usually a pastoral system, through which each teacher meets an assigned group of twenty or thirty pupils regularly to discuss problems of the world in general, and gives advice on choice of courses and, if necessary, on personal problems.
The approach to education has changed in the past thirty years. It is now widely accepted that it is not enough for children simply to absorb and remember information. They should be equipped to evaluate and criticise the information they receive, and to find out things for themselves. The content of education should as far as practicable berelevant to real life. Language teaching should make use of typical situations of tourists or business people. The rules of grammar and syntax are not emphasised at the early stages. Children learn about the essential relations between figures rather than mathematical procedures - and they should grow up with computing skills. They arc encouraged to undertake projects on their own account, often in pairs or in groups,
In the 1980s it was not clear whether the new methods were having a positive effect. The proportion of pupils gaining ordinary and advanced certificates at sixteen and eighteen had increased a little, but too many children were leaving school with very low standards of literacy and numeracy. Britain was not doing well in international comparisons of educational attainment.
In 1988 a new law on education was passed. The role of the local education authorities was to be reduced, while that of the central government was to be increased, along with the autonomy of individual school heads and governing bodies. For the first time a basic national curriculum was established, with targets of proficiency in the 'core' subjects of science, mathematics and English, with in general at least one foreign language (usually French). Certain minimum standards should be set, appropriate to successive age levels (probably seven, eleven and fourteen).
In 1987-88 a committee of acknowledged experts, whose chairman was a mathematician and university vice-chancellor, was appointed to suggest objectives in the teaching of English. Its report implied that the movement away from traditional aspects such as grammar and syntax had gone too far; children aged eleven ought to know about the structure of language and about things such as verbs and nouns.
Every school has a 'senior management team' (SMT), and every teacher must under contract do 1,265 hours of 'SMT-directcd time' in a year - most of it in class with pupils, the rest attending meetings or on other specified activities. A typical forty-year-old secondary-school teacher has also to spend undirected time preparing for classes at several different levels, including one or two for academic seventeen-year-olds, marking written work and writing reports on pupils. The total of work hours in the year is likely to be more than the 1,750 hour average of non-manual workers. But the relative pay of teachers with management responsibilities has been increased, to give more incentive for a competitive altitude within the profession.
Another innovation is an increase in the detailed responsibility of each school's Senior Management Team for the school's budget. The amount is to be related to the number of pupils, and parents are to have more choice between schools, so that a school which attracts more pupils will get more money to spend. Also, the role of the school governing body is to be increased, along with that of the parents' representatives. It is hoped that, with an element of competition between schools in the state sector, standards will be improved and that money will be used more effectively. One difficulty is similar to that which affects many other public services. Modern technology demands more expenditure on computers and other types of school equipment, to which high priority is given. There are innumerable reasons why attempts to improve standards demand more money. But the current Government's first priorities are concerned with economy: to curb inflation, to reduce taxes, and hence to restrain public expenditure. Some teachers have been buying chalk, drawing pins and so on in the shops because they have no time in the school day to get them from the stores. Some buy paint and decorate dmgy classrooms in the holidays, even in quite modern buildings, because the authorities have no funds for these essential purposes. When teachers compare their working conditions, pay and status in society with those of their friends who have become accountants, they can easily feel aggrieved and resentful. There is a serious lack of teachers of mathematics, science and crafts, because teachers with qualifications in these subjects are leaving the profession and are not being replaced by new ones.
The Government's general lack of enthusiasm for activities in the public sector has produced hostile reactions in the teaching profession. All through the 1980s the main teachers' union engaged in periodic 'industrial action', protesting against pay and working conditions by sporadic disruption of school activities.
The number of children of secondary-school age fell by nearly 20 per cent in the 1980s, because of the changes in the birthrate, and by more than this in the inner cities. The numbers overall will increase a little in the 1990s. The Government intends that more parental choice will ensure that resources will go to the most efficient schools. The innovations are not altogether encouraging to those whose dedication is to the teaching of children to the best of their ability, rather than to the pursuit of competitive careers. It seems that a large proportion of teachers dislike the new directions, and it is not clear how permanent they will be, or what their effect will be.
4 Education after School
Most formal education alter school is done in the various technical and other colleges, of which there is at least one in every town. There are more than 500, big and small, specialised or more general, mostly maintained by their local education authorities. Some of their students do full-time courses, but many have jobs and attend classes in the evenings, or on one or two days a week, preparing themselves for diplomas or certificates of proficiency in the innumerable skills which a modern society needs. These courses may be suitable for people who have left school at sixteen, or at a higher level. Some colleges prepare students for certificates of education, supplementing the work of equivalent level done in ordinary schools. The variety of colleges and courses is so great that it is impossible to make general statements about them. The students are of all ages, including older people developing new skills. In general the bigger the college the greater the range of its courses, though attempts are made within each local area to provide courses suitable for most of the people who want to obtain qualifications for their careers.
In general, people who undertake 'further education' beyond the age of eighteen pay fees for their tuition as well as their living costs, though for a long time until around 1980 the tuition fees were very low, and almost all the costs were covered by grants from public funds - that is, the proceeds of taxation.
However* students living in Britain may receive grants from the local authorities of the counties where they have their homes. The amount of the grant depends on their parents' income. The maximum, payable to people with low incomes, is fixed by the central government, and is supposed to be enough to cover the whole of the student's costs. However, students have always argued that the grants arc not enough. Wealthy parents have to pay almost all the costs.
In the 1980s the government has tried to reduce the proportion of the cost of further education paid out of the proceeds of taxation. Already before 1980 the tuition fees for students coming from outside Britain were increased. later, any grants from tax-funds were set at such a level that all tuition fees had to be increased.
For higher-level studies the main qualification is the 'first' degree of Bachelor (of Arts, Science, etc.) which can be attained by students who pass their university examinations, or in some cases other examinations of equivalent level. This normally involves at least three years of full-time study after passing the advanced level certificate of education at the age of about eighteen, so most people who become BA, BSc, etc. do so at the age of at least twenty-one. First degrees in medicine require six years of study, some others four. It is now quite usual for students in subjects such as engineering to spend periods during their degree courses away from their academic studies, in industrial locations, so that they may get practical experience. A student of a foreign language normally spends a year in a country where that language is spoken. Bachelors1 degrees are usually awarded on the basis of answers to several three-hour examinations together with practical work or long essays or dissertations written in conjunction with class work. Degrees are classified. About a tenth (or less) of candidates win first-class honours degrees, three-quarters second-class (divided nearly equally into two groups), the rest third-class, or pass without honours, or fail.
Some students continue to study for degrees of Master (of Arts, Science, etc.) which often need two further years of study, with examination papers and substantial dissertations. A minority go on further, preparing theses which must make original contributions to knowledge, for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Higher-degree study is more common among students of natural or applied sciences than among those studying the arts - that is, philosophy, history, English or foreign languages - or the social sciences such as economics, sociology, political science or law. But many people who gain first degrees in these subjects often go on to more practical training courses which lead to various kinds of professional qualifications. England is unusual among European countries in having had only two universities until 1820-though there were already four in Scotland in the sixteenth century, when Scotland was still a separate kingdom. England's two ancient universities, Oxford and Cambridge, were the only ones inthe country f°r almost 500 years from 1348. They still have a special preeminence, as well as many characteristics peculiar to themselves, and arc best considered separately.
The beginning of the modern university system came with the grant of a charter to the University of London in 1836. It consisted then of two recently-founded colleges, and others were added at various later dates. Another university, at Durham in the north, was founded in 1832, but it remained small until quite recently. The University of Wales was established in 1893, with one constituent college in each of two big towns and two small ones.
