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The legal systems of the world today are generally based on one of three main systems: civil law, common law and religious law — or combinations of these (customary law, mixed law).

Civil law (Romano-Germanic law or Continental law) is the most widespread system of law in the world. It is applied in various forms in nearly150 countries. The civil law system is derived mainly from the Roman Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law). The major feature of civil law system is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes. Civil law as a legal system is often compared with Common law.

Common law (Anglo-Saxon law) is a type of legal system, which is the system of England and Wales in the UK, and is also in force in nearly 80 countries. Common law system is founded not on laws made by legislatures but on judge-made laws, which in turn are based on custom, culture, habit, and previous judicial decisions throughout the world.

Religious law is a legal system which is of a religious nature and based on scriptures and their interpretations. The main types of religious law are Sharia in Islam, Halakha in Judaism, and Canon law in some Christian groups.

Customary Law is a type of legal system that serves as the basis of the present-day laws in nearly 40 countries - mostly in Africa, some in the Pacific islands, Europe, and the Near East.

Customary law is also referred to as "primitive law," ―unwritten law‖, and ―folk law‖. The earliest systems of law in human society were customary, and usually developed in small agrarian and hunting communities. Customary law is based upon the customs of a community.

Mixed law combines elements of several types of legal systems - civil, common, customary, and religious. The most prominent example of a mixed legal system is the Indian legal system. India follows a mixture of civil, common and customary or religious law.

Notes: Sharia - шариат

Islam - іслам

Halakha - Галаха

Judaism - іудаїзм

Canon law – церковне католицьке право


Civil law (legal system) – романо-германська правова система; континентальна система права Common law (legal system) – англо-саксонська правова система; прецедентна система права Muslim law – система мусульманського (релігійного) права

Customary law – система традиційного (звичаєвого) права Mixed law – змішана система права

widespread – дуже поширений

сustom – звичай, звичка ( pl. мито, митний збір, the Customs – митна служба) habit – звичка, звичай

judicial decision – судове рішення

community – 1) громада, община, 2) ( the ~ ) суспільство 3) співтовариство, об’єднання, співдружність mixture - суміш

to base on – базувати(ся)


to apply – 1) застосовувати, вживати, використовувати; 2) подавати заяву;

3) звертатися за;

to refer to – відносити до (епохи, класу, тощо)


to derive from – походити


to be in force – бути чинним


to found on – спиратися, ґрунтуватися на


to combine – поєднувати, змішувати, комбінувати


to follow – підтримувати, наслідувати



Nowadays the legal profession is very important in Ukraine. As our country is a lawgoverned state, lawyers have a task to establish the rule of law, to improve the Ukrainian legislation, to increase legal protection of all groups of the population. Lawyers form legal culture of the Ukrainian society, respect for the law and legal policy of the state.

Legal education in Ukraine is provided for by state and private educational institutions. А graduate from a Law Faculty or Law University mау choose his place of work and activity in any sphere of jurisprudence. To perform some kinds of legal activity a lawyer should also have work experience and pass special qualification examinations.

Persons who are in the legal profession can work as prosecutors, prosecutor’s assistants at the Prosecutor’s Office; investigators at the Prosecutor’s Office, the Security Service of Ukraine, militia оr other law-enforcement bodies; judges at courts and defence lawyers. There are public or private notaries at notary offices or legal advisers at private, public and municipal enterprises and organizations.

Persons who have legal education also work as officers at the Ministry of the Interior, the Tax Police, the Security Service of Ukraine and Customs Service. Lawyers are engaged in different spheres of life: politics, scientific and teaching activities.

