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УМК для заочников -право 2009.doc
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Text 1.

Distinctions between Сriminal and Сivil Law

There are many ways in which law can be classified. Criminal law is much better known to ordinary people as a result of journalists’ reports of famous criminal trials. A simple distinction between criminal law and civil law is that the latter regulates the relationships between individuals or bodies and the former regulates the legal relationships between the state and individual people or bodies.

So, in civil law, private party files the lawsuit and becomes the plaintiff. In criminal law, the lawsuit is always filed by the government, who is called the prosecution. One more distinction is in the notion of punishment. In criminal law, a guilty defendant is punished by either incarceration in a jail or prison, fine or, in exceptional cases, by death penalty. In contrast, a defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated.

Civil law covers such matters as family law, the law of trusts, ownership of property. Criminal law deals with actions that are harmful to society such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, theft, kidnapping, etc.

Task 1. Answer the questions:

  1. What is criminal law concerned with?

  2. What is civil law concerned with?

  3. Name a simple distinction between civil and criminal law.

  4. Give a fundamental distinction between civil and criminal law.

  5. What matters does civil law cover?

  6. What actions does criminal law deal with?

Task 2. Mark the statements T (True) or F (False) according to the information in the text.

  1. Criminal law is concerned with the relationships between individuals and bodies.

  2. In criminal law a private party files the lawsuit and becomes the plaintiff.

  3. The term “civil law” describes the rules of private law.

  4. Civil law deals with actions that are harmful to society.

Task 3. Complete the sentences:

  1. Criminal law is known to people as… .

  2. In criminal law the litigation is always filed by … .

  3. A guilty defendant in criminal law is punished by … .

  4. A guilty defendant in civil litigation is never … .

  5. Civil law covers such matters as … .

  6. Criminal law deals with such crimes as … .

Task 4. Form the nouns:

to discuss -

to lose -

to direct -

to differ -

to litigate -

to dismiss -

to regulate -

to relate -

to file -

to execute -

to defend -

to divide -

to incarcerate -

to cause -

to behave -

to organize -

to issue -

to state -

to injure -

to believe -

to plead –

to settle –

to precede –

to introduce –

to own –

to pay –

to complain -

III. Discussion.

Share your view with your group mates..

1. Is there a clear distinction between civil and criminal procedures in your country?

2. There are civil offences for which punishment is very severe. Why?

2.Contract Law.

I. Vocabulary notes.

contract law

- договорное право

legally binding agreement

- юридически обязывающее обязательное соглашение

to generate rights and obligations

- формировать права и обязательства

to enforce

-принудительно осуществлять; взыскивать в судебном порядке

action for damages

- иск о взыскании убытков

breach of contract

- нарушение договора

contract by deed / contract under seal / specialty contract

- договор за печатью / нотариально заверенный договор

simple contract

- простой контракт

bilateral contract

- двусторонний договор

unilateral contract

- односторонний договор

to form a contract / to make a contract / to to enter into a contract

- заключать договор

valid contract

- договор, имеющий силу

ant. invalid

to reach an agreement

- достичь соглашения

offer and acceptance

- оферта и акцептирование оферты


- обязанный, связанный обязательствами

valuable consideration

- надлежащее встречное удовлетворение


- сделка, ведение деловых операций


- оферта, предложение


- намерение

accept or reject the offer

- принимать или отклонять оферту (предложение)

to revoke / withdrawn an offer

- отозвать оферту


- акцепт, принятие

unconditional assent

- безоговорочный / безусловный / неограниченный условием акцепт


- встречное удовлетворение