English for Law

Unit-1


 Qualities of a good book-

 

i)    Front page- Name, Author, Publisher

ii)   Back page-Idea about the book, comments about the book, other information

iii)  First pages-General information, Preface, Acknowledgement, Content, Table of cases/statute/instruments, Abbreviation

iv) The middle-Content of the book, Chapters (headings, paragraph).

v)   End pages-Index, Annexure.

 

Unit-2

 Some Latin words with meanings-

Actus Reus

Guilty Act

Ad Hoc

For this purpose

Ad Idem

Of same mind

Amicus Curiae

A friend of the court

Ante

Before

Bona Fide

In good faith

Bona Vacantia

Denotes the absence of any known person entitled to the estate of a deceased person

Compos Mentis

Of sound mind

De facto

In fact

Doli Incapax

Incapable of crime

Duces Tecum

Bring with you

Ex officio

By virtue of his office

Ex parte

By a party

Ex post facto

By a subsequent act

Forum conveniens

At a convenient place

Habeas Corpus

Produce the body

Ignorantia Juris non Excusat

Ignorance of the law is no excuse

In camera

In the chamber

In Curia

In open court

In personam

Against the person

In Re

In the matter of

In Rem

Against the matter

Inter Alia

Among other things

In Situ

In its original situation

Intra vires

within the power of

Locus in quo

The place in which

Mens Rea

Guilty mind

Non Compos Mentis

Not sound in mind

Nulla Bona

No effects

Obiter Dictum

A saying by the way

Per Se

By itself

Pro Forma

A matter of form

Pro Rata

In proportion

Pro Tempore

For the time being

Ratio Decidendi

The principles of law applied by a court upon which a judicial decision is based

Res judicata

A thing ajudged

Res Ipsa Loquitur

The thing speaks for itself

Semble Sine Die

It appears without a day

Sub Judice

In the course of trial

Subpoena ad Testificum

To produce evidence

Ultra Vires

Beyond the power

Videlicet

Namely

 


Law and Fact

 

In a case there are-

 

No.

Name

Fact/Law

1.

Parties

Fact

2.

Relevant sections

Law

3.

Name of Judges

Fact

4.

Facts

Fact

5.

Examples of other cases/reference

Law/Fact

6.

Judgment

Law

7.

Name of lawyers

Fact

8.

Name of the court

Fact

 

In a chapter of a book there are-

 

No.

Name

Fact/Law

1.

Name of the chapter

Fact

2.

Name of the topic

Fact

3.

Relevant Act of Parliament

Law

4.

Examples

Law/Fact

5.

Reference

Law/Fact

6.

Definition

Law/Fact

7.

Rules

Law

8.

Analysis

Fact

9.

Conclusion

Fact

                    

In a Statute there are-

 

No.

Name

Fact/Law

1.

Name & Year

Fact

2.

Introduction

Fact

3.

Section/Rules/Provisions

Law

4.

Definition

Law

5.

Examples

Law/Fact

                   

In an article of a magazine there are-

 

No.

Name

Fact/Law

1.

Introduction

Fact

2.

Particular Topic

Fact

3.

Rules

Law

4.

For/Against

Law/Fact

5.

Opinions of different people

Law/Fact

6.

Recommendation

Fact

7.

Conclusion

Fact

 

  

Writing Essays/Assignments

 

i)       Introduction

ii)      Middle

iii)     Conclusion

iv)     Before writing essay, prepare an outline plan of the content.

v)      Remember the restrictions. In coursework, there is word limit, in exam, there is time limit.

vi)     Maintain the relevancy.

vii)    An essential part of the answer must be the citation of evidence or authority for the statement I make.

viii)   In attempting to formulate arguments the following description of critical thinking may be of use:

§ Definition of the problem

§ Formulation of hypothesis and possible solutions

§ The search for relevant facts or evidence

§ Drawing interference from the facts

§ Drawing conclusion and verifying them.

ix)     Acknowledge (in footnotes) all sources that I have used. In footnotes the following terms may be of use-

§  Ibid (in the same place) used instead of a full reference when the same work is being referred to as that in the immediately preceding footnote.

§  Loc. cit. (in the place cited) used when the reference is exactly the same, even in respect of the page, as in the immediately preceding footnote.

x)      The purpose of the assignment is to assess my understanding of the area in question. To this end I must demonstrate not only that I can choose the material necessary to answer the question, but also that I can explain the importance of the material to the needs of the question.

xi)     Bibliography-in an Alphabetical order

xii)    I should be aware of current legal events. For this I have to search quality daily newspaper to see what may be of relevance.

xiii)   I have to make sure I answer the question I am asked, not the question I like to be asked.