Legal profession combines legal practitioners and scholars, members of the judiciary, the

Bar, officials of the Prosecutor’s Office and bodies of the Ministry of Justice. They have different professional functions, but all of them are charged with a responsible mission to be on guard of constitutional rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.


law ( ~ Faculty, ~ University) – 1) закон, законодавство, право;

2) юридичний, законний, правовий law-governed state – правова держава

rule of law – верховенство права legislation – законодавство

lawyer – юрист, адвокат, правознавець

legal – законний, легальний; правовий; легітимний; правомірний; узаконений; юридичний; судовий jurisprudence – юриспруденція, правознавство

prosecutor – прокурор Prosecutor’s Office – прокуратура investigator – слідчий

Security Service of Ukraine – Служба безпеки України militia – міліція

law-enforcement bodies – правоохоронні органи judge – суддя

court – суд

defence lawyer – адвокат, захисник

public/private notary – державний/приватний нотаріус notary office – нотаріальна контора

legal adviser – юрисконсульт

Ministry of the Interior – Міністерство внутрішніх справ Tax Police – податкова міліція

Customs Service – митна служба legal practitioner – юрист-практик

judiciary – судова система, суддівський корпус, судова влада, судоустрій the Bar – адвокатура

bodies of the Ministry of Justice – органи Міністерства юстиції to charge with smth – доручати, покладати відповідальність


According to the Constitution, the country’s Basic Law, Ukraine is a sovereign, independent, democratic, and law-governed state.

The form of government in Ukraine is a republic, governed by sovereignty of the people. General foundations of the political system of Ukraine are defined by its Constitution. State power of Ukraine is divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches, acting within their competence.

The President. The Constitution of Ukraine designates the President as the Head of State, acting on its behalf. The President is a guarantor of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, adherence to the Constitution, human and civil rights and freedoms. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Ukraine.

The Legislative Power (the Legislature). The legislative body of the country is the Parliament the Verkhovna Rada (the Supreme Council) of Ukraine. The major function of the Verkhovna Rada is to enact legislation. Four hundred and fifty people’s deputies comprise the

Verkhovna Rada, which is elected by secret ballot through the general, equal and direct election. The Executive Power (the Executive). The Cabinet of Ministers (the Government) of Ukraine is the supreme executive authority. The Cabinet is responsible for carrying out domestic and foreign policies of the country. The Government is accountable to the President and controlled by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The appointment of the Prime Minister is made by the President with the parliamentary consent. The other ministers are appointed by the

President on the advice of the Prime Minister who is the head of the Government.

The Judicial Power (the Judiciary). In accordance with the Constitution, justice in the state is administered by the Constitutional Court and courts of general jurisdiction.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is the sole body of constitutional jurisdiction. It interprets the Constitution of Ukraine and decides whether laws and other legal acts are constitutional.

The courts of general jurisdiction administer justice in the form of civil, commercial, administrative and criminal legislation. The supreme authority of the system of courts of general jurisdiction is the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

According to the Constitution, the main task of the state is to establish and promote human rights and freedoms.


according to, in accordance with – відповідно до law-governed state – правова держава

form of government – форма правління to govern – управляти, регулювати general foundations – загальні засади legislative – законодавчий

legislature – законодавчий орган, законодавець; законодавча влада legislation – законодавство

executive – виконавчий judicial – судовий

to act (within) – діяти (у межах) to designate – проголошувати adherence to – дотримання

rights and freedoms – права та свободи Commander-in-Chief – Головнокомандувач

by secret ballot – шляхом таємного голосування authority – орган влади

to carry out – проводити, здiйснювати

domestic and foreign policies – внутрішня та зовнішня політика to appoint – призначати

with the parliamentary consent – за згодою парламенту

to administer justice – здійснювати правосуддя judiciary – судова влада, судоустрій

court of general jurisdiction – суд загальної юрисдикції to interpret – тлумачити


Justice in Ukraine is administered only by courts. The jurisdiction of the courts extends to all legal relations that arise in the state. Courts ensure the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms, rights and interests of legal entities, public and state interests. The courts act under the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws, on the basis of the rule of law.

Ukraine’s judicial system consists of courts of general jurisdiction and the Constitutional

Court of Ukraine.

Courts of general jurisdiction form the unified system of courts. Under the Constitution of Ukraine, the system of courts of general jurisdiction is formed according to the territorial principle and the principle of specialisation. The Supreme Court of Ukraine is the highest judicial body in the system of courts of general jurisdiction.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is a single body of constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine.

The judicial system ensures access to justice for every person in compliance with the procedure established by the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws.

People can participate in the administration of justice as people's assessors and jurors.

Court decisions are taken by the courts in the name of Ukraine and are obligatory for execution on all the territory of Ukraine.