During the nineteenth century colleges which were founded in the biggest English towns began to prepare students for external degrees of the University of London. At various dates between 1900 and 1962 these university colleges were granted charters as full universities, with the right to confer degrees on their own account. During the 1960s they all expanded fast, and seven completely new universities were founded in addition, all of them establishing campuses on the edges of historic towns without much industry. Meanwhile, some of the local authorities' technical colleges had developed their courses to a higher level, and eight of these were given their own charters in 1966-67. So within three years the number of universities in England doubled, to 32; and in Scotland too four new ones were added.
Even this expansion was not enough to cope with the rise in the demand for university-level study, and the growth of university-level courses in the local technical colleges. In 1964 a new body was set up, the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). Any college which has developed a course at university level may apply to it, asking to have the course recognised as a degree-level course in its own right. In that case the CNAA looks thoroughly at the structure and content of the courses, the teaching facilities of every kind and the proposed system of examination. If the CNAA is satisfied, the college may then organise its own syllabuses, teaching and examinations, and successful students are then awarded CNAA degrees.
Soon after 1964 various courses were recognised for CNAA degrees, and within a few years thirty colleges were raised to the newly-invented category of 'polytechnics'. All of these, still run by local councils, were fully established by 1973. In addition to the polytechnics, more than 100 other colleges now also provide some courses leading to CNAA degrees of university standard. In 1988 the Education Reform Act provided for a change in the status of these colleges. Twenty-eight of them, as well as all the polytechnics, became independent institutions, with a status akin to that of universities, getting some of their funds from fees, grants from government-funded research councils, public and private-sector organisations, endowments (if any) and donations. But the main source of funds is the state itself, giving money for capital and current costs to each institution. In future these normal government grants will come through the Universities Funding Council or the Polytechnic and Colleges Funding Council, as the case may be, and these bodies will assess the quality of the institutions before deciding how to distribute grants among them.
As distinct from the colleges and polytechnics, the universities have always been independent of both local authorities and the state. Bach has a council as its effective governing body (composed of professors, lecturers' and students' representatives and local notables) and a vice-chancellor (appointed by the council) as an academic chief. Each university has its own organisation, but usually there are about six faculties, each containing a group of departments (for example a faculty of Arts for history, English, philosophy and languages).
Lecturers are appointed on the basis of their achievements in their first-degree examinations and postgraduate research. Their security of tenure in their jobs is being reduced. A lecturer who produces published research papers which are praised by the academic community may be promoted Vo the grade of reader. To be appointed to a professor's chair it is usually necessary to move to another university. Success in obtaining grants of money for research projects helps towards promotion.
Apart from lecture courses the teaching is done mostly in laboratories or in tutorial groups for three or four students, or seminars for about ten. Students are required to write numerous essays or seminar papers, which may be discussed in the group meetings. Some of these may be used for assessment towards the class of degree awarded. There are usually not more than twelve students for each teacher in a department, and there is plenty of personal contact between them.
Each university's faculties issue prospectuses describing their courses. Anyone wanting to enter a university gets copies of several of these and an application form from the Universities' Central Council for Admissions, on which to enter applications for up to five courses in different universities. Applicants then go to visit the universities to which they have applied, and may be interviewed by lecturers, who eventually decide which of the applicants to accept, mainly on the basis of the grades obtained in the advanced-level certificate examinations. Each course has a quota of new students which ought not to be exceeded, so entry to each course is in effect competitive. Perhaps as a result of this restricted entry, only about an eighth of students who start university courses fail to complete them.
The great majority of students are in uniyersities far from their homes; Bristol University has very few students who live near it, but many people who live in Bristol are at other universities. Each university has halls of residence with enough room for all or most of the first-year students, and in most cases for others too. For their last years of study most live in rented flats.
The preference for studying at universities away from home is probably linked with the old importance of the boarding public schools, and with the old preeminence of Oxford and Cambridge, which were for so long the only universities. As recently as 1950 these two together had almost as many students as all the other Knglish universities outside London. Now they have less than a tenth of all university students, but they have had a big influence on the development of the university system, including the use of small groups for teaching. Their preeminence is diminishing, but not extinct.
These two ancient universities have, through the centuries, had a major role in English politics- Oxford more than Cambridge. Of the nine prime ministers since 1955 Mrs Thatcher w;as the seventh to have been to Oxford University. In 1988 her cabinet of twenty-one included seven who had been to Oxford, seven to Cambridge; two had been to old Scottish universities, one to London, none to any other university in England. The top civil servants have a similar background. This preponderance of Oxford and Cambridge graduates among the political elite (and among MPs in general) has declined, but it is still significant.
With about 10,000 first-degree students each, and over 2,000 postgraduates, Oxford and Cambridge are not big by modern standards. In most respects they are similar to each other, so a general description of one could apply to the other as well.
Apart from newly-developed small colleges for postgraduates, Oxford has more than twenty separate colleges, all rather like small independent universities. Sixteen of them already existed in 1600, when a few were already well over 200 years old, scattered among the streets of what is now the middle part of this town of about 100,000 people. Each college has within its precincts a hall, chapel, common rooms, library, lecture rooms, old and new buildings where half or two-thirds of the students and some staff live. Each college has between 200 and 400 undergraduate students and around thirty or more fellows (colloquially, 'dons1), who teach small groups as well as forming the college governing body. Nearly all the fellows (called by some other title in a few colleges) also hold office as university lecturers or professors, and are paid partly by the university, partly by their colleges. For each subject there is a university organisation resembling the departments in the other universities. Each college has a chief, who may be entitled Master, Warden, Provost, Rector, Principal, President or Dean.
For lecture courses, which are centrally organised, students go to other colleges or to the central lecture rooms, which are also used for the university's examinations. Teaching and research in sciences must be mainly in university laboratories.
All the colleges now take both men and women students, except for two of the five which were founded for women about 100 years ago. This change has been a major revolution of the past twenty years; so too has been the modernisation of the students' rooms on the old college staircases, with proper plumbing, baths and central heating systems.
With their old college buildings Oxford and Cambridge are inevitably visited by countless tourists, who are allowed to go within some college precincts, including the best gardens, at least on summer afternoons. The fifteenth-century chapel of King's College, Cambridge is one of England's finest churches, and the chapel of Oxford's grandest college (called Christ Church - or more familiarly and with a curious arrogance, 'The House') serves as the cathedral of the diocese. Oxford's 400-year old Bodleian Library, like that of Cambridge, is entitled, by long-established law, to receive free of charge a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom.
Some of the colleges in both universities are very wealthy, owning vast areas of land all over England. Rut much of the revenue from all this property is absorbed by the additional costs which arise from the maintenance of ancient buildings and providing everything that is needed for any university at an exceptionally high quality. For their basic-expenditure Oxford and Cambridge, like other universities, became accustomed to dependence on the grants which the central government distributed in the period of expansion in roughly 1950-75. Since 1975 they, like other universities, have had to adapt themselves to steadily less generous government financing.
After 1970 the universities, old and new, continued to expand, encouraged by increasing government grants. But then the climate changed. The grants stopped growing. Suddenly the universities had to abandon their long-term plans, and soon they faced the need to cut their costs. They were forced to increase their fees for students from overseas, then for British residents as well - though those from families with low incomes still have their fees and living costs covered by local grants. Staff were encouraged to retire before the normal age, and many of those who did retire could not be replaced. The drive for economy continued in the 1980s. The universities were encouraged to try to supplement their funds from non-government sources, particularly for research projects. They have tried hard, with some success, to fill their buildings with conferences in vacations.
One new venture was the founding of a new independent university at Buckingham, 40 kilometres from Oxford. It is financed entirely by students' fees and private contributions, and by 1983 it was solidly established. It then received a charter enabling it to grant its own degrees. By 1988 there were 700 students. They can cover the work of a normal three-year course in two years by having no long summer vacation.
