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Reading comprehension
Read the text below and complete answers to the questions which follow.

This texts explains the difference between the two most predominant legal systems of the world: civil law and common law.

From the map above you will see that the most widespread legal system in the world is civil law also known as European Continental Law. It originated from Roman Law and more specifically from the Corpus Juris Civilis issued by the Emperor Justinian ca. 529AD. Civil law is codified. The most influential codes in history were the Napoleonic Code of 1804, the German civil code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) of 1900 and the Swiss codes.

Civil law is most often contrasted with common law which dominates mostly in Anglophone countries. Common law originated before there were any written laws and was developed by custom. In the common law tradition, case law interprets laws, via precedents, based on how prior cases have been decided. Precedents create a rule which courts and judges later follow when making decisions. Common law systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis, i.e. "to stand by things decided"— according to which lower courts usually make decisions consistent with previous decisions of higher courts. If a lower court judge acts against precedent and the case is not appealed, the lower court decision will stand.

In civil law countries legislation is seen as the primary source of law. Judges in courts give their judgments on the basis of codes and statutes. By contrast in common law system cases are the primary source of law.

The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 is claimed to be Europe's first modern codified national constitution ratified less than four years after the United States Constitution was adopted on September 17 1787.

Article 87 of the Polish Constitution of 1997 sets forth that “the sources of universally binding law of the Republic of Poland shall be: the Constitution, statutes, ratified international agreements, and regulations”.

1.  What are the two predominant legal systems in the world?
(1 p.) law and (1 p.) law are two predominant legal systems in the world.

2.  What countries does common law legal system dominates in?
Common law system dominates in (1 p.) countries.

3.  What did civil law system originate from?
Civil law originated from (1 p.) law.

4.  How is law interpreted in common law system?
In common law system law is interpreted via (1 p.) .

5.  What do the judges base their decisions on in civil law system?
In civil law system judges base their decisions on (1 p.) and (1 p.) .

6.  What are the primary sources of law?
In common law (1 p.) are the primary source of law; in civil law the (1 p.) , statutes and (1 p.) are the primary sources of law.

7.  Where and when was the first constitution ratified in the world / in Europe?
The first constitution in the world was ratified in the (1 p.) in 1787. The first constitution in Europe was ratified in (1 p.) on 3 May 1791.

Glossary (English - Polish)

civil law – prawo cywilne
common law – prawo zwyczajowe
legal system – system prawny
to codify – kodyfikować
Anglophone country – kraj anglojęzyczny
precedens – precedens
lower court – sąd niższej instancji
higher court – sąd wyższej instancji
to appeal – złożyć apelację
a decision stands – wyrok obowiązuje
a code – kodeks
a statute – ustawa
primary source of law – podstawowe źródło prawa
to ratify – ratyfikować
to adopt – przyjąć
ratified international agreement – ratyfikowana umowa międzynarodowa
regulation - rozporządzenie