UNIT 5. LEGAL SUBJECTS
When there is no provision in an international treaty or statute no any recognized customary principle of international law available for application in an international dispute, the general principles of law can be used to «fill the gap».
A most common way of resolving disputes under the rule of law is by reference to, and application of, the language of applicable multilateral or bilateral treaties or statutes, or some other writing which provides evidence of the relationship and past positions of the parties to a dispute. Another method is by reference to custom, the practice of nations in a particular area (customary international law) and principles of law derived from such. But what happens when there is no such guiding authority for the benefit of those involved in resolving the dispute? Such gaps are inevitable in any legal system, including the international one, because treaties (contracts), statutes, and rules derived from custom cannot be designed to cover all situations which give rise to disputes. International law provides an answer to that question for the resolution of international disputes: general principles of law may used to fill the void or «gap». These may be referred to, as one authority did, as «nonconsensual» sources of international law.
In the municipal law systems of countries with a common law tradition, judges very often look to the decisions from outside sources to fill in the «gaps» of the law to be applied in the resolution of a particular case. As an example, state courts in the United States very often cite the decisions of other state courts in the course of an opinion in a case, where a needed legal rule of the deciding state is absent or unclear. As a corollary, some justices of the Supreme Court of the United States have recently adopted the practice of using the decisions of courts of other countries and international courts for their persuasive value in clarifying unclear rules to be applied in a case.
In civil law countries, as Professor Mark Janis of the University of Connecticut Law School notes in his An Introduction to International Law:
Lawyers and judges in the civil law tradition are familiar with the problem of lacunae, gaps in the law, a concept based on the premise that only formal legislative institutions are empowered to make legal rules.
Thus, judges in civil law countries need statutory authority to «fill in the gaps» of the legislatively created legal rules. Must the civil law judge merely look at the statutes or decisions of courts in foreign jurisdictions for a «fill in the gaps» principle, or must the judge find explicit statutory authority for such practice, i.e. to find «explicit authorization permitting courts to fill the legislative vacuum?»
Fortunately for the international judge or the domestic judge faced with applying international law in a particular cause, the answer can be found in Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. This provision specifically authorizes in listing the sources of law to be applied by the Court, treaties, customs and «the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations». Professor Janis comments on this provision:
The basic notion is that a general principle of international law is some proposition of law so fundamental that it will be found in virtually every legal system. When treaties and customary international law fail to offer a needed international rule, a search may be launched in comparative law to discover if national legal systems use a common legal principle. If such a common legal principle is found, then it is presumed that a comparable principle should be attributed to fill the gap in international law.
An example cited among others by Professor Janis is the International Court of Justice decision in 1949 in the Corfu Channel case, which addressed the question of Albanian civil liability for the mining of the Corfu Channel and subsequent damage to two British naval vessels that resulted from striking mines. In discussing whether the United Kingdom could establish the knowledge and responsibility of Albania for the laying of the mines, the Court’s opinion stated:
The fact of this exclusive territorial control exercised by a State within its frontiers has a bearing upon the methods of proof available to establish the knowledge of that State as to such events. By reason of this exclusive control, the other State, the victim of a breach of international law, is often unable to furnish direct proof of facts giving rise to responsibility. Such a State should be allowed a more liberal recourse to inferences of fact and circumstantial evidence. This indirect evidence is admitted in all systems of law, and its use is recognized by international decisions. It must be regarded as of special weight when it is based on a series of facts linked together and leading logically to a single conclusion. (Emphasis added)
The existence of a body of legal principles and rules that are common to all, or almost all legal systems, is supported by some observations made by a British barrister, C. Wilfred Jenks, in his book The Common Law of Mankind, published under the auspices of the London Institute of World Affairs in 1958. In a section of the book titled «Extent of the Influence of the Common and the Civil Law», Jenks observes that virtually all of the legal systems of the world, including those in Latin America, Islamic countries, African countries, countries within the former Soviet block, India, China, and Japan have been profoundly influenced in the course of their development by either the civil law or the common law. The result is that many principles of law are common to these legal systems. One only has to examine, for example, the law of contracts or torts or the criminal law relating to murder in these legal systems to understand the truth of this assertion. Thus the common law and the civil law, which by themselves share common principles of law, provide the basic framework that many general principles of law can be derived and used to «fill the gap» when there is no general principle of international law available for application in the resolution of a particular case.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
International Law, 1)_________ most other areas of law, has no defined area or governing body, but instead refers to the many and 2)_________ laws, rules and customs which govern, impact and deal with the legal interactions between different 3)_________, their governments, businesses and 4)_________, to include their rights and responsibilities in these dealings.
The immense 5)_________ that makes up international law encompasses a piecemeal collection of international customs; 6)_________; treaties; accords, charters (i.e. the United Nations Charter); protocols; tribunals; memorandums; legal 7)_________ of the International Court of Justice (aka World Court) and more. Without a unique 8)_________, enforcing entity, international law is a largely voluntary endeavor, wherein the power of enforcement only 9)_________ when the parties consent to 10)_________ to and abide by an agreement.
Due to the diverse legal systems and applicable histories of different countries, laws addressing international law 11)_________ both common law (case law) and civil law (statutes created by governing bodies). Their application covers all the facets of 12)_________ law, to include substantive law, procedure, and remedies.
There are three main legal principles recognized in much of international law, which are not required, but are based 13)_________ on courtesy and respect:
– Principle of Comity – in the instance where two nations share common public policy 14)_________, one of them 15)_________ to the laws and judicial decrees of the other.
– Act of State Doctrine – respects that a 16)_________ is sovereign in its own territory and its official domestic actions may not be questioned by the judicial bodies of another country. It 17)_________ courts from deciding cases that would interfere with a country’s foreign policy.
– Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity – deals with actions brought in the court of one nation against another 18)_________ nation and prevents the sovereign state from being tried in court without its consent. In the U.S., this is 19)_________ by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) of 1976.
To be determined a sovereign state a nation must run its own government, with its own territory and 20)_________.
There are both national laws and international agreements which govern/regulate international business transactions, which include investments, offshore banking, 21)_________, imports/exports, tariffs, dumping, trade and more.
Although there is no definitive governing body overseeing 22)_________ law, the United Nations is the most widely recognized and influential international organization and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is its judicial 23)_________.
International law may further be broken down as public or private. Public International law 24)_________ the rules, laws and customs that govern and monitor the conduct and dealings between nations and/or their citizens. The UN deals largely with 25)_________ international law. Private International law (Conflict of laws) handles disputes between private citizens of 26)_________ nations
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
Позитивные итоги в сфере международных отношений и дипломатии прямо или косвенно опираются на сложившийся международный правопорядок и его инструментарий. Прежде всего среди них следует назвать основные принципы международного права и Устава ООН. При решении любого, подчеркнем, любого значимого вопроса глобальной или региональной повестки дня – безопасности, разоружения, борьбы с пиратством, наркотрафиком, эпидемиями (СПИД), незаконной миграцией, стихийными бедствиями, демилитаризации космоса, экологии и др. – государства и межправительственные организации не могли, да и не смогут в будущем обойтись без потенциала международного права. Подтверждение тому – успехи международного сообщества по ситуации в Сирии, вокруг Ирана, в урегулировании и профилактике ряда территориальных споров в Африке, Азиатско-Тихоокеанском регионе, в запуске новых интеграционных проектов, защите прав материнства и детства. Совершенно очевидно, что эта линия и в 2014 году должна развиваться, опираясь на внешнеполитические действия государств и межгосударственных институтов. Но также ясно и другое. Прогресс и устойчивость мироуправления будут напрямую увязаны с ликвидацией своего рода «критической массы» в правовом регулировании международных отношений. Надо откровенно признать, что объем и острота этой массы не сократились, а ее элементы – нигилизм, нарушение международно-правовых обязательств, двойные стандарты, игнорирование основных прав человека, национальностей, государств – продолжают играть роль тормоза и даже разрушителя международного сотрудничества. Примеры тому – вмешательство высокопоставленных политиков США и Евросоюза во внутренние дела Украины, русофобские резолюции Европейского парламента, незаконные притязания отдельных государств в Арктике, противоправные действия спецслужб США на территории своих союзников и партнеров, нарушение прав человека в прибалтийских странах (один режим «не-граждан» в Латвии чего стоит с позиции общепризнанных гуманитарных стандартов!). Снижение этого негатива, устранение его последствий и одновременно прогрессивное развитие, поддержка международного права на уровне двусторонней и многосторонней дипломатии – важнейшие задачи современных государств, включая, в первую очередь, постоянных членов Совета Безопасности ООН. Этой цели, закрепленной в новой Концепции внешней политики 2012 г., наша страна будет следовать дискретно.
Прошедший год, как сказано в декабрьском Послании президента Российской Федерации В.В. Путина к Федеральному Собранию Российской Федерации, ознаменовался четким курсом государства на защиту международного права. Ему нет альтернативы. Никакая другая регулятивная система, построенная, скажем, на политике, морали, не заменит эффективно международное право. У него своя исключительная зона ответственности, связанная с обеспечением суверенитета государств, наций, народов, исключительных прав и свобод человека. Такой подход, основанный на Конституции, федеральном законодательстве России, ее статусе продолжателя и преемника СССР, юридических обязательствах страны, цивилизованном опыте их имплементации, соответствует положению Российской Федерации как международно-правовой личности. Этот новый и в какой-то степени оригинальный для государств ХХI в. критерий проявляется в разных аспектах. Они охватывают статистику дипломатических (договорных, конвенционных) инициатив, практику участия в многосторонних соглашениях универсального характера, международных организациях и конференциях, имплементацию обязательств государства в деятельности законодательных, исполнительных и судебных органов, ряд других факторов, в частности, состояние правового сознания общества, партий и, конечно, властных структур.
CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Constitutional and administrative law both govern the affairs of the state. Administrative law, an area of law that gained early sophistication in France, was until well into this century largely unrecognized in the United Kingdom as well as the United States. To the early English writers on administrative law, there was virtually no difference between administrative law and constitutional law. This is evident from the words of Keith: «It is logically impossible to distinguish administrative from constitutional law and all attempts to do so are artificial». Some jurists like Felix Frankfurter even went as far as to call it «illegitimate and exotic».
The root of all confusion in the United Kingdom is its lack of a written constitution. In a state with a written constitution, the source of constitutional law is the Constitution while the sources of administrative law include statutes, statutory instruments, precedents and customs (3) whereas in the United Kingdom, this distinction is not very clear cut – it is in fact, quite blurred.
Due to this lack of clarity, it will be vital to observe the views of jurists and scholars on the difference between administrative law and constitutional law. According to Holland, constitutional law describes the various organs of the government at rest, while administrative law describes them in motion. Holland contends that the structure of the executive and the legislature comes within the purview of constitutional law whereas their functioning is governed by administrative law.
Jennings puts forward another view, which says that administrative law deals with the organization, functions, powers and duties of administrative authorities while constitutional law deals with the general principles relating to the organization and powers of the various organs of the State and their mutual relationships and relationship of these organs with the individual. Simply put, constitutional law lays down the fundamentals of the workings of government organs while administrative law deals with the details.
The fundamental constitutional principle, inspired by John Locke, holds that «the individual can do anything but that which is forbidden by law, and the state may do nothing but that which is authorised by law». Administrative law is the chief method for people to hold state bodies to account. People can apply for judicial review of actions or decisions by local councils, public services or government ministries, to ensure that they comply with the law. The first specialist administrative court was the Conseil d'État set up in 1799, as Napoleon assumed power in France.
Whatever be the correct position, there always exists an area of overlap between constitutional law and administrative law. In India, this corresponds to the whole constitutional mechanism for the control of administrative authorities – Articles 32, 136, 226, 227, 300 and 311. It can also include the study of administrative agencies provided for in the Constitution itself. Further, it may include the study of constitutional limitations on delegation of powers to the administrative authorities and also those provisions of the Constitution which restrict administrative action; for example, the Fundamental Rights.
The objective and scope of this project will be to draw the relationship between administrative law and constitutional law with respect to India and the Indian Constitution. The researcher will attempt to articulate the doctrinal and contextual links that exist between administrative law and constitutional law. The researcher will make use of appropriate case laws, wherever necessary.
Since the English Constitution is unwritten, the impact of constitutional law upon administrative law in England is insignificant and blurred. As Dicey observes, the rules which in other countries form part of a constitutional code are the result of the ordinary law of the land in England. As a result, whatever control the administrative authorities can be subjected to, if any, must be deduced from the ordinary law, as contained in statutes and judicial decisions. (9) But, in countries having written constitutions, there is an additional source of control over administrative action. In these countries there are two sources or modes of exercising judicial control over the administrative agencies – constitutional and non-constitutional. The written constitution imposes limitations upon all organs of the body politic. Therefore, while all authors attempt to distinguish the scope of administrative law from that of constitutional law, they cannot afford to forget not to mention that in a country having written constitution with judicial review, it is not possible to dissociate the two completely.
The acts of the executive or the administration are protected in India in various ways. The legislative acts of the administration, i.e. statutory instruments (or subordinate legislation) are expressly brought within the fold of Article 13 of the Constitution, by defining «law» as including «order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification» or anything «having the force of law». As in all common law countries, a delegated legislation can be challenged as invalid not only on the ground of being ultra vires the statute which confers power to make it, but also on the additional ground that it contravenes any of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.
A non-legislative and a purely administrative action having no statutory basis will be void if it breaches any of those fundamental rights which set up limitations against any State action. Thus a non-statutory administrative act may be void if it violates Article 14, guaranteeing equal protection; Article 29 or Article 30– guaranteeing minority rights; Article 19 – guaranteeing freedom of speech, association, etc.; and Article 16– guaranteeing equality of opportunity in employment. Thus the court would strike down any administrative instruction or policy, notwithstanding its temporary nature, if it operates as discriminatory, so as to violate any fundamental right of the person or persons discriminated against. Non-statutory administrative action will also be void if its result affects a fundamental right adversely where the Constitution provides that it can be done only by making a law. The most significant examples of such a case would be actions affecting Article 19, 21 or 300-A.
An administrative act, whether statutory or non-statutory, will be void if it contravenes any of the mandatory and justiciable provisions of the Constitution, falling even outside the realm of fundamental rights – like Articles 265, 301, 311 and 314. In cases of statutory administrative actions, there is an additional constitutional ground upon which its validity may be challenged, namely, that the statute, under which the administrative order has been made, is itself unconstitutional.19 Where the impugned order is quasi-judicial, similarly, it may be challenged on the grounds, inter alia, that the order is unconstitutional; that the law under which the order has been made is itself unconstitutional.
Constitutional law thus advances itself into the judicial review chapter in administrative law in a country like the USA or India. The courts in these countries have to secure that the administration is carried on not only subject to the rule of law but also subject to the provisions of their respective Constitutions. It can be observed that an attack upon the constitutionality of a statute relates to constitutional law and the constitutionality of an administrative action concerns administrative law, but the provisions of the same Constitution apply in both the spheres.
The object of both the common law doctrine of rule of law or supremacy of law and a written constitution is the same, namely, the regulation and prevention of arbitrary exercise of power by the administrative agencies of the Government. The rule of law insists that «the agencies of the Government are no more free than the private individual to act according to their own arbitrary will or whim but must conform to legal rules developed and applied by the courts». The business of the written constitution is to embody these standards in the form of constitutional guarantees and limitations and it is the duty of the courts to protect the individual from a breach of his rights by the departments of the Government or other administrative agencies.
Administrative law is a by-product of intensive form of Government. During the last century, the role of Government has changed in almost every State of the world; from a laissez faire state to a welfare and service state.
As a result, it is expected of the modern state not only to protect its citizens from external aggression and internal disturbance, but also to take care of its citizens, right from birth to their death. Therefore, the development of administrative process and the administrative law has become the cornerstone of modern political philosophy.
Today there is a demand by the people that the Government must redress their problems in addition to merely defining their rights. The rights are elaborately defined in the Constitution but the policies to protect these rights are formulated by the Government (the executive) and implemented by the administrative agencies of the State. There thus arises a direct nexus between the constitutional law and administrative law where the former acts as a source from which the rights of the individuals flow and the latter implements its policies accordingly mandated to preserve the sanctity of those rights.
It is widely agreed that the right of equality in the American Constitution will be a sterile right if the black is the first to lose his job and the last to be reemployed. In the same manner the equality clause in the Indian Constitution would be meaningless if the Government does not come forward to actively help the weaker sections of society to bring about equality in fact. This requires the growth of administrative law and administrative process under the welfare philosophy embodied in the constitutional law.
Administrative law has been defined as the law relating to administration. It determines the organisation, powers and duties of administrative authorities. This definition does not make any attempt to distinguish administrative law from constitutional law. Besides, this definition is too wide because the law which determines the powers of administrative authorities may also deal with the substantive aspects of such powers. It may deal with matters such as public health, housing, town and country planning, etc which are not included within the scope of administrative law. Administrative law, however, tends to deal with these matters as the Constitution has embodied the principle of a welfare State, and the State can execute and implement these rules veraciously in the society only through administrative laws. Prof. Sathe observes that: «Administrative law is a part of constitutional law and all concerns of administrative law are also concerns of constitutional law».
It can therefore be inferred that constitutional law has a wide sphere of jurisdiction, with administrative law occupying a substantive part. In other words, constitutional law can be termed as the genus of which a substantive portion of administrative law is the species.
The Indian Constitution is unanimously and rightly termed as the «grand norm» with respect to domestic legislations. The Constitution circumscribes the powers of the legislature and executive and limits their authority in various ways. (30) It distributes the governmental powers between the Centre and the States. It guarantees the fundamental rights to its citizens and protects them from any abridgement by the State by way of legislative or executive action. The courts interpret the Constitution and declare the acts of legislature as well as executive as unconstitutional if they violate the any provision of the Constitution.
It also bridles the legislature in that they cannot make a law which delegates essential legislative powers or which vests unrestrained discretionary powers with the executive so as to make its arbitrary exercise possible.
The validity of an executive act is seen with reference to the power given to it by the legislature. The Constitution has, however, in turn laid down the framework defining the extent of laws made by Parliament and the State Legislatures. Constitutional law therefore enjoys the status of the prime moderator monitoring legislative actions and in turn installs a yardstick upon the extent of the rules made by the executive while acting in the capacity of a delegate. It can be inferred indisputably that constitutional law plays a critical role of the key channel from where the guidelines determining the scope of administrative action flow, thereby establishing a unique relationship between the two very distinct but highly related spheres of law.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
In order to provide speedy and 1)__________ justice to employees aggrieved by administrative decisions, the Government set up the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in 1985, 2)__________ now deals with all cases relating to service matters which were previously dealt with by courts up to and including the High Courts. Establishment of the Central Administrative 3)__________ under the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 is one of the important steps taken in the direction of 4)__________ of administrative law in India.42 The Administrative Tribunals Act while stimulating the development of administrative law, drew its legitimacy and substance from the constitutional law and was 5)__________ by Parliament in pursuance of Article 323-A of the Constitution. Dr. Rajeev Dhavan comments on the new tribunal system envisaged under Art. 323-A: «The Forty-second Amendment 6)__________ a tribunal structure and limited review powers by the High Courts. In the long run, this could mean a 7)__________ system of tribunal justice under the )__________ of the Supreme Court. Properly worked out such a 9)__________ is not a bad one.
