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我们来谈“法”

所属教程:新词热词

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2015年03月06日

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2014年,党的十八届四中全会以依法治国为主题。之后,设立巡回法庭、清理执法考核指标、推行司法公开等跟法治有关的新闻不断,而“法治”自然成为近两年的一个热词。2015年全国两会召开在即,在各路媒体预测的两会看点中,有关“法治”的议题也占了相当的比重。不如我们今天就来预热一下,先从学习的角度谈一谈这个“法”字。

 

我们来谈“法”

 

Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries. The Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community; a rule or mode of conduct or action that is prescribed or formally recognized as binding by a supreme controlling authority or is made obligatory by a sanction (as an edict, decree, prescript, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, rule, judicial decision, or usage) made, recognized, or enforced by the controlling authority."

几千年以来,关于“法律”(law)一词的定义,曾出现过很多版本。《韦氏第三版新国际字典》对其的定义是:“法律是一个社区内的约束性习俗或惯例;由最高权力机构规定或正式认可为有约束力的法则或行为准则,或是由该权力机构作出的、认可的或者执行的带有强制性的裁决(包括法令、政令、规定、命令、条例、法规、决议、规则、司法决定或者司法践行)。”

The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, and complex mode of regulating human conduct. At the same time it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are also of great importance."

斯克里布纳尔出版社在1973年出版的《思想史字典》由此将法律这一概念定义为:“法律体系是用于约束人类行为的最明晰、最成体系又最复杂的规则。同时,它又仅仅是影响人类行为的众多规则集合中的一个部分,因为,较为缺乏体系的社会和道德守则也是很重要的。”

The earliest lawbook was written about 2100 B.C. for Ur-Nammu, king of Ur, a Middle Eastern city-state. Within three centuries Hammurabi, king of Babylonia, had enumerated laws of private conduct, business and legal precedents, of which 282 articles have survived. The term "eye for an eye" (or the equivalent value) is found there, as is drowning as punishment for adultery by a wife (while a husband could have slave concubines), and unequal treatment of the rich and the poor was codified here first. It took another thousand years before written law codes developed among the Greek city-states (particularly Athens) and Israel. China developed similar rules of conduct, as did Egypt.

最早的法典约在公元前2100年写成,是为中东一个名为乌尔的城邦国王所写。在之后的300年间,古巴比伦国的国王列出了包括个人行为、商业行为以及法律先例等在内的各类法条,其中有282项条款得以保留。“以眼还眼”(或者同样对待)就出现在这个时期的法律中;同时还有,妻子通奸被处以溺刑(丈夫可以有妻奴),另外还首次出现贫富区别对待的条款。之后又经历了数千年,希腊各城邦(尤其是雅典)和以色列才出现了书面法典。中国和埃及也制定了类似的法典。

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法律的历史悠久,但是想要给“法律”下一个明确的定义似乎也不太可能,那我们就来说一说英文中由这个词衍生出来的一些词汇和表达吧。

1. Legal

According to law, not in violation of law or anything related to the law.

Legal一词指“法定的”、“合法的”或“与法律相关的”。

比如:legal system 法律体系,legal action 法律行动, legal loophole 法律漏洞, legal identity 合法身份。

2. Legitimate

Legal, proper, real; (a child) born to parents who are married; to make proper and/or legal.

Legitimate做形容词时指“合法的、正当的”或“合法婚姻所生的”,做动词时则指“使…合法”。

如:legitimate business activities 合法经营活动,legitimate reason 正当理由,legitimate the process 使程序合法化等。

3. Legislature

The group of people who have the power to make and pass laws.

Legislature指有权力制定并颁布法律的组织,即“立法机构”。

我国的最高立法机构(top legislature)就是全国人民代表大会(National People’s Congress, NPC)。

4. Legislation

Law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a legislature or the process of making it.

Legislation指已经由立法机构通过程序颁布的法律,我们多译为“立法”,因为该词更强调立法机构立法的过程。

大家有没有发现上面讲到的四个词都是以leg开头的?这个leg是英文里的一个词根,来源于拉丁语 legalis(法律)。其他类似的词还有:legislate(v. 立法),legislator (n. 立法者),legist(n. 法律学者)等。

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说完英文中的law,咱们来说一说中文里的“法”。

 

我们来谈“法”

 

法,古写作“灋”(会意。从“水”,表示法律、法度公平如水的表面;从“廌”(zhì),即解廌),这是神话传说中的一种神兽。据说,它能辨别曲直,在审理案件时,它能用角去触碰理屈的人。在古代,人们将它作为断案的工具,每当办案时出现多个嫌疑人的时候,人们通常把它放出来,它如果用犄角顶谁,谁就是罪犯。

2014年,党的十八届四中全会以依法治国为主题,反映出中国改革已进入攻坚期,将通过完善法治实现改革目标。

在英文报道中,“依法治国”多表示为rule of law,“社会主义法治”则是the socialist rule of law。坊间曾有rule of law和rule by law的争辩,大家可要记清楚了,rule of law,也写作nomocracy,指的是“国家应该由法律来统治,而不是由政府官员个人意志决定”这样的理念;而rule by law则表示用法律来施行专制统治的情形。所以呢,咱们国家现在提倡的“法治”自然就是rule of law了。

习近平主席和李克强总理也都曾经针对法治发表过不少言论,我们来看一看他们都是怎么说的。

习近平:

我们要全面推进依法治国,用法治保障人民权益、维护社会公平正义、促进国家发展。

We will push forward the rule of law in an all-round way, safeguard the rights of people in line with law, maintain social justice and promote national development.

要坚持党纪国法面前没有例外,不管涉及到谁,都要一查到底,决不姑息。

We should adhere that there are no exceptions in the face of party discipline and state law, with no leniency, no matter who is involved.

所有共产党员都不得谋求任何法外特权。

Party cadres at various levels should keep in mind that no one enjoys absolute power outside the law.

不论什么人,不论其职务多高,只要触犯了党纪国法,都要受到严肃追究和严厉惩处。

No exceptions will be made when it comes to Party discipline and law. Cases will be investigated completely, and no leniency will be granted to those found guilty, no matter who is involved.

李克强:

中国是法治国家,不论是谁,不论职位高低,法律面前人人平等,只要是触犯了党纪国法,就要依法依纪严肃查处、惩治。

China is a country under the rule of law. No matter who he is and how senior his position is, if he violates Party discipline and law of the country, he will be seriously dealt with and punished to the full extent of the law, because everybody is equal before the law.

我们要坚决打击一切渎亵国家法律尊严,挑战人类文明底线的暴恐犯罪,确保广大人民群众生命财产安全,共同建设平安中国。

We will strengthen comprehensive maintenance of public order, crack down hard on violent crimes of terrorism, safeguard China's national security, create good public order, and work together to ensure public security in China.

深入贯彻依法治国基本方略,把政府工作全面纳入法治轨道,用法治思维和法治方式履行职责。

We will fully implement the basic strategy of law-based governance, act in accordance with the law in all our government work, and be guided by law in both thinking and action in performing our duties.


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