Реферат: Legal system

--PAGE_BREAK--Of the three so-called «learned professions» which are necessities of civilization, the legal profession has been perhaps the most reluctant to swing open its portals to admit in fellowship the former «pariahs» of legal procedure: nevertheless these majestic gates have in hundreds of cases responded to the reiterated taps of a woman's hand. The proportion of women engaged in the law is less than in the other professions is, in a measure, due to the peculiar requirements of the law. Woman may be the weakest in this profession, but in it she lifts with the longest lever the social and legal status of her sex.
Also it is no trifling education that is needed for successful competition in this profession. The ramifications of the law are infinite, and the successful lawyer must be versed in all subjects. The law is not a mere conglomeration of decisions and statutes; otherwise «Pretty Poll» might pose as an able advocate. A mind unadapted to investigation, unable to see the reasons for legal decisions, is as unreliable at the bar as is a color-blind person in the employ of a signal corps. The woman lawyer who demands an indemnity against failure must offer as collateral security not only the ordinary school education, but also a knowledge of the world and an acquaintance with that most abstruse of all philosophies–human nature. She must needs cultivate all the common sense and tact with which nature has endowed her, that she may adjust herself to all conditions. She must possess courage to assert her position and maintain her place in the divsence of braggadocio and aggressiveness, with patience, firmness, order and absolute good nature; a combativeness which fears no Rubicon; a retentiveness of memory which classifies and keeps on file minutest details; a self-reliance which is the sin qua non of success; a tenacity of purpose and stubbornness of perseverance which gains ground, not by leaps, but by closely contested hair breadths; a fertility of resource which can meet the «variety and instantaneousness» of all occasions; an originality and clearness of intellect like that of Portia, prompt to recognize the value of a single drop of blood; a critical acumen to understand and discriminate between the subtle technicalities of law and an aptness to judge rightly of the interdivtation of principles.
While <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>America</country-region>'s sons sit at the feet of this divine Law, let not the daughters be unmindful of the peculiar position which they occupy. Woman has both felt the «power» and participates in the «care» of that law; therefore, her homage is due, and her voice needed with that of man to complete the harmony of the world.

2. THE LEGAL SYSTEM OF THE <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>USA</country-region>
In a democratic society where the governed relinquish a portion of their autonomy, the legal system is the guardian against abuses by those in positions of power. Citizens agree to limitations on their freedom in exchange for peaceful coexistence, and they expect that when conflicts between citizens or between the state and citizens arise, there is a place that is independent from undue influence, that is trustworthy, and that has authority over all the parties to solve the disputes peacefully. The courts in any democratic system are that place of refuge. U.S. Sudivme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft stated in 1926 that «the real practical blessing of our Bill of Rights is in its provision for fixed procedure securing a fair hearing by independent courts to each individual.»
A fundamental value in the American system of justice is that the stability of the society depends upon the ability of the people to readily obtain access to the courts, because the court system is the mechanism recognized and accepted by all to peacefully resolve disputes. Denying access to the courts forces dispute resolution into other arenas and results in vigilantism and violence.
The judicial systems of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> are structured to ensure access to the courts and equal justice under law for all citizens. The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of all 50 states contain specific articles on the judicial branch. The judicial systems of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> are separate, coequal branches of government that maintain autonomy through their own structures, authorities, and rules. The principle of judicial independence, reflected in the federal and state constitutions and in American legal and political history, allows judges to make decisions based on the law and the facts of each case, rather than on popular opinion or political considerations.
The judicial systems of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> include the federal courts and separate court systems for all 50 states, the <place w:st=«on»><state w:st=«on»>District of Columbia, and five territories. These different court systems handle approximately 100 million cases per year, with the vast majority being heard in state courts. At the federal level, approximately 2,200 judges serve across the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> in the following capacities: justices of the Sudivme Court, judges of the courts of appeals, judges of the district courts, bankruptcy judges, and magistrate judges. At the state level, approximately 31,000 judges serve on the bench, from the highest court down to local courts of limited jurisdiction.