Although the 10)__________ between constitutional law and administrative law is not very emboldened to be seen with naked eyes but the fact remains that concomitant points are neither so blurred that one has to 11)__________ through the cervices of the 12)__________ with a magnifier to locate the relationship. The 13)__________ veracities and illustrations provide a cogent evidence to establish an essential relationship between the 14)__________ of both the concepts. If doubts still persist, the very fact that each author, without the exception of a single, tends to differentiate between the two branches of law commands the hypothecation of a huge overlap.
The separate 15)__________ of administrative law is at no point of time disputed; however, if one draws two circles of the two branches of law, at a certain place they will overlap depicting their stern relationship and this area may be termed as watershed in administrative law. In India, in the 16)__________ one can include the whole control mechanism provided in the Constitution for the control of administrative 17)__________ i.e. Articles 32, 136, 226, 227 300 and 311. It may include the directives to the State under Part IV. It may also include the study of those administrative agencies which are provided for by the Constitution itself under Articles 261, 263, 280, 315, 323-A and 324. It may further 18)__________ the study of constitutional limitations on delegation of powers to the administrative authorities and also those 19)__________ of the Constitution which place fetters on administrative action i.e. fundamental rights.
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
Не каждая действующая в мире национальная конституция закладывает, как это произошло в российском примере, полноценную платформу внешнеполитической и международно-правовой позиции государства. Она охватывает, в частности, такие положения, как уважение общепризнанных принципов и норм международного права, международных договоров Российской Федерации, их вхождение в ее правовую систему (ст. 15); учет общепризнанных прав и свобод человека и гражданина во 2 главе Конституции, составляющей основу правового статуса личности в Российской Федерации (ст. 64); закрепление за каждым гражданином возможности в соответствии с международными договорами РФ обращаться в межгосударственные органы по защите прав и свобод человека, если исчерпаны все имеющиеся внутригосударственные средства правовой защиты (ст. 46); нормы об обладании Россией суверенитетом, суверенными правами в осуществлении юрисдикции на континентальном шельфе и в исключительной экономической зоне Российской Федерации в порядке, определенном федеральным законом и нормами международного права (ст. 62); гарантирование в РФ прав коренных малочисленных народов в соответствии с общепризнанными принципами и нормами международного права и международными договорами Российской Федерации (ст. 69). Также обозначены способности России участвовать в межгосударственных объединениях и передавать им часть своих полномочий в соответствии с международными договорами, если это не влечет ограничения прав и свобод человека и гражданина и не противоречит основам конституционного строя Российской Федерации (ст. 79) и ряд других. На базе конституционных постулатов сложилась и развивается международно-правовая практика России, которая обладает системностью, ответственностью и социальной ценностью. Аксиологичность российского подхода приобретает особое значение в связи с растущими потребностями нового политического сезона решать актуальные вопросы международной повестки дня, которые ставит жизнь.
Российская Федерация выполнит свою роль стратегического актора в глобальной системе, опираясь на международное право. Только таким путем могут быть достигнуты эффективные результаты в сотрудничестве России с Китаем, США, Европейским союзом (подготовка нового базового соглашения, например), в строительстве к 1 января 2015 г. Евразийского экономического союза, в достижении универсальности международных договоров по разоружению и нераспространению, перестройке нормативных основ мировой торговли, банковской системы, в продвижении сообщества государств к инновационному и высокотехнологическому развитию, в других политических, социально-экономических проектах. Сказанное – аксиома для эволюции мирового порядка. Очевидна в нем и функция Россия как спонсора, опекуна и защитника международного крова. На этом фоне политически странными, по крайней мере, выглядят тиражируемые в последнее время в российском информпространстве, прессе рассуждения о необходимости реформировать Конституцию РФ посредством исключения, например, ст. 15 (п. 4), где говорится о приоритете международных договоров Российской Федерации; сокращения ссылок, как говорят отдельные политики, на непонятные «общепризнанные принципы и нормы международного права». При этом подобные рассуждения сопровождаются заботой о суверенитете Российского государства. Что это такое? Незнание основ и природы международного права, построенного на согласовании (исключительно добровольном) государств? Недоосмысливание того факта, что в случае неприменения общих и основных принципов международного права, образующих его фундамент, миропорядок будет отброшен далеко назад от социального прогресса, и атмосфера беззакония гарантированно воцарится в нем вместе с хаосом международных отношений? Игнорирование того, что сегодня императивные нормы международного права, а основные принципы относятся к данной категории, обязательны к соблюдению каждым суверенным государством, которое взяло на этот счет прозрачные обязательства? Неинформирование о том, что основополагающие принципы международного права имеют четкое содержание и толкование, зафиксированное в Уставе ООН, Статуте Международного суда ООН, Декларации принципов международного права, касающихся дружественных отношений и сотрудничества 1970 г., Декларации принципов международного права Хельсинского Заключительного акта 1975 г. В этих и других важных для XXI в. документах речь идет о принципах суверенного равенства, территориальной целостности, самоопределения народов и их равноправия, невмешательства во внутренние дела, мирного разрешения споров, уважения прав и свобод человека, нерушимости границ, обязанности соблюдать международные договоры и др. Указанный подход к реформированию Конституции алогичен. Он противоречит курсу высшего руководства страны, Концепции внешней политики России, политическим декларациям фракций, представленных в Государственной Думе, международным обязательствам РФ, входит в резонанс с ведущими трендами мировой глобалистики и мироуправления. Создаются, таким образом, и условия для имиджевых потерь Российского государства.
Action at EU level in this field is crucial for a number of reasons:
•The most serious types of organised crime are committed across borders. To prevent criminals from misusing those EU countries with the most lenient legal systems and «safe havens» from appearing, a certain approximation of national laws can be necessary.
•Through adopting minimum standards for procedural rights in criminal proceedings and making the fight against crime more efficient, EU criminal law fosters citizens' confidence in a high level of security throughout the Union. This is of particular importance to those exercising their right of free movement.
• Common rules strengthen mutual trust between the judiciaries of different EU countries. This facilitates cooperation and mutual recognition of judicial measures.
• EU criminal law helps to prevent and punish serious offences against EU law in certain policy areas, such as the protection of the environment.
•New legislation can overcome the piecemeal approach of existing instruments and ensure a consistent and coherent system of legislation.
The Lisbon Treaty provides for a new legal framework for criminal legislation with a strong role for the European and national parliaments as well as comprehensive judicial control by the European Court of Justice.
Within the limits of the Treaty, the competent EU institutions decide which wrongful behaviours require sanctions under criminal law and ensure that the rights of suspected and accused persons and victims are protected.
As defined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the EU has three specific competences for criminal law:
Minimum rules on Euro Crimes – Article 83(1)
The EU can adopt directives that set minimum rules on the definition of criminal offences. These create rules setting out what constitutes a criminal act and what type and level of sanctions apply for such acts.
Minimum rules like these can be adopted for «Euro crimes», which are particularly serious crimes with cross-border aspects. They include issues such as terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, cybercrime and organised crime.
On 6 May 2014, the EU adopted a Directive on the protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law on the basis of a Commission proposal of 5 February 2013. As the single currency shared by the Member States of the euro area, the euro shall be protected in a consistent manner across the Union, by defining criminal offences in a similar manner and by setting minimum rules to sanction them. The Directive also ensures that adequate tools can be used for investigations, like it is the case for organised crime, thus improving the quality of cross-border investigation in the field of counterfeiting of currencies.
This Directive will replace Council Framework Decision 2000/383/JHA. Member States will have to implement it into their own legal system by 23 May 2016.
For more information see our press release, FAQ and legislative text.
Legislation to enforce EU policies – Article 83
The EU can also set EU-wide minimum rules on criminal offences and sanctions if these are essential to ensure that an EU policy is effectively implemented in the same way across the EU.
EU policies such as protection of the environment or free movement of capital rely on effective enforcement. Criminal law can help ensure that the rules are followed if other other enforcement methods have failed. In September 2011, the European Commission has published a Communication setting out the principles for an EU policy on enforcement by criminal law.
The Directive on Market Abuse was adopted on 14 April 2014, based on the new Article 83(2) TFEU. It complements the Regulation on Market Abuse, which improves EU legislation in this area and strengthens administrative sanctions available for abuse. Member States will have to implement the Directive into their own legal system by 3 July 2016.
The Directive requires Member States to introduce effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal sanctions measures for insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of information and market manipulation. There will be EU-wide definitions of these offences. Member States must provide that a judge can sanction insider dealing/market manipulation up to four years and of unlawful disclosure of inside information up to at least two years. Member States can even go beyond this level of sanctions. They must also introduce criminal sanctions for inciting, aiding and abetting market abuse and attempts to commit such offenses. Companies will be held liable for market abuse.
For more information see press release and FAQ.
Protection of EU public money – Articles 310(6), 325, 85 and 86
To protect taxpayers' money in a context of budgetary austerity, the fight against misuse of EU public money is a priority for the Union. This priority is reflected in the Lisbon Treaty which sets out an obligation, and corresponding legal bases, to act for the protection of EU financial interests, including by means of criminal law:
Communication on the protection of the financial interests of the European Union by criminal law and by administrative investigations
The European Court of Justice has decided, in a case concerning environmental protection (C-176/03), that the EU can take measures related to the criminal law in other policy areas as long as firstly, the application of effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties is essential for combating serious offences and, secondly, the Member States have a choice as to whether to apply the appropriate criminal penalties. This decision has paved the way for the adoption of Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law and for Directive 2009/123 on crimes against ship-source pollution. Documents related to the implementation of these directives can be found here.