In their work judges must be independent and obey only the law. The independence and immunity of judges are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

Professional judges must not belong to political parties or trade unions, take part in any political or business activity, hold any other offices, perform other paid work except for research, teaching, or creative activities.


judiciary – судоустрій, судова влада, судова система justice – правосуддя, юстиція, справедливість

to administer justice – відправляти, здійснювати правосуддя to ensure – забезпечувати

legal entity – юридична особа

the rule of law – верховенство права

court of general jurisdiction – суд загальної юрисдикції unified system – єдина система

according to smth – згідно з, відповідно до

the highest judicial body – найвищий судовий орган single body – єдиний орган

access to justice – доступ до правосуддя

administration of justice – відправлення, здійснення правосуддя people’s assessor – народний засідатель

juror – присяжний засідатель

to be obligatory for execution – бути обов’язковим для виконання to obey the law дотримуватись, слідувати

immunity – недоторканність to belong to – належати trade union – профспілка

business activity – підприємницька діяльність to hold an office – займати посаду

to perform paid work – виконувати оплачувану роботу


Under the Constitution of Ukraine the Bar is a voluntary professional public association of lawyers. Its task is to protect rights and freedoms, to represent lawful interests of citizens of Ukraine, foreign citizens, stateless persons, legal entities and to render them other forms of legal assistance. Lawyers’ activity is regulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, the Law ―On the Bar‖ and by other legislative acts of Ukraine, statutes of lawyers’ associations.

Any person, who has higher legal education, at least two years of work experience in the legal sphere, who knows the state language and has passed the qualification examination, has received the certificate of a lawyer and taken the Oath of Advocate of Ukraine, can be a lawyer (a defence lawyer).

A defence lawyer has no right to work in court, in state administration, in the Security Service of Ukraine, at the Prosecutor’s Office, in law-enforcement bodies or as a notary. A person who has a criminal record cannot become a defence lawyer.

Defence lawyers give advice on legal issues. They draw up various applications, complaints and other documents; make representation in courts and other state bodies; give legal help to enterprises, institutions and organizations and another legal assistance, provided for by the legislation.

Defence lawyers support their clients representing one of the parties in criminal and civil, economic and administrative trials, submitting evidence and their opinion on the questions of law in court. If their clients do not agree with the court decision, lawyers lodge appeals to higher courts.

The advocates take an active part in legal proceedings on housing, labour, property and other disputes, representing the interests of their clients.

Defence lawyers as it is provided for by the legislation of Ukraine may establish regional, national and international unions and associations to protect their social and professional rights and interests.


the Bar – адвокатура

public association – громадське об'єднання stateless person – особа без громадянства legal entity – юридична особа

oath – присяга

criminal record – судимість complaint – скаргa

housing dispute – житловий спір


The principles of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine are set forth in the Constitution of Ukraine and the Law of Ukraine on the Prosecutor’s Office. These are the principles of independence, openness, legality and centralization of the prosecution system. The Prosecutor’s Office is a unified system of bodies having common tasks and functions, subordinate to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine is entrusted with:

1)prosecution in court on behalf of the State;

2)representation of the interests of a citizen or the State in court in cases determined by law;

3)supervision over the observance of legality by bodies that conduct operative-investigative activities, inquiry, and pre-trial investigation;

4)supervision over the observance of legality in the course of execution of court decisions in criminal cases and application of other measures of coercion in relation to the restraint of personal freedom of citizens.

One of the major functions of the Prosecutor’s Office is to uphold public prosecution in court to prove the person’s guilt before judicial bodies. The law states that nobody is guilty if his/her guilt is not proved in court.

The basis of the prosecution is the preliminary investigation. After the pre-trial investigation of the case the prosecutor approves the indictment and transfers it to court.

At the beginning of the court hearing the prosecutor makes the opening statement which contains the charges brought against the defendant.

During the trial the public prosecutor takes part in the interrogation of the accused, victim and witnesses; presents and examines experts’ reports and legally obtained evidence with the purpose of proving the accused person’s guilt.