Meanwhile there has been great progress with adult education. For a long time university extra-mural departments have provided a great range of evening classes, in courses of varying length, often as joint ventures with the Workers' Educational Association. Some of these classes are led by full-time extra-mural tutors, others by regular lecturers in their spare time. A recent change of policy has enabled some of these courses to end with formal examinations, and diplomas for the successful students.
On a bigger scale is the Open University, which developed quickly in the 1970s. It was devised to satisfy the needs of working people of any age who wish to study in their spare time for degrees. It has a centre at the new town of Milton Keyncs, between Oxford and Cambridge. Its full-time staff have produced a whole library of short coursebooks which anyone can buy by post or from any major bookshop. They devise courses which they present on one of the BBC's television channels and by radio. Most course work is run by part-time tutors (many of whom are lecturers at other universities); these are scattered around the country, and meet students to discuss their work at regular intervals. There are short residential summer courses. The students are of all ages, some of them retired. They may spread their studies over several years, and choose their courses to suit their individual needs and preferences. Over 100,000 people arc enrolled, in all parts of the country.
The Open University has helped greatly towards the ideal of education accessible to everyone who aspires to it, at every level. For those retired people who do not want to work for diplomas or degrees there is a University of the Third Age, with about 100 centres. It has almost no formal structure except a system of communication which helps small groups to form themselves spontaneously to study. It gets no government funds, and collects small subscriptions from its participants.
Fashions in education change. The great rise of sociology in the 1960s soon collapsed, to be replaced by an even greater burgeoning of business studies and of training in the skills of management. Modern government policies cannot afford to neglect the role of education in developing the skills needed in the contemporary world - not only in applied sciences, but in the numeracy, at different levels, required in a world where computers have an increasing role, and also, in a quite different direction, in the ability to make effective use of languages other than English. There is no doubt that more Dutch and Scandinavian people can perform belter in English than the British can in any other language. The Japanese may be less competent with foreign languages even than the British, but their mathematical skills, as well as others, have been shown to be superior.
It is partly for this reason that Mrs Thatcher's government was rather more supportive in its attitude to the polytechnics than to the older universities. Most polytechnic students study applied sciences, management or business studies. Their provision for languages is in general directed to the development of practical competence, including ability to cope with the special forms of language needed for aspects of the contemporary world's activities. It is less easy to measure the immediate practical utility of studying Racine and Molierc, or even Anouilh and Sartre. There is, in general, a new emphasis on the role of education in preparing people for their future functions in the economy.
Number of pupils per teacher
| С 197 )
( 1981 )
( 1987 )
Public-sector schools Primary Secondary
In a MORI opinion poll in 1987 almost half the respondents said that they would send their children Co private-sector schools if they could afford to. Is the role of the private sector a positive or a negative influence on education as a whole?
More generally, do you favour the use of a selective process to divide children at age eleven or later, between separate schools, or separate classes, according to ability? Or should they all be kept together?
Relatively few children of manual workers receive higher-level education. What prospect is there of changing this?
In response to the Education Reform Act of 1988 some local education authorities appointed new teams of people to deal with different aspects of educational management, at rates of pay about twice that of the basic-rate maximum for classroom teachers. Is this likely to improve the quality and effectiveness of the authorities' schools?
Meanwhile, individual schools were given a new right to opt out of local authority control altogether - and so to be outside the control of the new'managers1. Is this a good idea?
In 1988 schools in the state system were told that they must include a period for religious worship in each day's timetable, so that once a week each pupil would attend a worship session in a large group in a hall; on the other days the worship should be in the classroom. The law of 1944 already provided for something of the kind, but had for a long lime been disregarded. What do you think about this revival for the 1990s?
In 1989 the Government produced a scheme for a change in the system of financial help to students in higher education.
The money value of the grant would in future not be increased to take account of inflation but students will be able to receive loans from state funds to make up the difference.
Each student's repayment of a loan would depend on the student's earnings.
Taking account of the cost of administering this scheme, is it a good idea? Or would it be better to continue with grants big enough to cover the total cost of studying?
Education in Russia.
Education in Russia. Everyone needs at least a secondary education in his life. So when you begin spending sleepless nights thinking about the study at school, when you think longingly of school books, teachers and friends and when you are at age of 6 there is no doubt it – you’re really to go to school. The best way to get to know and understand the system of education in Russia is to know what kinds of schools are in Russia and how children study there. Every citizen of our country has the right to education. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution. It is not only a right but a duty, too. Every boy or girl must get secondary education. They go to school at the age of six or seven and must stay there until they are 14-17 years old. At school pupils study academic subjects, such as Russian, Literature, Mathematics, History, Biology, a foreign language and others. After finishing 9 forms of a secondary school young people can continue their education in the 10th and the 11th form. They can also go to a vocational or technical school, where they study academic subjects and receive a profession. A college gives general knowledge in academic subjects and a profound knowledge in one or several subjects. After finishing a secondary, vocational, technical school or a college, young people can start working or enter an institute or a university. Institutes and universities train specialists in different fields. A course at an institute or a university usually takes 5 years. Many universities have evening and extramural departments. They give their students an opportunity to study without leaving their jobs. Institutes and universities usually have graduate courses which give candidate or doctoral degrees. Education in our country is free at most schools. There are some private primary and secondary schools where pupils have to pay for their studies. Students of institutes and universities get scholarships. At many institutes and universities there are also departments where students have to pay for their education. Also it is interesting to know how pupils organize their life at school. So each school or technical has its School or Technical Council. It helps to plan the policy for the whole school. It organizes the social and cultural life at the school. School Councils in many schools are chaired by a student and have a majority of student members. They run discos and parties, stage drama productions and decorate the student common room. Music making is part of school life.
Higher Education In Russia.
Russia, a land of great scholars, has been a leading centre of culture, science and education in Europe for centuries. The country of Pushkin, Toistoi, Chekhov, Mendeleyev, Pavlov attracts people all over the world for education. Now Russian universities welcome international students and graduates of Russian universities are in demand in western countries.
The higher education system in Russia has a distinguished reputation in the world. The standard of the higher education in Russia is considered to be one of the best in the world with advanced and sophisticated teaching methods and scientific approaches. Russian degrees have gained global recognition.
Russian universities offer programs that meet the needs of international students. All the programs are targeted to prepare students for university graduation and successful careers in medicines. International graduates from Russian universities are now achieving their ambitions in leading clinics and companies working in the sphere of medicine all over the world.
There are 48 medical colleges spread throughout the country, which give the best qualification and skills to the students. We would like to introduce you to the most prestige establishment situated in the very heart of Russia, its capital Moscow - I.M.Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy. This educational establishment has hundred-year history and 50-year experience of training foreigners. The diplomas of this Academy are recognized by the Medical Council of India, Great Britain and other countries.
The fact that tuition fees are lower in comparison with those in other countries, and the standards of training are being maintained at the highest level and constantly approved, makes Russian institutions of higher medical education more attractive to foreign citizens and plays the major role in the matter of choice.
Knowledge and practical skills, received by students, along with the international recognition of these universities, permit their graduates to seek various opportunities in many countries.
Students going to Russia have to live among people whose manners and customs are likely to be different from theirs. While the primary object of their going abroad is to secure advanced education and training for which they leave their country and stay in a foreign land, travelling and living abroad in themselves are bound to provide valuable education and experience. Personal contacts with other people and understanding their ways of life and culture widen their mental horizon and their outlook on life generally.
Unit 4, Is it easy to be young?
The United Nations Organization is an international organization to which nearly al) countries in the world belong. Its head offices are in New York City.
United Nations Organization tries to make sure there is peace in the world and that all countries work together to deal with international problems. Every person has rights. To protect children's rights the United Nations has worked out an international agreement called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Convention sets out in a number of statements called articles, the rights which all children and young people up the age of 18 should have. The right should apply to young people everywhere whether they live, in rich or poor country. Russia agreed to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. It entered into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49.
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to
States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the
survival and development of the child.