For EU criminal law to be truly efficient, it is necessary to ensure that the quality and effectiveness of its implementation by EU countries are evaluated in an objective and impartial manner.
Relevant evaluation instruments and a legal basis for the creation of appropriate new mechanisms (Article 70) have been put in place.
Expert group on EU criminal policy
In 2012, the Commission set up an expert group on EU criminal policy, composed of twenty high-level legal experts, academics and practitioners. The group was created following the Commission's Communication published in September 2011 « Towards an EU criminal policy – Ensuring the effective implementation of EU policies through criminal law».
The objective of the group is to advice the European Commission and contribute to improve the quality of EU legislation in the field of criminal law, in the light of the rules of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The group includes law professors, judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers from different EU Member States representing the major legal traditions of the EU. The members of the group are appointed for a mandate of 3 years and meet twice a year.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
Criminal law 1)_________ everything; from small misdemeanours, to big heinous crimes, fraud and white-collar crime.
It can also involve 2)_________ relations and multiple jurisdictional rules, particularly concerning issues such as extradition, money-laundering, cross-border crimes and 3)_________.
Criminal law covers some of the most series issues in society, such as murder, rape or robbery. Opportunities are available for criminal lawyers in both private and public practice.
In private practice, you can work as a 4)_________ lawyer for those accused of criminal offences. In public practice, you will be working for either the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) or for the Public Defender Service (PDS).
Criminal lawyers will usually work on the case from the beginning to the end.
This involves filing the case; 5)_________; visiting police stations and prisons; taking witness statements; checking medical reports; liaising with court personnel, police and 6)_________ officers; filing pleas and motions.
It also entails conducting the eventual trial, if that part is not being performed by a barrister.
Post 7)_________, you might work on appeals at higher judicial levels. This will involve piles of paperwork and a huge amount of 8)_________.
Much of the activity in dealing with cases can involve: liaising with peers and judicial authorities from other jurisdictions; taking care of extradition claims; or dealing with the fallout of 9)_________ or criminal negligence.
Ancillary tasks might well include: following the money trail; battling with corruption and bureaucracy; monopolies and restrictive trade practices; and running through copious amounts of 10)_________.
To be a criminal lawyer, you should be street-smart, quick on your feet and have a thorough understanding of criminal law, procedures and the functioning of the judicial system.
You should also be able to handle large volumes of work and perform well under pressure, whilst 11)_________ a meticulous attention to detail.
Your communication and negotiation skills need to be top-notch and you should be good at dealing with 12)_________ kinds of people. You will need to get accustomed to working long and unconventional hours.
Many clients a 13)_________ lawyer might deal with could be dangerous, mentally unstable, drug addicts, or chronic offenders; it's crucial to set aside personal prejudices and judgment, taking an objective and clinical 14)_________ in handling people.
Crime, by its very nature, carries a lot of notoriety and ill-will, so it’s important for a lawyer to 15)_________ absolute discretion when it comes to dealing with their clients.
Honesty and trustworthiness are of paramount 16)_________ and the same goes for anyone else who works within this area of law, from reporters and court clerks to legal secretaries and 17)_________.
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
Международное право в реальности требует комплексной и постоянной работы от всех без исключения государств, других внешних акторов. Следуя этому вектору, который сам становится одним из главных приоритетов международного взаимодействия, Российская Федерация призвана стать инициатором создания национальных программ совершенствования и эффективного применения современного международного права. В этой работе призваны участвовать Совет Федерации и Госдума, отдельные министерства (МИД, минэкономразватия, минобороны, ФСБ, СВР и т.д.), общественные организации (российская Ассоциация международного права, российская Ассоциация содействия ООН), академические и научные круги, регионы Российской Федерации, бизнес-сообщество. Собственный вариант Москвы, думается, должен состоять из нескольких блоков – обзор состояния и тенденций всемирной нормативной системы, мониторинг международных договоров РФ, организационные предложения (создание при президенте РФ Совета по международному праву, образование в Государственной Думе подкомитета по международному праву, подготовка проекта федерального закона «О международном праве», открытие при Дипломатической Академии МИД России курсов повышения квалификации государственных служащих по проблематике мироуправления – включая тематику международного права, открытие при новом (объединенном) Верховном суде специальных структур), образование в регионах Домов знаний по международному праву и др., разработка прогноза развития и кодификации международного права, подготовка соответствующих дипломатических инициатив РФ международного (публичного и частного) правового профиля. Одной из фундаментальных идей могло бы стать предложение Российской Федерации об объявлении в связи с 70-летием ООН Десятилетия международного права (2005-2025гг.) и принятии Генеральной Ассамблеей ООН Декларации о судьбе международного правопорядка в XXI столетии.
Таким мог бы быть цивилизованный вклад Российской Федерации в прогрессивное движение международного права, преодоление в нем нигилистических и проблемных явлений и, естественно, в укрепление международной законности.
Contracts occur in every business. It might be as simple as the agreement with the milkman to deliver the milk and your obligation to pay for it, or it might be an order you made with a major supplier. There is one thing which you can be certain of, which is that you don’t want to find out there is a problem with your contract when you are walking through the door of a courthouse with a disgruntled person on the other side.
This contract focuses on English contract law, which shares many common features with other common law jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, although individuals from those countries should always seek appropriate legal advice.
1) Privity of Contract
It is important to remember only the parties to the contract may enforce the terms of the agreement. So for example if Mrs Smith promises to deliver a chair to Mr Jones’ office for £100, which will be paid on delivery, Mrs Smith must deliver the chair on the agreed terms. Mr Johnson, Mr Jones’ employee, who is to sit on the chair cannot sue Mrs Smith if she fails to deliver. Only Mr Jones could sue Mrs Smith for not delivering the chair.
Contracts must contain mutual promises, or obligations, between the parties making the agreement. For example in return for Mrs Smith delivering the chair Mr Jones agrees to pay £100 on delivery. The obligation is the delivery of the chair and the consideration is the £100. If there is no mutual obligation then there is no contract. For example if Mr Jones takes his wife to dinner dance, and at the end of the evening the cloakroom attendants return their jackets; Mr Jones tips the cloakroom attendant £10 that is not a contract. There was never any consideration. Mr Jones has simply given the cloakroom attendant £10 by way of a gift or a gratuity. The cloakroom attendant has not performed any pre-agreed service for the £10.
Consideration should current in time and one cannot rely on «past consideration». An example of past consideration would be if Mrs Smith gives her neighbour £100 for a birthday. The day after the birthday, Mrs Smith asks the neighbour to help her paint the fence. The £100 is not consideration for any agreement to paint the fence, that was a voluntary act, and helping paint the fence came after that voluntary act.
Consideration must have an economic value in order for it to be valid in a contractual context.
3) Exceptions to the rule on Past Consideration
There are two exceptions to the issue of past consideration. The first relates to an antecedent debt. The Bills of Exchange Act 1882, means that a pre-existing debt or obligation can be good consideration for a bill of exchange. For example, if a landscaping company mow the lawn at Mr Johnson’s house and then a week later he sends them a cheque for £25 in the post that is «valuable consideration», even thought the landscaping company’s mowing occurred in the past.
There is a more common exemption which all businesses should be aware which comes from a case called Lampleigh v Braithwait. This exemption means that if a business asks a party to perform an obligation there is an understanding that the performing party will be remunerated in some way. For example if the Directors of ACME Limited ask Mr Smith, a patent agent, to obtain patents for their machines, and there was a discussion as to dividing the profits of the patents with Mr Smith. Mr Smith upon obtaining the patents would be entitled to a division of the profits, even though the act for which he is to be remunerated occurred in the past.
There are very few formalities that are required by law. There is no longer a requirement for all contracts to be signed as deeds, and the requirements for signing, sealing and delivery of deeds has also been abolished.
While it is good practice for all business contracts to be in writing it is not essential. The contract may be formed orally, by parties agreeing the terms on the telephone. There is an obvious disadvantage to an «oral agreed contract», which is that the orally agreed terms may be misunderstood, or misremembered by the respective parties. That in itself can lead to problems. In the event that an agreement is reached on the telephone or in person it is always best practice to condense the agreed terms into writing. For example a letter summarising the terms sent by email or fax, should be sent to the other side with a request that they confirm and acknowledge the written terms reflect the agreement will suffice for most routine agreements.
5) Contracts which must be writing
There are several types of contracts that must be in written form. For example, contracts containing a guarantee must be in writing. A guarantee is an agreement where one party agrees to pay the debt of another individual or company in the event that the third party defaults on the debt. Contracts relating to the sale, transfer, option or lease of land should always be in writing. Another common situation where writing is required is for contracts for the assignment or exclusive licensing of certain intellectual property rights.
6) Authorised Signatures and Authorised Persons
One of the mistakes made by many small businesses is in obtaining the signature of the correct person on a contractual agreement. Legally, to bind a company to a contract, it must be signed by a person who has the authority to do so. This would normally be a director of the company, its solicitor, or a manager. Far too often in my experience small businesses enter into transactions sending a written contract for a signature and they failed to ask the questions to confirm that the individual whom they are dealing with is legally representing the company. It can be as easy as obtaining confirmation in the form of an email or fax stating that «Joe Bloggs» is Director of X Ltd and authorised to sign on behalf of the company.