At the time of the pleadings the prosecutor pronounces his/her speech for the prosecution. In this speech he/she upholds state prosecution, analyzes the evidence, and expresses his/her opinion as for the qualification of the crime, sentence and other matters important for imposing a fair and reasonable punishment. The prosecutor him/herself doesn’t give any judgment; the judicial decision is the task of a judge.

In some cases the withdrawal of the accusation (or part of it) is not only the right but also the duty of the prosecutor. It happens if at the end of the judicial sitting the prosecutor comes to the conclusion that the results of the trial don’t prove the guilt of the accused person.

The prosecutor’s activity must guarantee that legal interests of the state, rights and freedoms of its citizens are ensured.


to set forth – зазначати, встановлювати subordinate – підпорядкований

to entrust with – доручати

supervision over the observance of legality – нагляд за дотриманням законності pre-trial ( or preliminary) investigation – попереднє слідство

measures of coercion – примусові заходи

restraint of personal freedom – обмеження особистої свободи

to uphold public prosecution – підтримувати державне обвинувачення to prove smb’s guilt – довести чиюсь провину

guilty – винний

indictment– обвинувальний висновок opening statement – вступна промова

charges brought against smb – висунуті проти когось обвинувачення defendant – підзахисний, підсудний, відповідач

accused обвинувачений interrogation – допит

victim – постраждала особа, потерпілий witness – свідок

examination – розгляд, вивчення expert’s report – висновок експерта

legally obtained evidence – законно отримані докази pleadings – судові дебати

speech for the prosecution – промова з боку обвинувачення sentence – вирок

to impose punishment – призначати покарання judicial decision, judgment – судове рішення withdrawal of accusation – відмова від обвинувачення to ensure – захищати


In accordance with the Ukrainian legislation, the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, the

Ministry of the Interior, Tax Police and the Security Service of Ukraine have their own investigation departments, which perform a pretrial investigation. A pretrial investigation is carried out in accordance with the Criminal Code of Ukraine. It is conducted after certain criminal proceedings have been instituted and should be closed within 2 months.

An official who is responsible for a crime investigation is called an investigator. A citizen of Ukraine who has higher legal education and has corresponding qualification to carry out pretrial investigation may become an investigator. Besides this person should possess certain analytical mentality enabling him/her to foresee plans and actions of criminals. The main task of an investigator is to prepare the materials of cases for court hearing.

Investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office deal with the crimes against electoral, labour and other individual rights and freedoms of individuals, crimes against the environment, such crime as malfeasance and crimes, committed by officers of law-enforcement bodies.

Investigators from the Ministry of Interior have the right to investigate more serious crimes such as murder, embezzlement on a large scale, rape, banditry, drug and people trafficking, burglary and less serious crimes such as theft, swindling, disorderly conduct, economic crimes, juvenile delinquency and others.

Investigators from the Security Service of Ukraine investigate cases of treason, espionage, smuggling, organized crime, acts of terrorism and crimes against peace, security of mankind and international law and order.

Investigators from the Tax Police investigate cases of evasion of taxes, illegal use of foreign currency accounts abroad, money laundering, etc.

Before a case is submitted to court a pretrial investigation has to:

1) establish whether or not an offence has actually been committed, under what circumstances it occurred and the identity of the parties concerned; 2) provide a comprehensive research of all circumstances of a criminal case; 3) discover proofs for the judicial proceedings; 4) establish the extent of the injury or damage caused by the offence, the gain effected by the offender and the demands of the injured party 5) prevent new offences.

In fact investigators are entrusted to disclose crimes and expose people who are guilty of them. In the course of investigation they study the materials of cases, look for suspects, question witnesses, carry out inspection of the scene of a crime etc.