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being due weight in acсоcordance with the age and maturity of the child.
For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceeding affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
States Parties recognize the right of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.
No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or
morals or the protection of the right and freedoms of others.
No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honor and reputation.
The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.
States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
"Education brings a child the world"
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful toThe child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end and having regard to the relevant provisions of other national instruments. States Parties shall in particular:
Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article.
1 States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreation activities appropriate to the age of the I ЫId and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the pro-n of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
States Parties shall ensure that:
a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.
Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person and a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority and to a prompt decision on any such action.
Youth problems : job, drugs
Youth problems : job, drugs When you leave school you understand that the time of your independence life and the beginning of a far more serious examination of your abilities and character has come. You also understand that from now youll have to do everything yourself, and to fight with everybody around you for better life. The first problem that young people meet is to choose their future profession, it means that they have to choose the future of their life. Its not an easy task to make the right choice of a job. You know children have a lot of dreams about their future : to become a superman or a policeman or a doctor Its very easy they think, but when they become older and see real world they understand that in all professions need to know perfectly about what you do, you must be well-educated and well-informed. Thats why I think its very important to have a good education at school. And if you work hard everything will be OK. Another problem of young people is drugs. This is a relatively new problem but it is becoming more and more dangerous. Million young people today are using drugs, and most of them will die. Usually they want just to try it , then again and again and after year may be two years they will die . It is true. Because there are no medicine to help you. Thats why never do it, if you do - it goes bad, very bad. I think that police must work hard to protect young people from drugs. Because drugs will kill our young generation and our future will be very bad. Список литературы Для подготовки данной работы были использованы материалы с сайта http://www.text.pp
UK ‘has worst drug problem in Europe’
The UK has the highest level of problem drug use and the second highest level of drug-related deaths in Europe, according to a report being published today.
Despite successive governments’ attempts to control the demand for and supply of illegal drugs, drug policy appears to have had “minimal” impact on the overall level of use in the UK, according to its authors.
However, they do credit drug policy with succeeding in addressing certain illnesses and aspects of criminality associated with problematic drug use.
The report, by experts Professor Peter Reuter of Maryland University in the US and Alex Stevens of the European Institute of Social Services at Kent University, has been commissioned for today’s launch of the independent UK Drug Policy Commission.
Chaired by Dame Ruth Runciman and funded by the charitable Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the commission aims to “improve political, media and public understanding of drug policy issues and the options for achieving a rational and effective response to the problems caused by the supply of and demand for illegal drugs”.
It brings together twelve experts drawn from the drug treatment and medical research fields along with senior figures from policing, public policy and the media.
Speaking ahead of today’s launch, Dame Ruth said: “At the outset of our three-year work programme, UKDPC is agreed upon one thing - we currently do not know enough about which elements of drug policy work, why they work and where they work well.”
Also serving on the commission are the chief executive of the Medical Research Council Professor Colin Blakemore; former West Mercia Chief Constable David Blakey; the president of the Royal Society of Medicine, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff; comment editor at The Times Daniel Finkelstein; chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission Lord Patel; chief executive of Shelter Adam Sampson; and the director of the National Addiction Centre Professor John Strang.
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: “Cannabis, particularly skunk, is finally being recognised as having potentially devastating effects on the developing brains of some young people.
“Figures show that 50% of 16-34 year-olds admit to using the drug, which means that if only a small proportion develop psychotic symptoms, there could still be a worrying increase in the number who may have to endure lifelong mental illness such as schizophrenia.
“We hope this new commission will be able to provide guidance which takes account of all the evidence so that in future those potentially at risk and their families could be saved the anguish and heartbreak we hear about every day.”
Independent News and Media
UNIT 5. IS THE WELFARE FARE?
The National Health Service in the UK.
The National Health Service came into existence in 1948, to give completely free medical treatment of every kind to everyone needing it. Since then some payment has been brought in for one item after another, beginning in 1951 when patients had to pay a small fixed amount for pills or medicine prescribed for them. Children, pregnant women, old people and the poor have been exempted from some of these charges, but in 1988 the Government began to abolish some general exemptions for pensioners.
People who are ill go first to see their general practitioners (GPs), who treat minor illnesses themselves. These family doctors work alone or in partnerships from surgeries or bigger urban medical centres, and when necessary go to see patients in their homes. Everyone is normally on the list of a general practitioner (or family doctor), who keeps full records of all treatments and over the years gets to know the 2,000 or more people on his or her list. Each GP is paid a fixed amount related to the number of patients on the list.
General practitioners refer people to hospital, if necessary, for more specialised treatment, also free of charge both at outpatients' clinics and for those who have to stay in hospital.
Doctors and others who work in hospitals are paid salaries, full time or part time, graded according to their jobs, with consultants at the top.
England is divided into fourteen regions based on university medical schools (not on counties); each region is divided into about ten to fifteen districts, based on major hospitals. Regions and districts have governing boards appointed by the Secretary of State for Health.
Most dental treatment is carried out in the dentists' surgeries which are scattered around all towns, though difficult cases are sent to dental hospitals. The dentists are paid from health service funds for each item of treatment. At first their patients did not have to pay, but later part-payment became necessary, and now people must pay even for check-ups which find nothing wrong. Only children and a few others are exempt.
Eye tests are usually done in opticians' shops; they too must be paid for, as well as any glasses which are needed. Payment for the eye tests was introduced in 1988, although it was argued that some people would be deterred from going for tests which could have detected incipient blindness in good time. People who are found to need further treatment to their eyes are sent to eye hospitals, where treatment is free.
People do not go directly to hospital unless they are victims of accidents or for some other reason need urgent treatment. They go to the casualty departments, which, unlike GPs' surgeries, work continuously, mostly receiving people brought in by Health Service ambulances.
Public opinion has always been extremely favourable to the health service, with majorities in opinion polls expressing general satisfaction with it and a strong wish that it should continue. Statistics suggest that it has given people reasonably effective service. Expectation of life has risen, although at a slower rate than in many comparable Western European countries. However, one purpose of the Labour government which created the service in 1948 was to ensure that people's access to medical care of all kinds should not depend on ability to pay. This purpose was egalitarian. At that time people in the highest socio-economic categories suffered less serious illness and lived longer than people in the lowest categories. These differences have continued with very little change, although the proportion of people living in unhealthy houses because of poverty has declined.
Various complex explanations can be suggested for the continuance of class differentials in health and life expectancy. These include differences in life-styles, including diet, for which individuals are personally responsible. Rut it can be said that, in so far as the National Health Service had originally an egalitarian purpose, some aspects of this purpose have not been achieved.When the National Health Service was established many doctors argued that, if doctors were not paid for each item of treatment given, theywould have no incentive to work well. The evidence suggests that these fears were unjustified. It was also argued that the nation's finances could not afford the cost. The cost, met partly out of people's contributions to the national insurance fund and partly out of general taxation, was high enough to force the Labour government to reduce it a little by making people pay for prescribed medicine and pills. The other charges, introduced later, have followed that early precedent. As time passed, costs rose faster than inflation, partly because new and more expensive treatments were invented, partly because the cost of nursing has increased. People have not been prepared to work as nurses with the old standards of pay and working conditions. However, the total national expenditure on health care has been and still is lower in real terms than in comparable Western European countries, and absorbs a lower proportion of the gross national product.
Although the service was set up by a Labour government, and criticised by Conservatives in opposition, Conservative governments maintained it when in office, and appeared to be dedicated to its purposes, until the 1970s. Since 1979 changes have been imposed with the stated intention of introducing more businesslike efficiency. Hospitals have been required to put out services to contract, with the idea that commercial firms give better value than people employed directly by the service. Doctors have complained that new forms of management interfere with their clinical judgement.