An equally important point to note is that the name of the company is written correctly both in the agreement and on any invoices that are submitted. It may seem a small thing but a small businessman discovered to his credit that missing off «Limited» from his company name meant that he was personally liable for the debts he incurred. A court found that he was doing business in his own right as ABC Fashions rather than as ABC Fashions Limited. Such errors may seem little but they can be very costly.
When dealing with local authorities, it may be necessary to obtain the «seal» of the corporation to the contract. The seal of a local authority binds the relevant local authority, in the same way that having the signatures of the board of directors would in the case of Limited Company.
This goes hand in hand with the issue of authorised signatures, and authorised persons. In English law a minor, that is an individual under the age of 18 does not have capacity to enter into a contractual agreement. Contracts signed by drunks, the mentally ill, the certifiably insane can all be declared void by a court of law. Interestingly, minors, drunks, the mentally ill, and the certifiably insane can be legally obliged to pay for «necessary items», such as food, clothes and water. It is however best practice to avoid dealing with such individuals as it will provide lawyers with all kinds of interesting issues, and cause an unnecessary and costly legal dilemma, for your business!
8) Battle of the Forms
In cases where businesses are dealing with «standard terms» it is important to remember which «standard terms» apply to an agreement. In this example A Ltd contacts B Ltd requesting the supply of 1000 widgets. As part of the request it sends an email enclosing A Ltd’s standard terms and conditions for the procurement of widgets. B Ltd accepts the order of 1000 widgets from A Ltd and sends an email back saying
«Thank you for your order of 1000 widgets. We have accepted the order pursuant to our standard terms and conditions, and will make deliver to your premise by the 31st of this month».
A Ltd simply replies enclosing payment at the agreed price.
In law this type of scenario is referred to as a «battle of the forms». The issue is whose standard terms apply to the transaction. Under the «battle of the forms» rules it is party who fired the last shot that has its standard terms and condition incorporated into the agreement, not the company that sends them in first.
9) Exclusion Clauses
It is common to see in many contracts clauses which limit or exclude liability in the event of breach. The difficulty with such clauses is that the courts construct them on a very narrow basis. The courts have determined that clauses that seek to limit liability in the event of a fundamental breach are largely unenforceable. The reason for this is that in the event that one party breaches there must be a remedy open to the other side. It is quite unreasonable for one party to seriously breach a contract and for the non-breaching party to have no or little legal remedy.
Exclusions clauses in standard term agreements are also likely to fall foul of the Unfair Contract Terms Act («the Act»). This is particularly relevant when doing business with the public. The Act seeks to put the parties on an even footing, giving a court the power to remove clauses that would be unfair, or offer the party drafting them too much of an advantage. One common exclusion clause which is frequently dismissed as unfair is any term which seeks to remove liability for death or injury. Such terms are almost always struck down, and should not be relied upon.
Where one party does not perform their obligations as per the contract they commit a breach of contract. A breach of contract is technically a failure to perform the contract in accordance with the strict terms. For example if one party requests and pays for one tonne of coal to be delivered to his home address on the 21st of January, and only 800kg are delivered then he is entitled to seek cash reimbursement for 200kg of coal that was not delivered. There is however a defence open to the delivery company if they can show that the difference is so small that it de minimis. Such arguments are always based upon the particular facts. In this case 200kg of coal is highly unlikely to be declared de minimis. If there had been delivery 999kg of coal then there may be a stronger argument.
The non-breaching party should place the breaching party on written notice of any breach of contract before issuing court proceedings. The attitude of the courts in recent years has been to push parties towards mediation of contractual disputes in order to resolve differences. It is good practice for the non-breaching party to outline a conciliatory basis upon which the breach can be remedied. For example in the case of 200kg, it might be for the remaining 200kg to be delivered as soon as possible or for the delivery company to repay the difference in price as soon as possible.
It is open to a non-breaching party to repudiate a contract in the event of a very serious breach of a contract. Repudiation means giving up the agreement and considering the contract to be at an end due to the breach committed by the other side. In these circumstances the non-breaching party would be able to claim financial compensation from the breaching party to compensate the non-breaching party for the breaching party’s failure to perform the contract. The non-breaching party would also be able to do so without completing its obligations under the contract. Effectively the non-breaching party would be declaring to the other side that the contract is at an end due to the serious nature of the breach.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
The 1)__________ lowering of the barriers between EU Member States has brought numerous benefits to citizens. Citizens in their capacity as consumers have enjoyed a number of economic benefits such as 2)__________ air fares and mobile telephone roaming charges and the possibility to access a larger variety of products. Traders have been able to extend their activities cross-border, by importing and 3)__________ goods, providing services and establishing themselves abroad. Thus they benefit from the economies of 4)__________ and the greater business opportunities that the single market offers.
Despite this impressive success, barriers between EU Member States still remain. Many of these 5)__________ result from differences between national legal systems. Among the barriers that hinder cross-border trade are differences between the national contract laws.
All economic transactions are based on 6)__________. This is why the differences in the contracts rules on how a contract is concluded or terminated, or on how the delivery of a 7)__________ product has to be remedied, are felt in the daily life of both traders and consumers. For traders, these differences generate additional complexity and 8)__________, notably when they want to export their products and services to several EU Member States. For 9)__________, these differences make it more difficult to shop in countries other than their own, in particular when 10)__________ online.
Furthermore unclear, complex and legally uncertain contracts deter traders and individuals from using digital products 11)__________ in the cloud. The existing regulatory environment of national contract laws might not be fit for cloud 12)__________ services.
The Commission has therefore taken several initiatives in the area of sales law, insurance contract law and cloud 13)__________ contracts to strengthen the Single Market.
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
С древних пор люди пытались упорядочить свою жизнь и стабилизировать устанавливавшийся в обществе порядок. Попытки издания некоторых правил поведения в обществе мы видим в Древнем Вавилоне, Египте. Междуречье (столб Хаммурапи – свод законов в казуальной форме изложения). В Древней Греции и, наконец, в Римской империи из обыденностей и обычаев возникает некая стройная теория правил поведения гражданина в государстве.
Jus gentium (юс генцум; jus – право, правомочие, нормы права) – объявили римляне – Право народов (причем не только римского народа), естественно, Право свободных народов (раб – вещь, это не субъект права, а объект).
Все право делится на jus publicum и jus privatum – публичное и частное право. Но jus publicum выражает властвование государства, т.е. право, имеющее обязательную силу, и оно не может быть изменено путем соглашения. В jus privatum – область частного права – входят семейные отношения, собственность, обязательства, наследование.
Понятие, введенное позднее jus civile (цивильное право) – совокупность законов, действующих в государстве, – со временем приобретает именно понятие гражданского права (права граждан). Отсюда название отрасли – цивилистика – гражданское право.
Tort law seeks to provide reimbursement to members of society who suffer losses because of the dangerous or unreasonable conduct of others. Torts may be either (1) intentional, (2) negligent, or (3) in strict liability. The word «tort» means «wrong», and originally evolved from the writs of trespass and trespass on the case. While each act involved the actor, or tortfeasor, directly causing injury to a victim, one of the many drawbacks to the writ system was that it lacked any comprehensive underlying theoretical basis. In the 1800s, as the writ system was being replaced with the more modern forms of pleading, American law professors and judges began to develop a basic theory for tort law based on fault.
Tort law, in essence, establishes standards of conduct for all members of society. It defines as civil wrongs the following antisocial behaviors: (1) intentional interference with one’s person, reputation, or property (intentional torts), (2) the failure to exercise reasonable care (negligence), and (3) in some circumstances, liability without fault (strict liability). In a nutshell, tort law is a method by which an injured person can attempt to shift the costs of harm to another person. Because the plaintiffs in tort cases are usually seeking money damages, tort actions that are not settled prior to trial are generally tried to juries. Many courts believe, in fact, that the constitutional right to trial by jury is an inextricable part of tort law and that it is inappropriate, if not unconstitutional, to hamstring a jury in its determination of the amount of potential awards for a plaintiff.
Intentional torts are based on willful misconduct or intentional wrongs. It is important to remember, however, that the intent is not necessarily a hostile intent or even a desire to do serious harm. A person acts intentionally if he or she has a conscious desire to produce consequences the law recognizes as tortious, or wrongful. Thus, a person who has no conscious desire to cause the consequences, but is aware that the consequences are highly likely to follow, can also be found to have acted intentionally.
Assault is an intentional tort when one is placed in reasonable apprehension of an intentional, imminent, unconsented, harmful, or offensive touching by another person. Assaults occur when the targeted person’s anxiety is the product of the actor’s threatening conduct, such as stalking or placing a gun in front of one’s face (loaded or not). As long as the individual has a reasonable apprehension of some offensive contact, an assault has occurred. A battery is defined as an unpermitted, unprivileged, intentional contact with another’s person. This tort includes contact that is actually harmful, as well as conduct that is merely offensive. Unlike with an assault, it is not essential that the plaintiff be conscious of the contact at the time it occurs.
Conversion is an intentional tort which allows owners of tangible personal property to regain possession of their property from other persons who have dispossessed them. Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of possession of his or her tangible personal property is conversion. Because conversion is considered a forced sale, the defendant must pay the full value, not merely the amount of the actual harm. Trespass to land, in contrast, occurs when someone makes an unauthorized entry on the land of another. In fact, the law’s protection of the exclusive possession of land is not limited to the surface of the real property, but extends both below and above it. While trespass may also occur to personal property, most of the interference with the possession of personal property would be considered conversion rather than trespass.
Malicious prosecution is an intentional tort that provides target individuals with civil remedies against persons who have filed groundless complaints against the target that result in the target’s criminal prosecution and now civil complaints. The plaintiff in a malicious prosecution suit must prove that the defendant acted maliciously and without probably cause in instituting a criminal prosecution.
