Law Society president wants clarification
Ø 1) Make a supposition what the text can be about.
Ø 2) Read the text and translate paragraph ¹ 2 into Russian.
(1)The new President of the Law Society has called on the Government to clarify several “grey areas” in proposed constitutional changes on the bail laws.
(2)The society was concerned about the Government’s wide definition of what was a “serious offence,” on the basis of which people could be refused bail. The Government defines “serious offence” as any crime carrying a possible prison sentence of five years or more. But these days even the most minor offence carries a possible five-year sentence, so the Government’s definition may be much more wide-ranging than the public may have expected.
(3)The basis on which bail could be refused by the courts, and what evidence of reoffending would be admissible is also an issue for clarification. Where will the burden of proof lie? Will it be beyond reasonable doubt, as in criminal cases, on the balance of probabilities, as in civil cases, or will there be a presumption in favour of prosecution evidence?
(4)The Government also needed to indicate whether the opinion of a police would be admissible, “as is the case in the Special Criminal Court” and, if so, whether the police would be required to reveal the information on which the opinion is based.
(5) The Government should segregate remand prisoners and convicted prisoners in line with the obligations under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
(6)Because of chronic overcrowding in prisons we do not properly comply with the UN Covenant at the moment anyway. The Government must postpone implementing the constitutional amendment until it had built a new remand centre.
(7)The fact that of the 189 people on bail in the Circuit Court area who had not turned up for trial, just one had had bail forfeited can be described as “farcical.”
Ø 3) What institutions dealing with law enforcement are mentioned in the text?
Ø 4) Shorten the text. Omit unessential details.
Ø 5) Give the logical end to the text.
Gift versus Bribe
Ø 1) Is the topic of the title actual for your country?
Your company has sent you to an African country to conduct business. You think you’ve clinched the deal, but then your contact asks you for a “gift” of money to ensure that the deal goes through. Do you say “Sorry, I don’t give bribes” and stomp away in a huff? Or do you give him what he asks for but feel guilty that you are violating business ethics to do so?
Deciding how to handle such situations requires knowledge of the customs in the country in which you are doing business. Most non-Western countries, especially in Africa and Asia, have strong traditions built around exchanges of gifts. The savvy businessperson who can tap into these traditions will not only clinch today’s deal but establish long-term business relationships - without compromising integrity.
American businesses that operate in non-Western countries need to be aware of three traditions underlying modern business dealings in those countries: the inner circle, the future-favors system, and the gift exchange.
In developing nations, people tend to see themselves as belonging to an inner circle that consists of relatives, friends, and close colleagues. All those in the inner circle are devoted to mutual protection and prosperity. Everyone else is an “outsider,” a stranger whose motives are to be questioned. Obviously, people prefer to conduct business with “insiders” - with those they know and trust.
In a system of future favors, a gift or service obligates the recipient to return the favor at some future time - with interest. And once the favor is returned, the original giver becomes obligated to repay this greater favor. And so the system of obligations becomes a lifelong relationship, one that can provide access to the inner circle and that can serve as the basis of business dealings.
A third cultural tradition, intertwined with the future-favors system, is the practice of gift giving. Giving or receiving a gift can be much more than a gesture of friendship - it can be the first in a long-term sequence of gift exchanges. As expert Jeffrey A. Fadiman has noted, “The gifts are simply catalysts. Under ideal circumstances the process should be unending, with visits, gifts, gestures, and services flowing back and forth among participants throughout their lives.” By participating in the traditional exchange of gifts and favors and becoming part of an inner circle, American businesspeople can build trust, gain greater access to local markets and expertise, and minimize risk in a foreign environment.
The difficult part in getting into local gift-giving traditions is learning how to distinguish gifts from bribes. If your African contact asks you for money, is he engaging in extortion, or is he encouraging you to enter into the future-favors system? One way to tell is from the size of the request - the smaller the amount, the less likely it is to be a bribe. Another way to tell is by whom the money is to be paid to. If it is supposed to go to a third party - especially someone in power - it is more likely to be a bribe.
Many large American corporations have developed clever and useful strategies for handling requests for payoffs. Instead of making private payments to individuals, they offer donations to build hospitals and schools, they provide engineering or other expert services for public works, or they donate jobs, all with the goal of creating goodwill in the host nation. Furthermore, they gain a reputation for providing social services instead of paying bribes, and the foreign officials who arrange the donation gain in prestige.
With the appropriate knowledge and strategies, Western businesspeople can have successful dealings in non-Western countries without compromising their ethics. At the local level, gift giving serves an important traditional function and can be seen as a courtesy and not as a bribe. At wider levels, companies can circumvent questionable payoffs by providing important social services that benefit everyone and that establish long-term trusting relationships.
Ø 2) Outline the difference of giving or receiving a gift in different countries.
Ø 3) Make up an outline of the text in writing.
Ø 1) Say whether the problem of organized crime is discussed in this text.
Ø 2) Find the facts on attitude towards gambling in different countries.
Ø 3) What forms of gambling did you come across in the text?