During this time expenditure on the service has increased more than inflation. The number of hospital doctors and of nurses has increased substantially, and people are being sent home from hospitals after surgical operations or childbirth more quickly than before. Very little has been done to help them when they return home. As old hospitals are closed and new ones built, the total number of hospital beds has been reduced, and some cannot be used because there are not enough nurses to care for patients in them. Patients suffering from painful illnesses are waiting many months for treatment. There has been discontent among hospital staffs, with hostile demonstrations and threats of strikes. Many nurses have disliked the increased differences of pay and status within their profession, which have been introduced to improve incentives.
In 1988-89 the Government proposed some reforms designed to make the National Health Service use its funds more efficiently, with new elements of competition. Individual hospitals were to be free to choose to be independent of their district health authorities, and to get their funds directly from the government, with their own budgets. Doctors in large partnerships in general practice were to be allowed to have their ownbudgets, to choose hospitals for their patients, and to use their own funds to pay the hospitals for the treatments given to their patients. The plans were in general not welcomed by doctors, and opinion polls indicated that the majority of the public would prefer the service to continue without these changes, but to have more funds provided for it.
One new problem has arisen from new policies for people with mental handicaps too severe for them to be able to manage to live adequate lives while living alone. Many who had been in institutions are now living *in the community', with the idea that the local council's social services should give help and supervision. But as the local authorities' total expenditures are being restricted they have great difficulty in finding enough funds to do this job adequately.
There has lately been a big increase in private medical treatment, and more people have their own health insurance. People arc not obliged to use the National Health Service, and from the beginning a few have gone to doctors practising privately, paying them for their services. This is done mainly for specialist treatment, including hospital. Almost a tenth oi the people now pay for their own insurance against possible costs of private specialists and private hospitals. Many senior medical specialists and surgeons work part time for the health service and part time for private fee-paying patients. Many private hospitals have their own operating theatres for surgery, though some National Health hospitals. with their more comprehensive facilities, also have private ward* ('amenity beds' or, more crudely 'pay beds')- People who pay foi themselves, with or without the help of private insurance, can choosL their specialists and do not have to wait their turn for treatment. They also have private and comfortable rooms in hospitals, instead of being in large wards with other patients. But the recent big increase in private health insurance seems to reflect a decline in public confidence in the National Health Service.
UNIT 6. WHAT HELPS YOU TO ENTERTAIN?
Theatre and Cinema
London has several dozen theatres, most of them not far from Trafalgar Square. A successful play can run for many months or even years. Outside London some quite big towns have no public theatre at all, and hardly any towns have more than three. But there are private theatres, some attached to colleges or schools. Innumerable amateur groups produce plays, often with some professional help, in these theatres which they hire or borrow, or in halls temporarily equipped with makeshift stage furniture. Shakespeare is honoured by a great modern theatre in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was born. But serious theatre needs subsidy to survive.
Several first-rate orchestras are based in London. The largest provincial centres also maintain permanent orchestras, which give regular concerts. All these orchestras occasionally visit other places to give concerts, and some financial help is given to them by the Arts Council or by local authorities. The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, in central London, is leased by the government to the Covent Garden Opera House Trust, which receives a government grant. Seasons of opera are performed there and also of ballet by the Royal Ballet, which has in recent years been one of the most successful of British ventures in the arts.
Touring opera and ballet companies visit the principal theatres in major towns. Opera of the highest quality is performed throughout every summer in Glyndebourne, 90 kilometres south of London but visited by people who come from London and its suburbs.
Local enterprise has been responsible for the development in recent years of 'festivals' of the arts in several places, of which the best known is the annual International Festival of Music and Drama in Edinburgh, held in late August. As well as the performances by musicians, etc. from all over the world, the 'fringes' of the Festival produce an interesting variety of plays by less established companies. Among other such festivals are those held at Bath, Aldcburgh (connected with the composer Benjamin Britten), Pitlochry in the Scottish Highlands and Llangollen in north-central Wales. The Three Choirs Festival, which circulates among the three western cathedral cities of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford, has a continuous history going back to 1724.
British governments have been less generous than many others with subsidies to serious or experimental drama, music and ballet. There is a Minister for the Arts (not a member of the Cabinet) and an Arts Council which receives a grant from the government (£194 million in 1991-2). Part of this money is used to sustain the performing arts, but it is easy to complain that some performances are helped which do not deserve such help. The whole question of subsidy to the arts creates a dilemma for politicians dedicated to the market, and reluctant to use tax revenues to support the expensive enjoyments of minorities, however worthy. Yet they do not wish to be accused of philistinism. Meanwhile, some big companies are helping by sponsoring performances.
From about 1930 until Quite recent times the cinema enjoyed an immense popularity, and the large cinemas built in the 1930s were the most impressive of the buildings to be seen in the streets of many towns. More recently the rapid spread of television has brought a great change. In 1946 the average British person went to the cinema forty times a year, but by the 1980s the figure had fallen to 1.2 times, and 1,500 cinemas were closed during this period. Most films shown are from Hollywood, but some British films have won great international success. For foreign-language films there is a healthy prejudice against 'dubbed' English soundtracks, and such films are usually shown with English subtitles.
Censorship of the theatre 'for the preservation of good manners, decorum and the public peace' was at last abolished in 1968, but some films are classified as unsuitable for children. More than half of all households have video equipment, sometimes used for viewing films on the home TV set. Video-film hiring is big business.
4 Other Recreations
Visitors to provincial England sometimes find the lack of public activities in the evenings depressing. There are, however, many activities which visitors do not see. Evening classes, each meeting once a week, are flourishing immensely, and not only those which prepare people for examinations leading to professional qualifications. Many people attend classes connected with their hobbies, such as photography, painting, folk dancing, dog training, cake decoration, archaeology, local history, car maintenance and other subjects. Classes may be organised by local education authorities or by bodies like the Workers' Educational Association, and in them people find an agreeable social life as well as the means of pursuing their own hobbies. All this, together with the popularity of amateur dramatics, can provide some comfort for those who fear that modern mass entertainment is producing a passive society.
Other groups meet regularly for a mixture of social and religious purposes or for the pursuit of hobbies. For young people there are youth clubs, some, but not all, of them connected with churches.
Young and old spend leisure time working together for good causes, raising money for the benefit of victims of famine, flood or misfortune. All of this demands a good deal of organisation and innumerable committees. Most of it needs money, and the workers for charities spend much time in trying to extract funds from the rest of the community to supplement the subscriptions which they pay themselves. Subject to the regulations made by the public authorities and with their permission, the supporters of a charity may organise a 'flag-day', normally not more than once a year in any town. They stand in the streets with collecting boxes into which generously disposed passers-by put money, receiving in exchange little paper 'flags' to pin on their coats. Other devices are 'bazaars' or 'sales of work', where home made food and unwanted clothes are sold, and opening speeches are made by persons of importance. All these activities turn out to be social occasions. In the course of doing good the public-spirited develop their social lives, meet their friends and enjoy themselves.
Public libraries, maintained by the local authorities, are well developed and progressive, and everywhere allow people to borrow books without charge. The books in the lending section are always kept on open shelves, and library staffs are very helpful in getting books on request from other libraries through the exchange system. Most libraries report an increase in borrowing over the past ftw years, so television does not seem to be stopping people from reading, as it was feared that it would. Many towns have well and imaginatively kept museums and art galleries, with no charge for admission at least until 1990. By then some of the national museums were charging for admission.
England is famous for its gardens, and most people like gardening. This is probably one reason why so many people prefer to live in houses rather than in flats. Particularly in suburban areas it is possible to pass row after row of ordinary small houses, each one with its neatly kept patch of grass surrounded by a great variety of flowers and shrubs. Some people who have no garden of their own have patches of land or 'allotments' in special areas. Enthusiasts of gardening - or do-it-yourself activities - get evergrowing help from radio programmes, magazines and patient shop-keepers.