False imprisonment is an intentional tort that provides target individuals with civil remedies against those who unlawfully deprive them of their freedom of movement. Plaintiffs must prove that they were intentionally and unlawfully detained against their will for an unreasonable period of time. Most courts, however, have held that plaintiffs must be aware of their confinement while suffering it, or if not, that they must suffer some type of actual harm.
Defamation is an intentional tort that provides targeted individuals with remedies against persons who intentionally make malicious statements that injure the target’s character, fame or reputation. Generally, the truth of the statement is a complete defense in a suit for defamation because true statements are not considered to be malicious. Libel and slander are both forms of defamation. Libel is defamation expressed by print, writing, signs, pictures, and normally, radio and television broadcasting. Slander involves spoken words that have been heard by someone other than the target. Some actions are known as slander per se, or slander in and of themselves. Slander per se consists of especially egregious offenses, including false accusations that another person has contracted a morally offensive communicable disease, and a defamatory expression impacting directly on one’s profession, such as stating that a particular attorney is a crook, or that a doctor is a quack.
Interference with contractual relations is an intentional tort that occurs when a noncontracting party or third person wrongfully interferes with the contract relations between two or more contracting parties. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant maliciously and substantially interfered with the performance of a valid and enforceable contract. The motive or purpose of the interfering party is an important factor in determining liability. Under the intentional tort of infliction of emotional distress, a person has a cause of action when the conduct of the defendant is serious or «outrageous» in nature and causes anguish in the plaintiff’s mind. Recovery for intentional infliction of mental distress is allowed only in situations involving extreme misconduct. Thus, mental worry, distress, grief, and mortification are elements of mental suffering from which an injured person may recover.
According to the intentional tort of invasion of privacy, a suit may involve unwarranted publicity that places the plaintiff in a false light, intrudes into the plaintiff’s private life, discloses embarrassing private facts, or uses the plaintiff’s name or likeness for the defendant’s gain. Courts have ruled that persons that are considered public figures, however, have less protection as society has a right to information of legitimate public interest. As opposed to an action under defamation and its goal to protect one’s reputation, the purpose of an action under invasion of privacy is to protect one’s peace of mind.
Negligence is the unintentional failure to live up to the community’s ideal of reasonable care, having nothing to do with moral care. An individual who has behaved negligently is one who has not lived up to a certain imputed duty or obligation to conform to a certain standard of conduct for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm. However, if the defendant could not reasonably foresee any injury as the result of a certain conduct, there is no negligence and thus no liability. The elements necessary for a cause of action under the tort of negligence are (1) a duty or standard of care recognized by law, (2) a breach of that duty or failure to exercise reasonable care, (3) causation resulting from said breach resulting in (4) some harm to the plaintiff. No cause of action in negligence is recognized if any of these elements are absent from the case.
Malpractice, or mala praxis, applies to professional negligence that takes different forms in different fields. Professionals are believed to have a higher degree of knowledge, skills, or experience than a reasonable person and are consequently required to use that capacity. Professionals are required to act as would a reasonably skilled, prudent, competent, and experienced member of that same profession.
There is no actionable negligence unless there is a legal duty of care. However, in the case of legislative acts, plaintiffs must merely establish that they are within the limited class of individuals intended to be protected by the statute. Once it is decided that a statute is applicable, most courts hold that an unexcused violation is conclusive as to the issue of negligence. Thus, it is negligence per se for one to violate a speeding ordinance, and the issue of negligence does not go to a jury, nor are issues of causation relevant. The violation of the ordinance is proof of negligence in itself.
While as a general rule under the common law there is no duty to aid or protect, courts have ruled that when a special relationship is found to exist, there comes with that a duty to aid or protect another. Such a relationship exists in regard to parent and child, lifeguard and swimmer, bartender and patron, counselor and camper, and many, many others. In addition, if one puts another in peril, assumes a duty through contract, or begins to assist and then backs out, one has a duty to aid and if breached, an action for negligence could and likely would ensue. Thus, although persons seeing another in distress may have no obligation to be Good Samaritans, if they choose to do so, they incur the duty of exercising ordinary care.
The ordinary principles of negligence do not govern occupiers’ liability to those entering their premises. Thus, the duty the land occupier or possessor in title owes to a trespasser is less than the duty the possessor owes to the general public under the ordinary principles of negligence. The amount of duty owed by possessors in terms of importance is first to (1) invitees, then (2) licensees, and finally the very lowest of duties is owed to (3) trespassers.
An invitee is either a public invitee or a business visitor. A public invitee is a member of the public who enters land for the purpose for which the land is held open to the public, for example, a customer who enters a store. A business visitor enters land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of title. A landowner owes the invitee a duty to exercise ordinary care under the usual principles of negligence liability.
One who enters or remains on land by virtue of the possessor’s implied or express consent is a licensee, for example, a door-to-door salesman or a social guest, such as a neighbor entering the property for a purely social purpose. Police officers and firefighters are also usually classified as licensees. While a possessor of land generally owes the licensee only the duty to refrain from willful or wanton misconduct, the possessor is under a duty to give warning to licensees of known dangers.
For the plaintiff to support a negligence action there must be a reasonable connection between the negligent act of the defendant and the damage suffered by the plaintiff. For tort liability, however, proof of factual causation is not enough. Tort liability is predicated on the existence of proximate cause, which consists of both: (1) causation in fact, and (2) foreseeability. A plaintiff must prove that his or her injuries were the actual or factual result of the defendant’s actions. Causation in fact may be established directly or indirectly, but there still must be foreseeability.
Courts normally use a «but for» test to establish causation in fact. But for the defendant’s alarm not going off, the defendant would not have gotten into the accident with the plaintiff. In addition to this element, of course, there must also be a foreseeability element to fully establish proximate cause. Thus, the question before the court in a negligence case is whether the conduct has been so significant and important a cause that the defendant should be legally responsible. In most instances, then, causation in fact alone will not suffice for liability.
To account for the many factual variations that will inevitably occur with accidents and instances of negligence, the law has found that for an appropriate and legitimate allowance for causation, there must be some boundary set for the consequences of an act. Therefore, an individual is only responsible for those consequences that are reasonably foreseeable, and will be relieved of liability for injuries that are not reasonably related to the negligent conduct. We found that the court, in West v. East Tennessee Pioneer Oil Co., 172 S.W.3d 545 (Sup. Ct. Tenn. 2005) ruled that a duty of care was created when employees at a gas station allowed and assisted a clearly inebriated customer to gas up his car, which led to a serious accident shortly thereafter. The court reasoned that the foreseeable probability of harm vastly outweighed the burden or duty that the court was placing on the defendants, which was to merely to refrain from allowing and assisting the motorist to fill up his car.
Contributory negligence is a defense that exists when the injured persons proximately contributed to their injuries by their own negligence. When proven, contributory negligence will usually bar any recovery by the plaintiff. The defense of assumption of the risk occurs when the plaintiffs had knowledge of the risk and made the free choice of exposing themselves to it. For example, baseball fans who sit in unscreened seats at the ballpark know that the balls and even bats may strike them. Thus, they implicitly agree to take a chance of being injured in this manner.
A major shortcoming of contributory negligence, however, is that the entire loss is placed on one party even when both are negligent. For this reason, most states now utilize a comparative negligence standard, where total liability is determined by comparing the amount of negligence on behalf of the plaintiff with the amount of negligence on behalf of the defendant. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, a negligent plaintiff may be able to recover a portion of the cost of an injury. Specifically, comparative negligence divides the damages between the parties by reducing the plaintiff’s damages in proportion to the extent of the person’s contributory fault. Thus, in a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, a plaintiff adjudged 80% responsible for his injuries would still be able to collect 20%, while in a contributory negligence jurisdiction; such a plaintiff would be awarded nothing.
Plaintiffs can also recover in negligence by proving that a manufacturer’s conduct violated the reasonable person standard and proximately caused injury. In product liability suits, it is often difficult to prove the defendant’s act or omission that caused the plaintiff’s injury. Thus, in the interests of justice, courts developed the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor («the thing speaks for itself»). This doctrine permits plaintiffs to circumstantially prove negligence if the following facts are proved: (1) the defendant had exclusive control over the allegedly defective product during manufacture, (2) under normal circumstances, the plaintiff would not have been injured by the product if the defendant had exercised ordinary care, and (3) the plaintiff’s conduct did not contribute significantly to the accident.
While res ipsa loquitor does not necessarily lead to definitive proof of negligence, it does permit jurors to infer a fact for which there is no direct, explicit proof – the defendant’s negligent act or omission. Specifically, the trial judge will instruct the jurors that the law permits them to consider the inferred fact as well as the proved facts in deciding whether the defendant was negligent.
Imputed negligence results when one person (the agent) acts for or represents another (the principal) by the latter’s authority and to accomplish the latter’s ends.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
The law of tort is wide-ranging body of 1)________rights, obligations and remedies applied by the courts in civil proceedings. It provides remedies relief for those who have suffered loss or harm 2)________ the wrongful or negligent acts of others.
A tort is a civil wrong by the «tortfeasor» that unfairly results in loss or harm to another. This makes the tortfeasor liable to the other. Tort is 3)________ from two other kinds of law – criminal law and contract law, and is dealt with by the civil courts.
Unlike tort, the 4)________ law are wrongs against society and is comprised in legislation and prosecuted by the authorities, and dealt with in the criminal courts. In contract law, the rights and obligations between the 5)________ parties are governed by the contract itself and not by the law of tort.