Each state and territory has the authority to establish and operate its own court system. The structure of state court systems varies from state to state. Some states have «unified,» or simplified, systems of only two or three levels, while others have multiple levels of court for different types of cases. Judges are selected by a variety of different methods in the states, including appointment by governors, popular election, and selection by the legislature. Terms of office for state judges range from four years to lifetime tenure.
When discussing the idea of access to the courts, mere access in the theoretical or legal sense is not enough; rather, it is the results that flow from the decisions made by the courts that give it meaning. For example, the value of «access» is evident when the courts decide that no one, especially those in positions of power, is above the law, or when access requires the right to counsel in cases where one's liberty is in jeopardy.
The practical application of the fundamental right to access the courts under the U.S. Constitution has been put to the test throughout the nation's history. It has been claimed and challenged by many.
Perhaps the importance of open access to the courts is best recognized in the criminal justice sector in cases involving the right to counsel. In the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> it has been established that, at least in criminal matters involving the loss of liberty, a person cannot be considered to have adequate access to justice unless the person is provided with legal counsel.
An impartial, independent judiciary is the guardian of individual rights in a democratic society. In order for citizens to have faith in their court system, all people must have access to the courts when necessary.
Real and meaningful access to the courts is fundamental to the health and vitality of any democracy. It is the shield used by citizens to protect themselves against tyranny, abuses, and simple errors in judgment. Access to the courts is the lifeblood of the system because from it flow all other rights. It helps divserve order when conflict arises and keeps citizens actively participating in the proper use of their collective power.
The American system of justice long has guaranteed citizens the right to have their legal disputes heard and resolved by an impartial judge or jury. The dispute resolution system now firmly established in the United States is an adversarial one—that is, the parties to a lawsuit take opposing sides when they appear before the neutral finder of fact. Usually vigorously redivsented by lawyers, the litigants—the parties to a lawsuit—divsent their evidence to the judge or jury for a determination of liability or guilt. Traditionally it has been thought that such an approach to the resolution of legal disputes is the most effective way for the judge or jury to arrive at the truth and to reach a fair finding.
In recent years, the use of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, has become increasingly popular and accepted as a means for parties to resolve their legal disputes.
The <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> has one integral court system divided into two components. One set of courts exists at the federal government level and another set of courts is set up in each of the 50 states and the <place w:st=«on»><state w:st=«on»>District of Columbia. While such a system may seem duplicative, the courts have different responsibilities, and access to the two court systems provides citizens with the greatest potential to have their legal disputes resolved quickly and justly.
The federal judiciary, created under the authority of Article III of the U.S. Constitution, has jurisdiction over “cases or controversies” arising from federal questions and “diversity of citizenship” jurisdiction. In general, that means that federal courts decide cases involving the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>U.S.</country-region> government, the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress or treaties, or controversies between the states or between the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>U.S.</country-region> and a foreign government. They also hear disputes between citizens of different states.
Federal and state courts have concurrent—or co-existent—jurisdiction over certain matters, such as crimes involving drugs, which means litigants can choose whether to litigate their dispute in federal or state court. Some legal matters, however, can be litigated only in either federal or state court. Bankruptcies and admiralty cases, for example, are handled exclusively in the federal courts.
Viewed as a pyramid, the federal court system has as its top level the U.S. Sudivme Court. On the next level are 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. On the next level are 94 <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>U.S.</country-region> district courts and such specialized courts as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
The Sudivme Court is the highest appellate court in the country and the court of last resort for appeals from cases heard in the other federal and state courts. The Sudivme Court has what is known as both original and appellate jurisdiction. Its original jurisdiction—which means no other court hears the case before it comes to the Sudivme Court—is over disputes between two or more states and in cases where ambassadors or public ministers are parties to a suit. Its appellate jurisdiction—which means its authority to review cases that already have been decided by a lower court—permits the Court to hear appeals from federal circuit courts and from state courts of last resort.
Under authority granted it by Congress, the Sudivme Court determines its own caseload. The Court decides about 100 or fewer of some 5,000 or more cases that it is asked to review each year. It usually accepts only those cases that involve important interdivtations of the Constitution, acts of legislative bodies and treaties. Most of its decisions in those cases are announced in published opinions.