 

How to find Act of Parliament-

BC=Bangladesh Code, 11 Volumes, contains all the Act of parliament from 1836 to 1938.

PC= Pakistan Code, 1939-1970

Gazette=Since 1971-

 

How to find judgments

DLR=It was first published at 1949 by Obaidul Haque Chowdhury. He died on 1986 and his sone, a marine engineer by profession, is now in charge of publication of DLR.

Bangladesh Law Chronicles=BLC started at 1996. Till today there are 11 volumes.

BLC and DLR are supposed to contain almost all the judgment of Bangladesh.

 

Legal Writing Skills-

Good preparation is a key to good writing - it will give the work a sound structure. The presentation will be logical and easy for the reader to follow.

It is necessary to find one's own style in which he will be able to express himself clearly and appropriately so that the reader is engaged in the material which he wishes to communicate.

Writing is at the heart of what lawyers do to scrutinise the written word, to analyse the written word, and above all to advise using the written word.

Writing is about communication. But communication can take different forms. There are various reasons for legal writing. Some of them are-

  • to advise
  • to record
  • to inform
  • to confront (challenge)
  • to reply
  • to confirm
  • to justify
  • to reassure

 

To make legal writing appropriate and effective, one has to follow some steps. They are-

i) Developing his own style­-the best way of developing one's own style is to be aware of styles adopted by others. One can adopt and adapt a style which pleases him and his writing. Before starting to write, one has to be clear in mind about what he wants to say.

ii) Gender-free language- Whenever possible, it is necessary to use gender-free language. For example, using 'he and she'. The reader might like to see this as 'she and he'. Also, using 'police officer', not 'policeman', 'they' not 'he and she' etc.

iii) Structure- The order in which ideas are presented is crucial to reader's understanding. So, it is necessary to start with a logical order of the ideas. It is often helpful to divide the writing in sub-headings and in paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain a sentence which states its theme or point.

iv) Presentation­- If work is presented with care, it is pleasing to the eye, easy to read, key points are apparent without close scrutiny and it shows that the write has taken some trouble. Anything one does to make the marker's life easier is likely to count in his favour. Moreover, standards of spelling and grammar are still perceived as an indication of educational ability.

v) Footnotes and bibliography- Each idea or quotation which comes from someone else's work must be attributable in the text itself.

vi) Citing academic sources- In footnote, surname of the author appears first, followed by initials or first name, then the title of the chapter or article, next the publication, the publisher and the year of publication. Also using some terms like ibid is useful.

vii) Editing- As each draft comes of the word processor, it should be read carefully to make sure that the question is answered and all points are relevant and makes sense.

 

Presentation skills-

i) Presentation skills generally-

  • Don't fear the criticism
  • Choose 3 to 5 most important issues of the topic
  • Start by writing the conclusion

ii) Choosing your language-

  • Language must be clear
  • Keep language as simple as possible

iii) Know your audience-

  • Think specifically who will be the audience
  • Use pauses so that they can absorb the new ideas
  • If appropriate, engage them in discussion
  • Simplify your style - do not let technical terms or jargon get in the way
  • Speak slowly
  • Have a strong introduction and conclusion
  • Treat the audience with respect

iv) Personal delivery skills-

  • Wanting them to understand what you say
  • Speaking clearly and slowly
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Controlling the body language
  • Controlling persoanl habits

v) Rehearse and refine-

Preparation of material and good delivery are important, but so, too, is preparation. The following pointers will be helpful-

  • if possible, familiarise with the room where the presentation is to be delivered
  • learning how to use the visual aids and equipment
  • make brief notes of key points on index card
  • rehearse out loud from the notes
  • using a full written script
  • have key objectives in mind
  • when rehearsing, making it simple and shorter

 

Reading cases

i) The name of the court

ii) Case no.

iii) Name of the judges

iv) Name of the parties

v) Headnote

vi) Statute

vii) Hearing date

viii) Name of the case

ix) List of cases referred to

x) Detail of appeal

xi) Name of the advocates

xii) Judgment

xiii) Letters in margin

 

Importance of articles-

Importances of article are-

  • In preparing assignments, materials are needed. It can be found in articles.
  • Articles contain valuable information about latest legal developments.
  • Articles contain the valuable opinions of legal professionals.
  • Articles contain speech of justices of higher courts
  • In articles, various points of a particular statute are discussed.

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