I. Read the text to understand what information is of primary importance or new for you:

Law: what is it?

Law is a body of official rules and regulations.It is generally found in constitutions, legislation and judicial decisions. Law is used to govern a society and to control the behaviour of its members. The nature and functions of law have varied throughout history. In modern societies, some authorized body such as a legislature or a court makes the law. It is supported by the coercive power of the state, which enforces the law by means of appropriate penalties or remedies.

Formal legal rules and actions are usually distinguished from other means of social control and guides for behaviour such as morality,public opinion, and custom or tradition. Of course, a lawmaker may respond to public opinion or other pressures, and aformal law may prohibit what is morally unacceptable.

Law serves a variety of functions. Laws against crimes, for example, help to maintain a peaceful, orderly, relatively stable society. Courts contribute to social stability by resolving disputes in a civilized fashion. Property and contract laws facilitate business activities. Laws limit the powers of government and help to provide some degree of freedom that would not otherwise be possible. Law has also been used as a mechanism for social change; for instance, at various times laws have been passed to improve the quality of individual life in matters of health, education, and welfare.

Law is not completely made by humans; it also includes natural law.The best-known version of this view, that God's law is supreme, has had considerable influence in the United States and other Western societies. The civil rights movement, for example, was at least partially inspired by the belief in natural law. Such a belief seems implicit in the view that law should serve to promote human dignity, as for instance by the enforcement of equal rights for all. Muslim societies also embrace a kind ofnatural law, which is closely linked to the religion of Islam.


II.Match the following English words and expressions with their Ukrainian equivalents.

1. judicial decision .
2. remedy b.
3. lawmaker .
4. in a civilized fashion d.
5. for instance .
6. coercive f.
7. in the view g.
8. enforcement h. aci

III. Read and translate

Civil law

Civil Law is a the body of private law used in those countries in which the legal system is based on ancient Roman law modified by medieval and modern influences. Civil law is used in most nations in Europe and Latin America, as well as in some countries in Asia and Africa. The law of Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and a number of other nations is based on English common law, which differs from civil law in origin and other important respects.

The term civil law is also employed to distinguish those legal codes that deal with civil relationships (such as citizenship, marriage, divorce, and certain contractual arrangements) from other codes such as those dealing with criminal law.

The civil law originated in ancient Rome. One of the principal characteristics of Roman civilization was the development of strong legal institutions. In the 6th century, a commission appointed by the Emperor Justiniancollected and consolidated all the sources of law, including the opinions of the great legal scholars during previous centuries. The result was the Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law), also called the Justinian Code, a comprehensive code with the accumulated wisdom and experience of many generations of Roman jurists.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the authority of the Corpus Juris began to decline. The stage was then set for the systematic and comprehensive codification of modern civil law. The most influential, although not the first, codification effort was the enactment, during the Napoleonic period, of the five basic codes of France. In the course of the 19th century, most civil-law countries similarly codified their legal statutes.

Codification of the civil law had several major consequences: (1) After their enactment, the codes constituted comprehensive and authoritative legal texts that superseded all earlier authorities in the teaching of law as well as in legal practice. (2) Within each nation-state, the codes brought about a strong measure of national unification of the law. (3) In their substance, the codes differed from one nation to another. In recent years, however, there were efforts, in the nations of the European Union and elsewhere, to replace certain isolated national laws with international legal practices.

From its origins in continental Europe, the civil law gradually spread to all of the areas in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that were colonies of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, or Portugal. When they gained independence, most of the former colonies continued the civil-law orientation of their legal systems. Civil-law systems were also voluntarily adopted in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

In a number of countries, moreover, the civil law constitutes an important component of a mixed legal system. For example, in Scotland, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, the legal system combines civil- and common-law elements. In North America the same phenomenon can be observed in the state of Louisiana and in the province of Quebec. The legal systems of many North African and Middle Eastern nations are strongly influenced by the French civil-law codes, even though in some areas of law especially those relating to the family and to family property these countries tend to follow Islamic tradition.