Because of the generally negative religious view as well as various perceived social costs, gambling is subject to some form of censure on most legal jurisdictions. In particular, in many cases, wagers are not recognized in law as contracts and any consequent losses are debts of honor, unenforceable by legal process.
Thus the enforcement of large gambling debts is often taken over by organized crime, using violent methods. Because contracts of insurance have many features in common with wagers, legislation generally makes a distinction, typically that any agreement in which either one of the parties has an interest in the outcome bet upon, beyond the specific financial terms, is a contract of insurance. Thus a bet on whether one’s house will burn down is a contract of insurance as there is an independent interest in the security of one’s home.
Furthermore, gambling is either banned or heavily controlled (licensed) in many jurisdictions. Such regulation generally leads to gambling tourism and illegal gambling. The latter is often controlled through organized crime. Such involvement frequently brings the activity under even more severe moral censure and leads to calls for greater regulation. Conversely, the close involvement in governments (through regulation and gambling taxation) has led to a close connection between many governments and gambling organizations, where legal gambling provides much government revenue.
One of the most widespread forms of gambling is betting on horse races; and betting on team sports is an important service industry in many countries. In Canada and the United States sports betting is usually illegal (Nevada offers full sports betting and the Canadian provinces offer Sport Select, which is government-run sports parlay betting). However, millions engage in it despite its illegality.
Ø 4) Read out the facts from the text on the topic “Contracts against Gambling.”
Ø 5) Give a logical conclusion to the text.
A Taste of Democracy
Ø 1) Read the text and answer the questions:
a)When were the freest election held in Ethiopia?
b)What is the population of Ethiopia?
c) Who owns all the land in Ethiopia?
d)Why was the first opposition candidate in Lalibela always walking on foot during the election campaign?
e)Was the election campaign carried out without any incidents?
f)What does the economy of Ethiopia depend on?
At elections on May 15th, 2005 Ethiopians wereoffered a real choice. Opposition parties fielded more candidates than ever before. The state broadcaster aired proper political debates. Foreign observers were welcomed. A week before the vote, opposition supporters - maybe more than a million - were allowed to march in Addis Ababa, the capital.
It was the freest election ever held in Ethiopia, though that is not saying much. In the past 3,000 years, the country has spawned great civilizations, but nothing resembling a modern democracy. Only a few years ago, it was under the grip of a regime, whose leaders thought mass starvation a useful tool both for crushing rebellious tribes and for easing overpopulation.
Since 1991, Ethiopia has become a less harsh and more open society. With 71m people, Ethiopia is by far the most populous country in the bottom tenth of the un’s Human Development Index, a composite measure of poverty, ill health and basic education. In 2004, it was ranked 170th out of 177.
Now, Ethiopia is doing better. Donors believe that with more help (Ethiopia already gets $1 billion a year, excluding food aid), the country could take off.
With aid, however, comes scrutiny. Donors prefer their clients to be democratic, and Ethiopia is imperfectly so. The ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (eprdf), enjoys vast powers of patronage. The state owns all the land in Ethiopia. Peasants are therefore reluctant to upset anyone in a position of power for fear of being evicted, and some 85% of Ethiopians are peasants.
One of two newly formed opposition groups, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), offered a liberal alternative: campaigning, among other things, for land to be privatized. It did well in cities, winning all 23 seats in Addis Ababa, but has found it harder to sway rural voters.
Lalibela, a small town two days’ drive north of Addis, saw a typical campaign. The first opposition candidate in the area canvassed on foot because he had no car. With some polling stations as far as 95km away, however, he could not reach everyone. An old salt-seller in Lalibela’s market told The Economist that he did not know who the candidates were. He said he would ask for advice at the polling station.
The opposition complained of harassment and vote-buying, particularly in the countryside. Human Rights Watch (HRW), a pressure group, says that repression and intimidation in Oromia, the country’s largest region, rendered the vote there a “hollow exercise”. HRW claims that torture and arbitrary arrests, aimed at crushing a local revolt, have also silenced peaceful dissent. Teachers have been made to spy on students, local officials have been made to spy on peasants and suspected “troublemakers” have been prevented from receiving public services, such as medicine. The minister of information dismisses such allegations as smears.
Vote-counting continued until June 8th, but the ruling coalition was confident enough of having swept rural areas to declare victory on May 16th. Two days later, the CUD reported that on the contrary, it was on course for a famous victory. The Prime Minister has banned rallies in the capital for a month.
Which side is really more popular is hard to say. The EPRDF gets credit for having ousted the old regime, and for delivering schools, roads, water and electricity to many over the past decade. But the lack of secure property rights has hindered the development of larger, more productive farms. A year of poor rains still translates into millions of people needing food aid and a contraction of the whole economy. Irrigation is still rare, and the proportion of Ethiopians living in absolute poverty has fallen only slightly-from 45.5% in 1996 to 44.2% in 2000, according to the IMF. Over the past two years, however, the rains have been good and the economy has rebounded, growing by over 11% last year.
Ø 2) Give definitions to the terms: an opposition party; political debates; democracy; rebellious; coalition; liberal; a voter; a polling station; vote-buying; to hinder.
Ø 3) Express your opinion on the election campaigns in your country.