However, sometimes the line is blurred between tort, crime and contract law. For instance, 6)________ offences against the person such as assault and battery can be prosecuted by the Crown; and a damages claim can also be brought in the civil courts by the victim.
Anyone can sue in tort if they suffered harm or loss as a result of someone else’s civil wrong. There is the potential for 7)________ to sue, including children who are born with disabilities due to harm inflicted prior to birth; and even a husband and wife can sue each other.
For the tort of negligence to have occurred, the defendant must have breached the duty of care 8)________ imposed on them. The «reasonable man» test is usually applied to ascertain whether the duty of care has been 9)________. This is a objective test, and considered whether the behaviour of the defendant fell below the threshold of a «reasonable man».
This will vary depending on the nature of the defendant. For instance, in a medical negligence 10)________ following a surgical procedure, the «behaviour» – ie. the skills – of a specialist surgeon will be expected to be of a much higher standard than the skills of a junior doctor assisting. However, 11)________ of itself will not be a valid defence: the defendant is expected to discharge his or her legal duty as a reasonably skilled and competent person.
Once a breach of the legal duty of care has been established, it must be shown that the loss, damage or personal 12)________ was caused as a result, whether directly or indirectly.
A common example is the liability of employers for the 13)________ that employers commit in the scope of their employment. Generally, an employee would not be within the 14)________ of employment if the employee is en route to or from home, if the employee is on an undertaking of his own, if the acts are prohibited by the employer, or if the act is an unauthorized 15)________ by the employer. While 16)________ are not usually liable for the acts of independent contractors, there are certain exceptions to this nonliability, for example, if an employer is 17)________ in hiring a contractor who assigns a nondelegable duty.
Under a modified no-fault liability statute, an injured person normally has no right to file suit to 18)________ money damages for personal injuries and lost wages below a statutorily specified threshold. Instead, the injured party is 19)________ by his/her own insurance company. The effect of these statutes has been to reduce the cost of automobile insurance by saving litigation 20)________, including attorneys’ fees, and by allowing little or no recovery for the pain and suffering and emotional 21)________ that accompany an automobile accident.
In addition to intentional torts and negligence, there is a third type of tort called strict liability or absolute liability. This imposes liability on 22)________ without requiring any proof of lack of due care. Strict liability in tort is applied in cases involving what the common 23)________ recognized as abnormally dangerous activities and, more recently, in product liability cases.
One who is involved in abnormally dangerous activities is legally responsible for harmful consequences that are 24)________ caused. A few illustrative dangerous instrumentalities 25)________ associated with dangerous activities include 26)________, toxic chemicals, explosives, nuclear fuel and waste, and vicious animals.
Product defects include defects in design, manufacturing defects, and warning defects. A 27)________ who has been injured by a product defect may be able to recover based on strict liability, as well as breach of warranty and 28)________. In fact, much of the use of strict liability in product liability cases occurred because of dissatisfaction with the negligence and warranty remedies. It was argued that if 29)________ too often bore the brunt of all injuries, then it would be more economically prudent to shift the cost of injuries to 30)________, since manufacturers could purchase insurance and could distribute the costs of the 31)________ among those who purchased their products.
In contrast to the plaintiff who relies on breach of warranty and negligence remedies, a plaintiff who relies on strict liability has to 32)________ that the product was 33)________ dangerous and defective and that the defect proximately caused the injury.
As plaintiff’s injuries continue to mount, there have been increased arguments for tort reform, focusing on limitations or caps placed on jury awards. Specifically, many 34)________ of reform believe that trial attorney 35)________ is at the core of the problem, while others assert that the high rewards are directly responsible for our seemingly unstoppable increases in health care costs. On the other hand, opponents 36)________ out that these reforms seek to arbitrarily deny injured people the awards that they are entitled to and, in fact, the damage awards are large only in cases in which the injuries are 37)________ and the tortfeasor’s liability is great.
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
Гражданское право отличается от других отраслей по предмету, методу, принципам, функциям и системе.
Гражданское право является основной отраслью права, регулирующей частные (имущественные, неимущественные) взаимоотношения граждан, а также созданных ими юридических лиц, формирующиеся по инициативе их участников, основанные на независимости и имущественной самостоятельности, методом юридического равенства сторон и преследующие цели удовлетворения их собственных интересов.
Предмет гражданского права – общественные отношения двух видов:
· имущественные отношения, складывающиеся по поводу имущества, материальных благ, имеющих экономическую форму товара;
· личные неимущественные отношения, связанные с имущественными, а иногда и не связанные с ними (исключительные права, неотчуждаемые нематериальные блага личности).
Имущественные отношения, в свою очередь, разделяются на отношения, связанные с:
· принадлежностью имущества каким-либо лицам;
· управлением этим имуществом;
· переходом имущества от одних лиц к другим.
Отношения, связанные с принадлежностью имущества (материальных благ), регулируются вещным правом, в части принадлежности нематериальных объектов субъектам – исключительными правами (правом интеллектуальной собственности). Отношения по управлению имуществом, в том числе по переходу имущества от одного лица к другому, оформляются обязательственным правом, а в соответствующей части – наследственным правом.
Имущественные отношения складываются по поводу конкретного имущества – материальных и некоторых нематериальных благ и составляют основную часть предмета гражданского права. К таким благам относятся не только физически осязаемые вещи, но и некоторые имущественные права (например, право пользования недвижимой вещью).
Имущественные отношения возникают в процессе производства материальных благ, а также их распределения, обмена и потребления. Они разнообразны.
Среди имущественных отношений, регулируемых гражданским правом, законодатель особо выделяет предпринимательские отношения (ст. 2 ГК РФ). Они характеризуются следующими признаками:
· направленностью на систематическое получение прибыли;
· самостоятельностью и рискованностью действий субъектов.
Самостоятельность – действия своей властью и в своем интересе. Рисковый характер предпринимательских отношений заключается в том, что прибыль может быть, а может и не быть. В некоторых случаях возможна потеря имущества, т.е. существует риск утраты вложенных материальных средств, а ответственность по обязательствам несет в себе риск убытков;
собственной ответственностью предпринимателя (всем своим имуществом);
необходимостью государственной регистрации субъектов в качестве предпринимателей (в некоторых случаях – получения лицензий и т.д.).
Серьезному правовому регулированию подлежат личные неимущественные отношения, входящие в предмет гражданского права. Их можно разделить на две группы:
неимущественные отношения создателей результатов интеллектуального творчества. Такие отношения обычно связаны с имущественным оборотом, хотя могут существовать и вне товарообмена. Прежде всего, это касается имущественных отношений по использованию результатов интеллектуального творчества и средств индивидуализации товаров и производителей, которые в сегодняшних экономических реалиях получают вполне конкретную стоимость и становятся товаром. Закрепление за создателями (носителями) соответствующих нематериальных объектов особых, исключительных прав, в том числе оформление и реализация этих прав, регулируются авторским и патентным правом, а также относительно новым институтом промышленной собственности;
другая группа личных неимущественных отношений характеризуется сугубо личным характером и полным отсутствием связи с имущественным оборотом. Речь идет об отношениях, возникающих в связи с признанием неотчуждаемых прав и свобод человека и других принадлежащих ему нематериальных благ, которые не могут стать предметом товарообмена, – жизнь и здоровье человека, достоинство, честь и доброе имя, неприкосновенность частной жизни и т.п.
В связи с развитием и усложнением современного экономического оборота появляются новые институты и подотрасли, которые, безусловно, требуют самого пристального внимания и правового регулирования.
Отношения по управлению имуществом корпораций (компаний) основаны на началах членства участников. Они складываются при управлении хозяйственными обществами, товариществами, производственными кооперативами и также являются отношениями, регулируемыми гражданским правом. Такие отношения относят к категории корпоративных отношений.
Исходя из указанного, главными подотраслями гражданского права можно назвать:
· вещное право;
· обязательственное право;
· исключительные (интеллектуальные) права;
· корпоративное право.
Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership and tenancy in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights, and obligations thereon.
The concept, idea or philosophy of property underlies all property law. In some jurisdictions, historically all property was owned by the monarch and it devolved through feudal land tenure or other feudal systems of loyalty and fealty.
Though the Napoleonic code was among the first government acts of modern times to introduce the notion of absolute ownership into statute, protection of personal property rights was present in medieval Islamic law and jurisprudence, and in more feudalist forms in the common law courts of medieval and early modern England.
The word property, in everyday usage, refers to an object (or objects) owned by a person – a car, a book, or a cellphone – and the relationship the person has to it. In law, the concept acquires a more nuanced rendering. Factors to consider include the nature of the object, the relationship between the person and the object, the relationship between a number of people in relation to the object, and how the object is regarded within the prevailing political system. Most broadly and concisely, property in the legal sense refers to the rights of people in or over certain objects or things.
James Wilson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1790 and 1791, undertook a survey of the philosophical grounds of American property law. He proceeds from two premises: «Every crime includes an injury: every injury includes a violation of a right». (Lectures, III, ii.) The government’s role in protecting property depends upon an idea of right. Wilson traces the history of property in his essay «On the History of Property». In his lecture, «Of the natural rights of individuals», he articulates related contemporary theory.
That theory was brought to a focus on the question of whether man exists for the sake of government, or government for the sake of man – a distinction which may derive from, or lead to, the question of natural and absolute rights, and whether property is one of them. While he doubts this is so, he nonetheless states: «In his unrelated state, man has a natural right to his property, to his character, to liberty, and to safety». James Wilson asks whether «the primary and principal object in the institution of government… was… to acquire new rights by human establishment? Or was it, by a human establishment, to acquire a new security for the possession or the recovery of those rights….?» He indicates a preference for the latter.