Although the task of keeping a garden is essentially individual, gardening can well become the foundation of social and competitive relationships. Flower shows and vegetable shows, with prizes for the best exhibits, are popular, and to many gardeners the process of growing the plants seems more important than the merely aesthetic pleasure of looking at the flowers or eating the vegetables.
Two traditional British institutions, the pub and fish-and-chip shop. have been transformed in the past two or three decades. A few pubs still have gloomy walls and frosted-glass windows, ugly bars where people drink standing up. But in most of today's pubs, although the customers still buy their drinks at the bar, they usually carry them away to sit comfortably at tables in an ambience both civilised and aesthetically pleasing. Many pubs have tables outside, sometimes in well-tended gardens, with swings for children. Many of them provide food, not only sandwiches but salads and hot dishes, often very good and usually good value. The opening hours were liberalised at last in 1988, allowing pubs to stay open all day. However, some still keep to the old practice, so long imposed by law, of closing for about three hours in the afternoon. Although a lot of trouble is caused by people who get drunk, mostly at weekends, the British drink less alcohol than most other Europeans. They now drink less beer but more wine than in the past.
Fish-and-chip shops no longer wrap up their wares in newspapers, to be eaten in the street outside, but provide more commodious containers. Most offer chicken or sausages too, or quite often Chinese dishes. Some indeed are run by people who came originally from China or Hong Kong. They have their rivals like hamburger and fried chicken bars. And most of the ubiquitous Indian and Chinese restaurants are prepared to put their rice and curry, or their noodle dishes, in little boxes to take away. But these are serious meals, with twenty minutes' preparation time, so takeaway customers can avoid delay by telephoning in advance.
For eating out in towns there is a marvellous variety of choice. Many of the Indian restaurants are very good indeed. Other restaurants are of several different nationalities, some providing simple dishes, some more ambitious. British people eat out in restaurants or hotel dining rooms more now than in the past, not only for conferences, business or club meetings, but as a family activity.
There is a strong tradition of hospitality, and most entertaining in people's homes is free and easy, informal, and without rituals. The old afternoon tea party has lost popularity, even on Sunday, partly because few people dare to eat the fattening scones, butter and jam and cakes which go with the traditional English tea. Instead, friends and relations are asked for drinks before lunch or dinner, or for a meal which nowadays is sometimes a buffet supper eaten away from the table.
5 Marriage, Home and Family
The mid-twentieth century has brought three great and obvious changes to family life: contraception, personal mobility, and a concern for the equality of women. Along with these, and linking them, we have a value system which rejects the idea that anyone is superior to anyone else, and hence a rejection of established authority except that which arises within a self-conscious peer-group. Old accepted patterns of behaviour, including courtship and the ways by which men and women meet, have disappeared, and have been replaced by nothing definable.
At home most parents do not restrict the movements of their children, in particular their daughters, as much as they used to. Girls expect to go to work when they finish their education, no matter at what age between sixteen and twenty-three. They meet men at work, within their peer group and through their friends. Some form stable relationships early, others have several relationships in succession. Most young people have sex before marriage. Most are successful in avoiding unwanted pregnancy at this stage, some marry if pregnancy does occur. Increasing numbers of couples set up home without being married.
For those who become pregnant and are unable or unwilling to marry, abortion has been available, subject to restrictions, since 1967. The restrictions are not very precise, and their meaning depends mainly on the interpretations of individual medical practitioners. Even so, the number of legal abortions carried out in any year has not exceeded 160,000. The main effect of the easing of the law has been to reduce enormously the incidence of bad effects on the health of women. A large proportion of abortions are performed on married women who already have several children.
In one way the new acceptance of extra-marital sexual activity has been bad for women; it is easier for men to avoid responsibility, and in a world where people are encouraged to think that they have a right to whatever they want, some women suffer from being treated without the personal respect which older values expected men to show.
Most women who marry continue to go out to work until they have children, and few have more than two children. The birth rate declined in 1965-77 as in most other countries, and in 1987 was around the EEC average at 13 per 1,000 population.
Most women with very small children stay at home to look after them, unless they can make other arrangements. Few married couples live near to their own parents, and grandparents are likely to go out to work themselves. There are not enough places in nursery schools to provide for all the mothers who would like to go to work, but a few workplaces provide creches, and children can be left with private 'childminders' registered with the local authorities.
Parents have become more indulgent to their children in every way, giving them more presents and money and not exercising much discipline. There is so much variety that generalisation is unwise, but serious misbehaviour, including vandalism, by young children, increased ten times over in twenty years, and is often blamed on weak parental control. The 'problem families1 are well known to the huge army of social service workers.
In well-adjusted families modern life gives scope for more collective family activity, which is helped by owning a car and garden. Improved housing has made family life more private, and with privacy has gone a decline in the informal social control of neighbours1 opinions. While the nuclear family of parents and children has grown closer together (except where the children demand and take more independence), the extended family has become weaker. Young people, when they marry, tend to live well away from their parents and other relations, often in different towns; and many people in non-manual careers move from one town to another at intervals of five, ten or fifteen years, so that many children hardly know their aunts, uncles or cousins.
Whatever the reason, the nuclear family as an institution has not universally adapted itself to these recent changes. Until 1971 divorce was obtainable without much difficulty on the ground of 'matrimonial offence', but then a new law allowed divorce by agreement, defined as 'irretrievable breakdown of marriage'. When married people have difficulties they may ask for help and advice from the unpaid counsellors of a private organisation, the former Marriage Guidance Council, now-called 'Relate'. In spite of these efforts, the divorce rate doubled in ten years, and is now the highest in any Western European country. About a third of all marriages end in divorce, and a much smaller number in legal separation. The legal costs involved in divorce and separation may be substantial, but are often funded from the legal aid system, paid out of tax revenue. Meanwhile the number of couples who set up home together without marrying has increased enormously.
The legal arrangements for a divorce or separation normally require the father to pay a weekly allowance to the mother, but not all fathers keep up their payments. Magistrates' courts spend much time trying to put pressure on defaulting fathers, but the ultimate sanction, prison, does not help anyone. Many children of divorced parents, as wrell as those of unmarried mothers, depend on social security payments for their support, and some of them also need help from the local authorities' social services.
The word 'permissiveness' is used to describe a characteristic of modern times. The laws allow actions which were once forbidden, and when people break the laws every effort is made to treat them as victims of circumstances rather than as people deserving anger and punishment. Meanwhile the old social controls of religion, extended family and close-knit neighbourhood have been weakened. The new freedoms, along with the newly-available material goods, have created opportunities for freer and more varied living; and where they produce misery (for example, among the victims of individual anti-social acts) the public authorities have a vast and caring apparatus through which to help. Professional social workers have to make difficult decisions - for example when to recommend that their local authority should take into its care children who arc neglected or ill-treated by their parents. Children in care are often sent to live with other families who then act as foster parents. Some decisions have gone wrong, and the damage and distress caused by such errors has done some harm to public confidence in the official social services.
Annual household expenditure on some leisure items
Household income per year
Books, newspapers, etc.
All leisure as percentage
of total expenditure
What do you consider the most significant aspects of these figures?
Compare these two opinions
a) In a civilised society sports facilities, museums and libraries should be paid for out of taxation, on a generous scale and with long hours of opening.
b) People who do not use sports facilities, museums and libraries should not have to pay for those who do use them.
Why do you think that Britain has no national lottery?
The number of divorces each year in the UK grew sevenfold in twenty years.
1961-81, to about 50 per cent above the French and West German rates,
and ten times the Italian,
In the 1980s the rate of divorce in the UK did not change much. In most years there were about:
250,000 marriages of people previously not married
130,000 marriages with one or both partners divorced
With the divorce rate stabilised in the 1980s, the number of people living together unmarried doubled in 1981-87. In 1987 one child in six was born to unmarried couples who registered the births jointly, as though they were married, and one child in fifteen was born to a single mother.
