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Start-up. Discuss the following questions:

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  1. Start-up


Discuss the following questions:

1. What disputes does civil law concern?

2. Could you give any example of a civil wrong?

3. What is the main difference between civil wrong and criminal offence?

4. What is tort?

5. Does the concept of tort exist in the Russian law system?



EXERCISE 1. Fill in the table according to the given example. Not all the forms will be used for each word. Use dictionary if necessary. Translate the words into Russian.


Verb   Noun (thing or concept) Noun (person) Adjective
litigate       litigious
defame defamation     defamatory
remedy remedy     remedial, remediable

EXERCISE 2. Choose the correct word from the list to complete each sentence. Translate the sentences into Russian.


injure remedied defamation litigation deter   suit dignity impose provides incurred negligence awarded damages

Defective design of a product can __________ a consumer.

Tort law __________ compensation for victims of a tort case.

Occasionally, a criminal action may be followed by a civil __________.

Defamation is a false written or oral statement that _________ another’s reputation.

The purpose of punishment is to _________ other offenders.

6. The victim was _________ a large sum of money.

7. In a case of burglary the judge can __________ a jail sentence.

8. The act of harming the reputation of another by making a false statement is _________.

9. He always acts with great __________.

10. The client was paid monetary compensation for the injuries _______ during a harmful act.

11. These design defects must be __________.

12. The driver’s __________ was the cause of the accident.

13. To avoid __________ the attorney advised his client to reach agreement.


Reading and language study




(I) The concept of tort exists in most modern systems of law. “Tort” comes from a Latin word tortum that means “wrong”. In French this word means “wrongful”. So, a tort is a wrongful act.

(II) Tort law is the body of law that deals with civil wrongs except those that arise from contract problems. Tort is a wrongful act among private individuals. A punch in the nose, careless driving that causes an accident, defective design of a product that injures a consumer, publication of a false statement that tends to harm person’s reputation are all wrongful acts for which the victim can file a suit for an award of money damages.

(III) Tort law has three essential purposes. First, it provides motivation for good conduct, deterring wrongful conduct and reducing the incidence of injuries. Second, it provides compensation for victim of a tort case through the award of damages for the injuries incurred during a tortious act. Third, by requiring that wrongdoers compensate the victims, it serves the sense of fairness.

(IV) The definitions of many torts closely resemble definitions of crimes. The difference between a tort and a crime is that a tort is a wrong against an individual, whereas a crime is a wrong against society as a whole. Torts are different from criminal laws. In tort law, the victim files suit against the perpetrator, and the case is tried in civil court. Torts are the subject of civil law disputes between private individuals, and crimes are prosecuted by the state. The intent of the criminal action is to punish the wrongdoer while the intent of the civil action is to compensate the injured person. Sometimes an individual takes an action in the law of tort because he has been the victim of the crime but has gained no benefit from the criminal prosecution. Occasionally, a criminal action may be followed up by a civil suit such as in a rape case where the victim may seek financial compensation in addition to criminal sanctions.

(V) *The most commonly-litigated torts concern physical injuries to a person. These torts are subdivided into three categories: intentional torts, negligence and strict liability. In intentional torts, the person causing the harm meant to do so (intentionally hitting someone). Negligence involves carelessness (causing an accident because you did not follow traffic rules). Strict liability holds the actor responsible even though he did not mean to harm the victim. Strict liability for defective products (product liability) was one of the major developments in tort law in the USA in 20-th century. Strict products liability is imposed for manufacturing defects, when a product is improperly made. More important are two other situations: When the product has a design defect and when the manufacturer fails to warn about risk created by the product.

(VI) Although the core of tort law is physical injury, harm to economic and dignitary interests without physical injury also is important, particularly in business litigation. Defamation is a false written or oral statement that damages another’s reputation. There are two types of defamation: libel (written) and slander (oral). Defamation is a tort because someone's good name and status in the community are injured. For example, if someone calls you a liar in public or accuses you of committing a crime, then you may be able to sue that person for defamation. The statement, however, must be false. If the court finds that someone has made a defamatory statement about you, then that person may have to pay monetary compensation to you.*

(VII) In our day-to-day relations we must be careful that our behavior does not cause injury to other people or their property. Tort law sets standards for our behavior and provides remedies if we do not meet those standards. It imposes on each member of society the duty to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. It provides legal recourse to those who suffer harm as a result of the breach of this duty. Tort law attempts to find a balance between the harm caused to individuals and the benefit to society.


EXERCISE 3. Scan the text and find definitions to these legal terms:


- Tort

- Tort law

- Defamation

EXERCISE 4. Skim the text and make-up a list of the categories of torts as you understand from the text.