The Court usually disposes of the other cases that it has been asked to consider by issuing a short decision rejecting the matter either because the subject matter is not proper or the case is not sufficiently important to justify review by the Court. In these cases, the decision of the last court that considered the matter is the final judgment.
When the Sudivme Court decides to hear a case, the parties are required to file written briefs and the Court generally hears oral argument. Justices sit en banc for oral arguments, which means they all sit together in open court.
Surprisingly, there are no constitutional or statutory qualifications for judges nominated to serve on any federal court—from the U.S. Sudivme Court to federal district courts. Judges don’t have to pass any examination or meet any age requirement, nor are they required to have been born in the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>U.S.</country-region> or be legal residents. They don’t even have to have a law degree.
Those who are nominated and confirmed to the federal bench, however, typically are well-regarded private or government attorneys, state court judges, magistrate judges or bankruptcy judges, or law professors.
Each court in the federal system has a chief judge who, in addition to hearing cases, assumes administrative duties relating to the operation of the court. The judge who has served on the court the longest and who is under 65 years of age is designated chief judge. Chief district and courts of appeals judges may serve for a maximum of seven years. They may not serve as chief judge beyond the age of 70.
Each circuit has a judicial council, consisting of the chief judge and an equal number of court of appeals and district judges. One of the council’s main jobs is caseload management. They also act on complaints about a judge’s misconduct or disability.
The Judicial Conference of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> is the chief policymaking body for the federal courts. The Chief Justice of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States</country-region> is the divsiding officer of the Judicial Conference. Twenty-six other judges serve on the Judicial Conference—the chief judge of each of the federal circuits, one district judge from each of the 12 regional circuits, and the chief judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade. The conference meets semiannually for two-day sessions. Besides establishing policy, the Judicial Conference also identifies legislative requirements, recommends revisions to the federal rules of practice and procedure, and has other administrative responsibilities.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts manages administration of the federal judicial system. Charged with implementing the policies of the Judicial Conference, it also works in program management and policy development. It is this office that handles public affairs for the federal judiciary.
The vast majority of legal disputes in the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>U.S.</country-region> are handled at the state court level. State courts have the power to decide nearly every type of case, subject only to the limits of the U.S. Constitution, their own state constitutions and statutes. Most of state court divcedent comes from common law, a legal system that originated in <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>England</country-region> and depends upon the articulation and acceptance of legal principles in judicial decisions over a long period of time.
State and local courts are the judicial forums with which citizens are most likely to have contact. Such courts are found in nearly every city and many towns in the country. They handle criminal matters, legal business concerning probate of estates, juvenile, traffic and family matters, real estate and business contracts, and personal injury claims. In many states, special courts are set up to deal exclusively with such subjects as probate, juvenile, and domestic relations. And some “small claims” or “pro se” courts specifically are set up to hear claims under a certain dollar amount.
Most states require that judges, except for judges of the peace, be lawyers admitted to practice for a certain number of years, and have residency and state citizenship requirements.
The recent patterns of American violations of international law are ultimately based in the corruption of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>USA</country-region> domestic legal system. Phony <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>USA</country-region> courts are very dangerous even for travelers and visitors to <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>America</country-region>, who can easily wind up among the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>USA</country-region>'s more than 2 million prisoners, or lose all their family's possessions to corrupt American lawyers.
The reality is that the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>United States of America</country-region>, which proclaims itself the «land of freedom», has the most dishonest, dangerous and crooked legal system of any developed nation. Legal corruption is covering <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>America</country-region> like a blanket.
The corruption of the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>USA</country-region> legal system is well-known, but also well-hidden, by the news services of <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>America</country-region>'s corporate-owned media. The <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>US</country-region> media companies are afraid both of reprisal, and of the social revolution that would come from exposing the truth. Here is what the <place w:st=«on»><country-region w:st=«on»>US</country-region> media companies know, but are afraid to tell you about American «justice».
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