IV. Match the following English words and expressions with their Ukrainian equivalents:

1 unification of law a
2 accumulated wisdom b
3 origin
4 comprehensive code d
5 strong legal institution e
6 family property f
7 major consequences g
8 mixed legal systems h  

V.Read and translate

Civil law (family, contract, intellectual property)

The civil law covers cases related to family, property, contracts and non-contractual wrongful acts suffered by one person at the hands of another (torts).Family law includes the laws governing marriage, divorce and the welfare of children; the law of property governs ownership, disposal of property on death, etc.; the law of contract regulates, for instance, the sale of goods, loans, partnerships, insurance and guarantees. Civil proceedings are started by the aggrieved person. As a private matter, they can usually be abandoned or ended by settlement between the parties at any time. In many cases, parties to a dispute settle their differences through their lawyers before the trial stage is reached.

Family law is divided into public and private law cases. Public law cases involve local government and other public authorities and include matters such as care of children. Private law cases involve divorce proceedings, etc. Most court cases involving children concern private disputes between parents often after separation.

Torts include wrongs such as negligence, defamation, etc. if these legal rights have been infringed, a plaintiff can sue for compensation. One of the most important tort actions is that for negligence, when a person fails to live up to an expected standard of care and someone is injured as a result. This can cover physical damage or financial loss.

A contract is an agreement between two or more parties, which is enforceable by law. A valid business contract, for instance, must involve an offer to supply goods or services, consideration (the price to be paid) and acceptance by the purchaser. The offer may be revoked at any time before acceptance but it must be communicated to the purchaser. Acceptance of an offer must mean agreement entirely with the terms of the offer, and the terms must be sufficiently detailed. In addition, the object of the contract must not be illegal; it is against the law for two people to make a deal between themselves if this involves a criminal offence.

An example of a contract is the purchase of goods in a shop. If the goods purchased turn out to be shoddy, the purchaser can sue the seller in the civil courts usually for damages. Conversely, if the ownership of goods passes to the purchaser and they are not paid for, the seller can sue for the price of goods. Similarly, an employer is bound to pay an employee for work done; if he or she fails to do so, a breach of contract action can take place.

Intellectual property laws reward the creators of original works by preventing others from copying, performing, or distributing those works without permission. They also provide incentives for people to produce scientific and creative works that benefit society at large. Some types of intellectual property are automatically protected by law from the moment of their creation. Other types require a specific grant of rights from a government agency before they may be protected by law. Nearly all nations have laws protecting intellectual property. The principal types of intellectual property are patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Patent law protects inventions that demonstrate technological progress. Copyright law protects a variety of literary and artistic works, including paintings, sculpture, prose, poetry, plays, musical compositions, dances, photographs, motion pictures, radio and television programs, sound recordings, and computer software programs. Trademark law protects words and symbols that serve to identify different brands of goods and services in the marketplace.

Intellectual property differs from other forms of property because it is intangible, a product of the human imagination. Because intellectual property is intangible, many people may use it simultaneously without conflict. For example, only one person can drive a car at a time, but if an author publishes a book, many people can read the work at the same time. Intellectual property is also much easier to copy than it is to create. It may take many months of work to write a novel or computer program, but with a photocopy machine or a computer others could copy the work in a matter of seconds. Without intellectual property laws, it would be easy to duplicate original works and sell them for very low prices, leaving the original creators without any chance to secure economic rewards for their efforts. The legal system avoids this problem by making it against the law to reproduce various forms of intellectual property without the permission of the creator.


VI. Match the following English words and expressions with their Ukrainian equivalents:

1 welfare of children
2 loan b ,
3 aggrieved person
4 to be infringed d
5 criminal offence
6 terms f
7 trademark g
8 reward for the efforts h  

VII. Divide the text into logical parts and supply a title for each of them.


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