EXERCISE 5. Read the text and answer the following questions:

1. What functions does tort law perform?

2. What are the differences between a tort and a crime?

3. What are the categories of torts?

4. What is defamation?

5. Why is defamation a tort?

6. What does tort law provide?

EXERCISE 6. Read the text carefully and complete the sentences given below.

1. Tort law provides compensation for __________ of a tort case.

2. Tort is a __________ against individual.

3. Crime is a wrong against _________ as a whole.

4. The intent of the criminal action is to __________ the wrongdoer.

5. The intent of the civil action is to __________ the injured person.

6. The most commonly-litigated torts concern ________ _________ to a person.

7. Defamation is a false statement that _________ another’s reputation.

8. Defamation is a tort because someone’s good name and status in the community are _________.

9. Tort law provides __________ if we don’t meet the standards of behavior.

10. Tort law provides legal _________ to those who suffer harm.


EXERCISE 7. Using the paragraph reference given in brackets, find words in the text which have similar meaning to:

- civil wrong (I,II)

- offence, crime, misdeed (II)

- unlawful, illegal, criminal, unjust (I, II)

- loss, damage, injury (II, VI, VII)

- compensation, restitution (II,III)

- harm, damage (III)

- offender, wrongdoer (IV)

- law-breaker, offender, criminal (IV)

- litigation, lawsuit, case (IV)

- purpose, aim (IV)

- responsibility, obligation (V)

- enforce, put, place (VII)

- violation (VII)


EXERCISE 8. Put the words into the right order (subject-verb-object) to make up sentences.

1. a wrongful act, tort law, the wrongdoer, the victim, for, the injuries, to compensate, incurred, during, requires.

2. an award, can, file, of, money, damages, a suit, for, the victim.

3. reputation, is, that, damages, defamation, another’s, a false statement.

4. the subjects, are, civil, disputes, between, private, torts, law, of, individuals.


EXERCISE 9. Make up sentences using the following words and word combinations:

tort, to harm person’s reputation, civil suit, the injuries, damage, civil action, to sue, intent, impose, victim, defamation, physical injury, to compensate, business litigation, liability, file a suit.



EXERCISE 10. Using the paragraph reference given in brackets, find in the text the English equivalents for these Russian legal terms and expressions.

- совокупность норм права (II)

- некачественная, дефектная конструкция (II)

- подать иск (II)

- присуждение возмещения понесенных убытков (III)

- уголовный процесс, уголовное преследование (IV)

- гражданский процесс, гражданский иск (IV)

- добиваться, требовать финансовой компенсации (IV)

- наиболее часто разрешаемые в судебном порядке деликты (V)

- телесные повреждения, материальный ущерб (V)

- ответственность, которая не зависит от умысла или небрежности; ответственность, не предполагающая виновное причинение вреда (V)

- считать субъект деяния ответственным (V)

- ответственность в области производства товаров; ответственность производителя за качество товара (V)

- вред, причиненный экономическим интересам, а также достоинству и чести должностных лиц (VI)

- судебный процесс, связанный с ведением бизнеса (VI)

- дискредитирующее, бесчестящее утверждение (заявление) (VI)

- предоставлять средства юридической защиты (VII)

- проявлять разумную осторожность (VII)

- обращение за помощью к суду; право регресса (VII)

- нарушение, неисполнение обязательства (VII)


EXERCISE 11. Translate the marked* passages of the text TORTS into Russian.

EXERCISE 12. Read the text given below. Make up questions that may lead to further classroom discussion. Ask your questions to your classmates.



Copyright law provides for the protection of original worкs in multiple fields, including art, literature, music, and drama. Ideas or process from these works of art, however, are not copyrightable. It is the particular expression that is copyrightable, not a particular idea.

The author of a work owns the copyright in the work and has access to the court system to protect his or her rights, which include reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance, and display. Sometimes, however, all of these rights are not retained by the owner of a work. Consider the case of an artist who creates a one of a kind painting, which he or she sells. The owner (purchaser) of the work does not own the copyright. The artist retains the right to make prints or posters even though he or she sold the original; the individual who bought the painting is barred from doing so. When a person other than the owner of the copyright uses the material without prior permission of the author, that person has committed a copyright infringement.

EXERCISE 13. Translate the given passage into English.

Термин правонарушение означает любое деяние, которое нарушает какие-либо нормы права. Правонарушения подразделяются на уголовные, гражданские, административные и дисциплинарные проступки. Вред, возникающий в результате гражданского правонарушения, может быть причинен личности или имуществу. Имущественный вред нередко именуется ущербом. Самостоятельное значение имеет понятие моральный вред. Моральный вред – это физические или нравственные страдания, причиненные гражданину действиями, нарушающими его личные неимущественные права. Такой вред подлежит компенсации по решению суда независимо от того, был ли причинен имущественный вред. Иски о компенсации морального вреда стали в последние годы весьма частым явлением.


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