In the opening sentence of «On the History of Property», he states quite clearly: «Property is the right or lawful power, which a person has to a thing». He then divides the right into three degrees: possession, the lowest; possession and use; and, possession, use, and disposition – the highest. Further, he states: «Man is intended for action. Useful and skilful industry is the soul of an active life. But industry should have her just reward. That reward is property, for of useful and active industry, property is the natural result». From this simple reasoning he is able to present the conclusion that exclusive, as opposed to communal property, is to be preferred. Wilson does, however, give a survey of communal property arrangements in history, not only in colonial Virginia but also ancient Sparta.
Non-legally recognized or documented property rights are known as informal property rights. These informal property rights are non-codified or documented, but recognized among local residents to varying degrees.
Different parties may claim a competing interest in the same property by mistake or by fraud. For example, the party creating or transferring an interest may have a valid title, but may intentionally or negligently create several interests wholly or partially inconsistent with each other. A court resolves the dispute by adjudicating the priorities of the interests. The term «transfer of property» generally means an act by which a living person conveys property, in present or in future, to one or more other living persons, or to himself and one or more other living persons. To transfer property is to perform such an act.
Property rights are rights over things enforceable against all other persons. By contrast, contractual rights are rights enforceable against particular persons. Property rights may, however, arise from a contract; the two systems of rights overlap. In relation to the sale of land, for example, two sets of legal relationships exist alongside one another: the contractual right to sue for damages, and the property right exercisable over the land. More minor property rights may be created by contract, as in the case of easements, covenants, and equitable servitudes.
A separate distinction is evident where the rights granted are insufficiently substantial to confer on the nonowner a definable interest or right in the thing. The clearest example of these rights is the license. In general, even if licenses are created by a binding contract, they do not give rise to property interests.
Property rights are also distinguished from personal rights. Practically all contemporary societies acknowledge this basic ontological and ethical distinction. In the past, groups lacking political power have often been disqualified from the benefits of property. In an extreme form, this has meant that people have become «objects» of property– legally «things» or chattels (see slavery.) More commonly, marginalized groups have been denied legal rights to own property. These include Jews in England and married women in Western societies until the late 19th century.
The dividing line between personal rights and property rights is not always easy to draw. For instance, is one's reputation property that can be commercially exploited by affording property rights to it? The question of the proprietary character of personal rights is particularly relevant in the case of rights over human tissue, organs and other body parts.
There have been recent cases of women being subordinated to the fetus, through the imposition of unwanted caesarian sections. English judges have recently made the point that such women lack the right to exclusive control over their own bodies(citation needed), formerly considered a fundamental common-law right. In the United States, a «quasi-property» interest has been explicitly declared in the dead body(citation needed). Also in the United States, it has been recognised that people have an alienable proprietary «right of publicity» over their «persona». The patent/patenting of biotechnological processes and products based on human genetic material may be characterised as creating property in human life.
A particularly difficult question is whether people have rights to intellectual property developed by others from their body parts. In the pioneering case on this issue, the Supreme Court of California held in Moore v. Regents of the University of California (1990) that individuals do not have such a property right.
1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.
2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.
Generally, 1)________ is divided into two major areas: realty and personalty. Realty is land, whereas personalty is possessions – for instance, jewelry, money, furniture, or (formerly) slaves. State laws regulate who may 2)________ property, who may own it, and how it will be distributed upon the death of the owner or owners. This premise 3)________ unless the land is federal property, in which case the federal government makes the determination.
Property 4)________ have been important from the beginning of this nation, especially since many new citizens did not or could not own 5)________ in their 6)________ of origin. Disagreement among the colonies about continuing British legal traditions resulted in differences in colonial laws – some 7)________ wanted to remain true to British legal tradition, whereas others chose to abandon some or all of the 8)________. With its very structured property and inheritance common-law tradition, Great Britain allowed women to file 9)________ in chancery courts, known as «equity courts». The approach a colony took on such an issue 10)________ to a large extent the rights and privileges that women living in that colony possessed.
Some colonies, such as Virginia, had liberal laws that gave 11)________ the right to own or 12)________ the use of land as part of their dowry rights. Connecticut, on the other hand, gave women no rights to own their property or their husbands' real property. Other colonies gave wives the right of 13)________ examination. Their laws 14)________ husbands to get the signatures of their wives before title to joint property or property brought to the 15)________ state by the wife could be conveyanced or transferred. Virginia adopted the British 16)________ court system, which gave women the ability to challenge male descendants' claims to land. In the 17)________ territories, because of the influence of Spanish civil law, women might enjoy community property rights.
The importance of courts is evinced by the relative abundance of 18)________ court opinions. Some cases even reached the U. S. Supreme Court. One of the earliest, Jones v. Porters, was decided in 1740 in a Virginia court. In it, the court nullified a conveyance 19)________ by a married couple because the wife's private examination had not been recorded. Without the private 20)________ on record, purchases could be nullified, as illustrated by a 1691 law of New York: «An Act declaring what are the Rights & Privileges of Their Majesties Subjects inhabiting within Their Province of New-York: That no 21)________ of a Feme Covert shall be sold or conveyed, but by Deed acknowledged by her in some Court of Record, the Woman being secretly examined, if she doth it freely, without threats or 22)________ of her Husband».
Between the late eighteenth and the end of the nineteenth century, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered more than one 23)________hundred decisions in which women and property rights or conveyancing of property were at issue. One of the first cases was Barnes' Lessee v. Irwin in 1793, which concerned a wife's inherited property and an 24)________ agreement. The high court ruled in favor of the defendant, upholding the validity of the antenuptial 25)________ and the wife's right to grant ownership through her will. The importance of property ownership and the right to devise were clearly 26)________ in the pervasive laws and court decisions rendered in colonial America and the early United States of America.
3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.
Принципы гражданского права – основные идеи этой отрасли права. Они представлены в Гражданском кодексе РФ (ст. 1) в виде следующих основных начал:
· равенство правового режима субъектов гражданского права;
· неприкосновенность собственности;
· свобода договора;
· недопустимость произвольного вмешательства в частные дела;
· принцип самостоятельности и инициативы в приобретении и осуществлении гражданских прав;
· принцип запрета злоупотребления правом и иного ненадлежащего осуществления гражданских прав;
· беспрепятственное осуществление гражданских прав и их защита.
Принцип равенства правового режима субъектов гражданского права характеризуется равными возможностями всех участников гражданских правоотношений по отношению друг к другу, одинаковым их правовым положением (статусом). На их действия, по общему правилу, распространяются одни и те же гражданско-правовые нормы.
Принцип неприкосновенности собственности означает обеспечение собственникам возможности использовать принадлежащее им имущество в своих интересах, не опасаясь его изъятия или запрета (ограничений) в использовании. Никто не может быть лишен своего имущества иначе как по решению суда (ч. 3 ст. 35 Конституции РФ). Изъятие имущества в публичных интересах также допускается лишь в прямо установленных законом случаях и с обязательной предварительной равноценной компенсацией.
Принцип свободы договора является одним из основополагающих принципов, влияющих на развитие гражданского имущественного оборота. Субъекты гражданского права свободны в заключении договора, т.е. в выборе контрагента и в определении условий своего соглашения. Понуждение к заключению договора, в том числе со стороны государственных органов, по общему правилу исключается.
Принцип недопустимости произвольного вмешательства в частные дела характеризует гражданское право как частное право. Прежде всего принцип обращен к публичной власти, непосредственное вмешательство которой в частные дела допустимо лишь в случаях, прямо предусмотренных законом. Неприкосновенность частной жизни, личной и семейной тайны граждан (ст. 23 и 24 Конституции РФ) также можно отнести к действию этого принципа.
Принцип диспозитивности означает возможность участников отношений самостоятельно, по своему усмотрению и в соответствии со своими интересами выбирать варианты соответствующего поведения (вступать или не вступать в гражданские правоотношения, требовать или не требовать исполнения обязательств контрагентом, обращаться за судебной защитой своих прав или нет и т.д.).
Принцип запрета злоупотреблении правом можно считать исключением (изъятием) из общих частноправовых подходов гражданского права. Согласно ему право всегда имеет определенные границы, как по содержанию, так и по способам осуществления вариантов поведения. То есть фактически исключается безграничная свобода в использовании участниками гражданских правоотношений имеющихся у них прав (нельзя осуществлять свои права, нарушая права других лиц). Такие запреты ставят в цивилизованные рамки правовые отношения и ограничивают возможные недобросовестные действия участников. Например, собственник земли или иных природных ресурсов осуществляет свои права свободно, если это не наносит ущерба окружающей среде и не нарушает прав и законных интересов других лиц (ч. 2 ст. 36 Конституции РФ, п. 3 ст. 209 ГК РФ).
Принцип беспрепятственного осуществления гражданских прав предполагает невозможность необоснованных помех в гражданских правоотношениях. Он проявляется, например, в свободе предпринимательской и иной не запрещенной законом экономической деятельности (сг. 34 Конституции РФ), в свободе перемещения по российской территории товаров, услуг и финансовых средств (п. 3 ст. 1 ГК РФ) и т.д. При этом законом могут устанавливаться некоторые необходимые в общественных (публичных) интересах ограничения (запрет монополизации рынка, недобросовестной конкуренции и т.п.).
Любая отрасль права является составной частью (элементом) единой правовой системы и обладает присущими ей особыми функциями (задачами), которые характеризуют ее место в системе права.
Функции гражданского права как отрасли права – задачи, которые оно выполняет в обществе. К ним относятся:
Особенностью гражданско-правового регулирования является преобладание в нем регулятивных задач (в сравнении, например, с функциями, выполняемыми уголовным правом).