Who is who in the law?

If you are prosecuted for a crime in Britain, you may meet the following people during your process through the courts:

MAGISTRATES. Magistrates are unpaid judges, usually chosen from well-respected people in the local community. They are not legally qualified. They are guided on points of law by an official, the clerk. There are magistrates courts in most towns.

SOLICITORS. After the accused person has been arrested, the first person he/she needs to see is a solicitor. Solicitors are qualified lawyers who advise the accused and help prepare the defense case. The solicitor may represent the accused in court. A person who is too poor to afford a solicitor will usually get the legal aid financial help from the state.

BARRISTERS. In more serious cases, or where there are special legal difficulties, it is usual for the solicitor to hire a barrister to defend the accused. The barrister is trained in the law and in the skills required to argue a case in court. The barrister for the defense will be confronted by his/her opposite number, the prosecuting barrister, who represents the state. Legal aid is available to pay for defense barristers.

JURORS. A jury consists of twelve men and women from the local community. They sit in the Crown Court, with a judge, and listen to witnesses for the defense and prosecution before deciding whether the accused is guilty or innocent. In Britain a person is innocent unless found guilty; the prosecution has the burden of establishing guilt.

JUDGES. Judges are trained lawyers, nearly always ex-barristers, who sit in the Crown Court and Appeal Court. The judge rules on points of law, and makes sure that the trial is conducted properly. He/she does not decide on the guilt or innocence of the accused that is the jurys job. However, if the jury find the accused guilty, then the judge will pass sentence.



Grammar Exercises


Passive Voice

Present I he, she, it we, you, they am is are helped
Past I, he, she, it we, you, they was were helped
Future I, we he, she, it, you, they shall be will be helped


II. Write sentences from the words in brackets ( ). All the sentences are present.

1. (this room / clean / every day) This room is cleaned every day.

2. (how often / the room / clean?) How often is the room cleaned?

3. (glass / make / from sand) Glass ..

4. (stamps / sell / in a post office) .

5. (football / play / in most countries) ..

6. (this machine / not / use / very often) ...

7. (what language / speak / in Ethiopia?) What .?

8. (what / this machine / use / for?) ?


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