By 1987 one child in seven was living with a single parent. Does it seem that the family as an institution is becoming old-fashioned?
About two-fifths of single-parent households have disposable incomes per
person of less than half the national average. The single-parent situation
seems to be a much more prevalent cause of poverty in Britain, the USA
and elsewhere, than old age, illness or unemployment. What should be
done about this growing problem?
UNIT 7. INVENTIONS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD.
FEDERAL SERVICE FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS
FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
PATENT LAW OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1992,# 3517-I WITH CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS
INTRODUCED BY THE FEDERAL LAW OF FEBRUARY 7, 2003, # 22-FZ,
IN FORCE AS OF 11.03.2003, EXCEPT FOR PARAGRAPHS FOURTEEN AND FIFTEEN OF ITEM 2, PARAGRAPH EIGHT OF ITEM 23, ITEM 30 OF ARTICLE 1 AND ITEM 1 OF ARTICLE 7 IN RESPECT TO SECRET INVENTIONS THAT COME INTO FORCE AS OF JANUARY 1, 2004 *
*Changes and amendments are shown in italics
Section I. General Provisions
Article 1. Relations Governed by the Law
This Law shall govern relations arising in connection with legal protection and use of inventions, utility models and industrial designs
Article 2. Federal executive authority on intellectual property
The Federal executive authority on intellectual property shall carry out government policy in the field of legal protection of inventions, utility models and industrial designs and shall perform functions in this field as provided hereunder.
The Federal executive authority on intellectual property in cases, stipulated hereunder, shall issue in accordance with its competence regulatory acts on the application of this Law.
Article 3. Legal Protection of Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs
(1)The rights in inventions, utility models and industrial designs shall be protected by Law and shall be certified by invention patents, utility model patents and industrial design patents
(2)The patent shall certify the priority date and the authorship of the invention, utility model or industrial design and the exclusive right to the invention, utility model or industrial design.
(3)The term of an invention patent shall be 20 years from the date of receipt of the application by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property.
The term of an invention patent for a medication, a pesticide or agrochemical, the utilization of which requires a duly issued permission, shall be extended by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property upon request from the patent owner, by a period counted from the date of the application for invention to the date of receipt of such first permission minus five years. Whereas the term of extension for the invention patent may not exceed five years. The said request shall be submitted during the validity term of the patent within six months from the date of receipt of such permission or date of patent grant depending on which expires later.
The term of a utility model patent shall be five years from the date of receipt of the application by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property. The term may be extended by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property, at the request of the patent owner, for a period not exceeding three years.
The term of an industrial design patent shall be 10 years from the date of receipt of the application by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property. The term of an industrial design patent may be extended by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property, at the request of the patent owner, for a period not exceeding five years.
Procedures for extending the term of a patent for an invention, utility model or industrial design shall be established by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property.
When calculating the term, as provided hereunder, of a patent for an invention, utility model or industrial design, granted on the basis of divisional applications, the date of the application receipt shall be the date of receipt of the initial application by the Federal executive authority on intellectual property.
(4)The scope of the legal protection conferred by an invention patent or utility model patent shall be determined by the claims. The description and drawings may be used to interpret the claims.
The scope of the legal protection conferred by an industrial design patent shall be determined by the sum of its essential features as shown on the representations of the article and listed in the list of the industrial design’s essential features.
(5) Provisions of this Law shall apply to secret inventions (inventions containing information that represents state secret) alongside with the special terms of their protection and utilization prescribed in Section VI1 of the present Law.
No legal protection shall be granted under this Law for utility models and industrial designs that have been declared secret by the State.
Section II. Conditions of Patentability
Article 4. Conditions of Patentability of Inventions
(1)A technical solution in any area, relating to a product (for instance a device, substance, microorganism strain, cell culture of plants or animals) or process (process of affecting a material object using material means) shall be protected as an invention.
An invention shall be granted legal protection if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.
An invention shall be deemed new if it is not anticipated by prior art.
An invention shall involve an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.
The state of the art shall consist of any kind of information published anywhere in the world, and made available to the public, before the priority date of the invention.
When the novelty of an invention is determined, the state of the art shall also include, on condition of their earlier priority, all applications filed in the Russian Federation by other applicants for inventions and utility models, to the documents of which any person is entitled to get access as per Paragraph 6 of Article 21 or as per part two of Article 25 of the present Law, and inventions and utility models that have been patented in the Russian Federation.
An invention shall be deemed industrially applicable if it can be used in industry, agriculture, public health and other sectors of the economy.
Such disclosure of information, relating to the invention, by the author, applicant or any person having obtained the information directly or indirectly from them, that made information on the essence of the invention public, shall not be deemed as rendering the invention unpatentable, if the application for the invention were filed with the Federal executive authority on intellectual property within six months after said disclosure of information.
The burden of proof of the foregoing shall be on the applicant.
(2)The following shall not be recognized as patentable inventions under the present Law:
* discoveries, as well as scientific theories and mathematical methods;
* proposals concerning solely the outward appearance of manufactured articles and intended to satisfy aesthetic requirements;
* rules and methods of games, intellectual or business activities;
* computer software;
* proposals on presentation of information.
The present provisions mean that the above listed shall not be deemed inventions only if the application for grant of patent for an invention refers to the above subject matter per se.
(3) The following shall not be deemed patentable under the present Law:
* plant varieties and animal breeds;
* topographies of integrated circuits;
* proposals that are contrary to public interest, humanitarian principles or morality.
Article 5. Conditions of Patentability of Utility Models
1. A technical solution relating to a device shall be protected as a utility model.
A utility model shall be recognized as patentable if it is new and industrially applicable.
A utility model shall be new if the sum of its essential features is not anticipated by prior art.
The state of the art shall include any kind of information published anywhere in the world and made available to the public, before the priority date of the claimed utility model, concerning devices of similar function and the use thereof in the Russian Federation. The state of the art shall also include, on condition of their earlier priority, all applications filed in the Russian Federation by other applicants for inventions and utility models, to the documents of which any person is entitled to get access as per Paragraph 6 of Article 21 or as per part two of Article 25 of the present Law, and inventions and utility models that have been patented in the Russian Federation.
A utility model shall be industrially applicable if it can be used in industry, agriculture, public health and other sectors of the economy.
Disclosure of information, relating to the utility model, by the author, applicant or any person having obtained the information directly or indirectly from them, that made information on the essence of the utility model public, shall not be deemed as rendering the utility model unpatentable, if the application for the utility model were submitted to the Federal executive authority on intellectual property within six months after said disclosure of information.
The burden of proof of the foregoing shall be on the applicant.
(2)The following shall not be protected as utility models:
* proposals concerning solely the outward appearance of manufactured articles and intended to satisfy aesthetic requirements;
* topographies of integrated circuits;
* proposals that are contrary to public interest, humanitarian principles or morality.
Article 6. Conditions of Patentability of Industrial Designs
(1) An artistic-design presentation of an article, manufactured industrially or by artisans, that defines its outward appearance, shall be protected as an industrial design.
An industrial design shall be granted protection if it is new and original.
An industrial design shall be deemed new if the sum of its essential features, manifested in the representations of the article and listed in the list of the essential features of the industrial design, was not known from information generally available in the world before the priority date of the design.
When determining the novelty of an industrial design, all applications for industrial designs, provided they have earlier priority, filed in the Russian Federation by other persons, to the documents whereof any person is entitled to get access as per part two of Article 25 of the present Law, and industrial designs that have been patented in the Russian Federation, shall also be taken into account.
An industrial design shall be deemed original if its essential features determine the creative nature of the article’s special aspects.
Essential features of an industrial design shall include features that determine the aesthetic and/or ergonomic characteristics of the article’s outward appearance, in particular, the shape, configuration, ornament and combination of colours.