pretrial investigation досудове розслідування

the Ministry of the Interior – міністерство внутрішніх справ malfeasance – посадовий злочин

law-enforcement bodies – правоохоронні органи murder – вбивство

embezzlement on a large scale –розкрадання в особливо великому розмірі rape – зґвалтування

banditry – бандитизм

drug and people trafficking – торгівля наркотиками і людьми smuggling – контрабанда

burglary – крадіжка зі взломом theft – крадіжка

swindling – шахрайство disorderly conduct – хуліганство

juvenile delinquency злочинність неповнолітніх treason – зрада

espionage – шпигунство

organized crime – організована злочинність acts of terrorism терористичні акти

international law and order – міжнародний правопорядок

evasion of taxes ухилення від сплати податків

illegal use of foreign currency accounts abroad незаконне використання валютних рахунків за кордоном money laundering - відмивання грошей

analytical mentality – аналітичний склад розуму to disclose crimes – розкривати злочини

research of all circumstances дослідження всіх обставин to discover proofs виявляти докази

to prevent – запобігати


A notary in Ukraine is usually a lawyer who has the legal power to make documents official. The Law ―On Notariate‖ regulates notary activity in Ukraine. Notary bodies are the system of bodies and officials obliged to:

-certify indisputable rights and facts;

-certify facts having legal force;

-perform other notary actions provided for by the law with the aim of giving them legal


The documents, certified by a notary are admissible without any other proof of their authenticity.

In Ukraine notary operations are provided by public notaries, private notaries or officials of executive bodies of local councils, etc. All notary actions and even the fact of application to the notary office are strictly confidential.

The task of the notary bodies is to prevent various civil offences, protect property rights and lawful interests of citizens, enterprises and organizations. Notaries attest contracts, transactions and copies of documents, register hereditary rights and perform other notary actions provided for by the legislation. Notary bodies are entrusted to certify such acts as conveyance of property, wills of homes, cars, jewelry, antiques, yachts, works of art and others. Any notarized document (agreement, copy, translation, etc.) is registered in the notary book which is kept in the regional archive for good.

A citizen of Ukraine, who has higher legal education, works as a notary assistant about 1 year, has passed qualification examination and received the Notary’s Certificate, has a permit for notary activity performance.

In accordance with the legislation of Ukraine notaries have no right to work in police, at the Prosecutor’s Office and represent people in courts or any other governmental office. A notary can deal with teaching and scientific activity.


to certify rights засвідчувати права

to have legal force мати юридичну силу authenticity – автентичність, достовірність

to perform other notary actions виконувати інші нотаріальні дії executive bodies of local councils виконавчі органи місцевих рад to attest contracts, transactions завіряти договори, угоди

to register hereditary rights реєструвати право на спадок to possess property володіти власністю

conveyance of property передача власності will – заповіт

notary seal нотаріальна печатка

to be kept in regional archive for good зберігатися в регіональному архіві назавжди.


The European Union is an intergovernmental and supranational union of 27 European countries. The EU was created by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. The treaty was designed to enhance European political and economic integration by members of the European Community (EC), which later developed into the EU.

The European Union is a family of democratic European countries committed to working together for peace and prosperity. The European Union's activities cover all areas of the economy, industry, politics, citizen’s rights and foreign policy.

The Member States have set up common institutions to run the EU and adopt its legislation: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, Court of Justice and Court of Auditors.

Law-making in the EU involves various European institutions, in particular

the European Commission, the European Parliament (EP), the Council of the European Union. In general, the European Commission proposes new legislation, the Council and Parliament pass the laws.

The European Union is based on the rule of law. This means that all legal acts are derived from treaties, which are agreed on voluntarily and democratically by all the Member States. Based on the Treaties, EU institutions can adopt legislation, which is then implemented by the Member States. The main forms of EU law are directives and regulations.

The Court of Justice makes sure that EU legislation is interpreted and applied in the same way in all EU countries. It ensures that national courts do not give different rulings on the same issue. The Court has the power to settle legal disputes between EU member states, EU institutions, businesses and individuals. The Court of Justice sits in Luxemburg and comprises 27 judges and 8 Advocates-General.


intergovernmental міжурядовий, міждержавний supranational наднаціональний, наддержавний to enhance підвищувати

integration інтеграція prosperity процвітання to set up створити

to run (an organisation) керувати, управляти treaty договір

directive директива regulation – постанова

ruling рішення суду, судова постанова

to implement виконувати, здійснювати, забезпечувати виконання to propose пропонувати

to pass приймати

to interprete тлумачити to apply застосовувати

Member State держава-член, держава-учасниця to ensure забезпечувати. гарантувати

to settle legal disputes вирішувати (врегулювати) правові спори

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