Disclosure of information, relating to the industrial design, by the author, applicant or any person having obtained the information directly or indirectly from them, that made information on the essence of the industrial design public, shall not be deemed as rendering the industrial design unpatentable, if the application for the industrial design were submitted to the Federal executive authority on intellectual property within six months after said disclosure of information. The burden of proof of the foregoing shall be on the applicant.
(2)The following shall not be recognized as patentable industrial designs:
* solutions that are determined exclusively by the technical function of an article;
* solutions that relate to architectural works (with the exception of minor architectural forms) and industrial, hydrotechnical and other stationary structures;
* solutions that relate to subject matter of unstable shape such as liquids, gaseous and dry substances and the like;
* articles that are contrary to the public interest, humanitarian principles or morality.
Section III. Authors and Patent Owners
Article 7. Author of an Invention, Utility Model or Industrial Design
(1)A natural person whose creative work resulted in the invention, utility model or industrial design shall be recognized as the author thereof.
(2)Where an invention, utility model or industrial design results from joint creative work of two or more natural persons, those persons shall be recognized as the joint authors thereof. The conditions for exercising author’s rights shall be determined by an agreement between them.
Natural persons shall not be recognized as joint authors where they have not made a personal creative contribution to the creation of an invention, utility model or industrial design, but have simply given the author (or authors) technical, organizational or material assistance or helped him (or them) in securing the legal rights in the industrial property subject matter or in using it.
(3)The authorship right shall be an inalienable personal right and shall be protected interminably.
Article 8. Patent Owner
(1)A patent shall be granted to:
* the author of the invention, utility model or industrial design;
* the employer in cases provided for in paragraph (2) of this Article;
* successors of the above persons.
2. The right to be granted a patent for an invention, utility model or industrial design, created by an employee (author) in connection with the fulfillment of his employment obligations or a specific task of the employer (service invention, service utility model, service industrial design) shall belong to the employer, unless otherwise agreed in the contract between the parties.
In the event that, within four months from the date of the employer’s notification by the employee (author) on the obtained result, protectable as an invention, utility model or industrial design, the employer fails to file a patent application for such invention, utility model or industrial design with the Federal executive authority on intellectual property, fails to transfer the right to be granted a patent for the service invention, utility model or industrial design to a third person, and fails to inform the employee (author) of keeping the information on the respective result secret, the right to be granted a patent for such invention, utility model or industrial design shall belong to the employee (author). In such case the employer, during the term of the patent, shall have the right to use the service invention, utility model or industrial design in his own business, paying a compensation to the patent owner, as agreed in a contract.
In the event that the employer is granted a patent for a service invention, service utility model or service industrial design, or decides to keep the information on such invention, utility model or industrial design secret, or transfers the right to be granted the patent to a third person, or fails to be granted a patent on the filed application due to reasons within his control, the employee (author), who does not have the right to be granted a patent for such invention, utility model or industrial design, shall have the right to remuneration. The amount of the remuneration and its payment procedures shall be defined in a contract between the employee (author) and the employer. In the event that the parties fail to reach an agreement on the contract terms within three months after a written proposal on these terms from one party to the other, the dispute on the remuneration may be settled in court.
The government of the Russian Federation is entitled to establish minimal rates of remuneration for service inventions, service utility models and service industrial designs.
Section IV. The Exclusive Right to the Invention, Utility Model or Industrial Design
Article 10. Rights and Obligations of the Patent Owner
1.The patent owner shall have an exclusive right to the invention, utility model or industrial design. No one shall have the right to use a patented invention, utility model or industrial design without permission from the patent owner, nor to do the following, except for cases, when such actions, under the present Law, do not violate the exclusive right of the patent owner:
* import into the Russian Federation, manufacturing, exploitation, offer for sale, sale, other introduction into civil circulation or storage for such purposes of products that incorporate a patented invention, utility model, or articles incorporating a patented industrial design;
* performance of acts, listed in subparagraph two hereunder, in respect to a product obtained directly derived by a patented process. Given that, if the product obtained by the patented process, is new, an identical product shall be considered as derived from the patented process in the absence of proof of the contrary;
* performance of acts, stated in subparagraph two hereunder, in respect to a device, the functioning (exploitation) of which in accordance with its purpose automatically involves a patented process;
* performance of a process that uses a patented invention.
Procedures for the use of an invention, utility model or industrial design, if the patent for the invention, utility model or industrial design is shared by several persons, shall be defined in a contract between such persons. In the absence of such a contract, each of the patent owners may use the patented invention, utility model or industrial design at his discretion, but may not grant a license or assign the exclusive right (assign the patent) to a third person without consent from the other patent owners.
2. A patented invention or utility model shall be deemed used in a product or a process, if the product contains, and the process involves each feature of the invention or utility model stated in an independent claim of the invention or utility model, or a feature equivalent to it and having become known as such in this art, prior to performance of actions stated in Paragraph 1 of this Article in respect to the product or process.
A patented industrial design shall be deemed used in an article, if such article contains all essential features of the industrial design, reflected in the representations of the article and listed in the list of essential features of the industrial design.
In the event that the use of a patented invention or utility model involves also the use of all features, listed in an independent claim of another patented invention or utility model, and in the case of use of a patented industrial design - all features, listed in the list of essential features of another patented industrial design, the other patented inventions, utility models and industrial designs shall also be deemed used.
3. In the event that a patented invention or industrial design fail to be used or are insufficiently used by the patent owner and persons, to whom the rights thereon had been transferred, for four years from patent grant, and for a patented utility model - for three years from patent grant, which leads to insufficient offer of respective goods or services on the goods or services markets, any person, willing and ready to use the patented invention, utility model or industrial design, given the patent owner’s refusal to conclude with such person a license agreement on generally accepted terms in the practice, shall have the right to start a legal action against the patent owner for a compulsory nonexclusive license to use, on the territory of the Russian Federation, such invention, utility model or industrial design, stating in his claims his proposed license terms, including the scope of use, the amount, procedures and terms of payment. In the event that the patent owner fails to prove that the non-use or insufficient use of the invention, utility model or industrial design is caused by valid reasons, the court shall decide on the grant of such license and its terms. The total amount of payments shall be established as at least the license price set in similar circumstances.
The effect of a compulsory nonexclusive license may be terminated by court upon a suit from the patent owner, if circumstances that caused the grant of such license cease to exist and their recurrence is unlikely. In such event the court shall establish the terms and procedures for cessation of use by the person, who acquired the compulsory nonexclusive license, of the rights arising from the acquirement of such license.
4. In the event that a patent owner is unable to use an invention, to which he has an exclusive right, without infringing on the rights of an owner of another patent for an invention or utility model, who has refused to conclude a license agreement on generally accepted terms, such patent owner shall have the right to start a court action against the owner of the other patent for a compulsory nonexclusive license to use, on the territory of the Russian Federation, the invention or utility model of the owner of the other patent, stating in his claim his proposed license terms, including the scope of use, the amount and terms and procedures of payment, if the invention, to which he has an exclusive right, represents a important technical achievement with significant economic advantages over the invention or utility model of the owner of the other patent.
When granting, as per the court decision, the said license, the total amount of payments shall be established at no less than the license price, normally determined under similar circumstances. In the event of grant, as provided hereunder, of a compulsory nonexclusive license, the owner of the patent for invention or utility model, the right to use which was granted under the said license, shall also have the right to get a nonexclusive license to use the invention, in connection with which the compulsory nonexclusive license was granted, on generally accepted terms in the practice.
5. A patent owner may transfer the exclusive right to an invention, utility model or industrial design (assign the patent) to any individual or to a legal entity. The agreement on the transfer of the exclusive right (assignment of patent) shall be registered with the Federal executive authority on intellectual property and shall not be valid without such registration.
6.The invention, utility model or industrial design patent and also the right to obtain the same shall be transferable by succession.
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