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Text A. CONTRACTS: Different types



 

Many people think of a contract as a written agreement between people stating the exact details of promises they have made to each other. The contractors will try to think of all the possible circumstances which may arise.

However, not all contracts are written. There are many kinds of unwritten agreements between people which the law of most countries describes as contracts. They may continue buying and selling things for years by relying on trust and common sense, and if sometimes there is a disagreement—for example, a supplier fails to deliver goods by the time he said he would—they manage to deal with the problem simply by discussion. However, if the disagreement becomes so serious that they cannot resolve it, they may decide it is necessary to take legal action. One of the most common kinds of legal action is to claim that a contract has existed and that one of them is in breach of contract(has broken the agreement). To win such an action it is necessary to show that the agreement can indeed be described as a contract.

There are many everyday transactions which most people never think of as contracts. When you buy a newspaper you simply pick up the paper, pay the price and walk away. But suppose something unusual happens—perhaps, you discover that the newspaper is not today's but last week's; or there are some pages missing; or the newspaper seller charges you more money than the price written on the newspaper and tells you this is because his transport costs have increased. You may then start to think about what kind of transaction you made in buying the paper and what your rights are. In fact, the simple purchase of a newspaper can indeed be a contract: without writing anything down, maybe without even speaking, you agreed to buy a certain item from a certain person at a certain price. The problem with unwritten contracts is that it may be very difficult to show evidence of the agreement you made. Can you prove that you bought the newspaper where you did, and not somewhere else? Can you prove how much you paid for it? If the seller claims that you agreed to buy an old newspaper, can you disprove his claim?

Of course, problems of evidence can arise even when there is a detailed written agreement. Indeed a court of law may decided that the contract consists not just of the written document you possess but includes things that were said but never written down. The contract may even include things that the contractors understood but never talked about. Sometimes an agreement turns out to be a contract even though the persons who made it did not realize this at the time. And sometimes people make agreements which they think are contracts, but when they try to take legal action the court declares that no contract was ever made. (In such a case they may find there is another legal claim they may make, such as an action in tort or in breach of trust.

It is therefore important to know just what the law considers a contract to be. In many systems of law there is a written legal code stating exactly what is required to make a contract and what the rights and obligations of contractors are. In case law systems, there is no one code or law defining what a contract is. The law regarding contracts in general is to be found in judgments made by courts and even in legal textbooks. But there are statutes which clarify the law. For example, the Unfair Contract Terms Act, passed in Britain in 1977, specifies circumstances in which a contractor may avoid being obliged by some parts of a contract.

Text B. DAMAGES

 

Once a court decides that there has been a breach of contract, it must then judge how the party in breach must compensate the other party. The usual award is damages—monetary compensation. The court must be satisfied that there was a contract, that one party is in breach, and that the other party has suffered some loss because of the breach. In addition to financial loss a plaintiff sometimes tries to claim damages for mental distress caused by the breach of contract. Such claims are less successful in Britain than in the U.S., except for holiday contracts (though often successful in tort actions).

A court will award damages only for loss closely connected with the defendant's breach. For example, in the 1949 English case of Victoria Laundry vs. Newman Industries, the defendants were five months late in delivering a new boiler for the laundry. The laundry claimed damages first for profits they would probably have made by being able to increase their regular laundry customers if they had had the boiler on time; and second, for profits they might have made if the boiler had enabled them to take on new dyeing contracts. The courts decided that the first claim was reasonable, but that the second was too remote. Remotenessis an important concept in both contract and tort.

In deciding just how much in damages to award, English and American courts try to put the plaintiff into the same financial position that he would have been in if the defendant had carried out the contract properly. For example, in the example mentioned before of a man offering to wash my car and then failing to do so, the court would note that if the contract had been performed I would have a clean car and would not have spent money on a taxi fare. On the other hand I would not have the $10 I agreed to pay the man, nor the value of the gas I would have used in driving my car that day.

 

2. Выпишите из текстов английские эквиваленты следующих слов и выражений: нести ответственность за определенное территориальное подразделение; напрямую (непосредственно) подчиняться центральному управлению; главное управление департамента уголовных расследований; типичный британский полицейский; общее чувство уверенности (надежности); служить обществу; старшие офицеры; отбывать срок за убийство; совершать преступление; судебные решения; подделывать вещественные доказательства; суд присяжных.

3. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие инфинитив. Определите формы и функции инфинитива. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

4. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие причастие. Определите формы и функции причастия. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

5. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие герундий. Определите формы и функции герундия. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

6. Переведите письменно 1, 2 абзацы текста A и 1, 2, 3 абзацы текста C.

7. Напишите аннотацию к тексту, используя следующие клишированные словосочетания (3-5 предложений): the precis deals with …; the abstract is devoted to …; the work is concerned with … (bears on …, gives explanation of …, is intended to demonstrate certain phenomena, is designed to provide some information about …); the subject of the paper under review is …; the author touches upon the problem of …; … is (are) described; special attention is given (paid) to …; the chief aim (main purpose) of the work is …; the main result of the work is … (that it has given a clue to …).

8. Составьте свое жизнеописание (C.V.), используя образец на стр. 29.


КОНТРОЛЬНАЯ РАБОТА №2

 

Вариант 4

 

Выполните следующие задания:

Прочтите тексты.

Text A. TRUSTS

A trustis an agreement whereby property is held and controlled by someone on behalf of someone else. A common example of this is where someone dies and leaves money for grandchildren who are too young to deal with it themselves. The money will be held in the name of trustees— for example, the children's parents. They will be the legal owners of the money and will have the power to invest and make other decisions about it. But they are required to act only in the interests of the children, known as the beneficiariesof the trust, and they must not make any personal profit.

The concept of a trust is a creation of the law of equity. It is thus unique to common law countries such as the United States and most of the Commonwealth, although many countries, such as Japan have statutes which effectively impose trusts in certain cases. Even though the common law and equitable systems have long been merged, we still talk about the beneficiaries of a trust having an "equitable" interest in the property, the trustees a "legal" interest. In addition, the original intention of equity still survives: to limit the powers of those who have legal rights but owe special responsibilities to others.

 

Text B. Different types

 

Some trusts are known as express trusts,having been intentionally created by someone with property to transfer (a settlor). The example in the opening paragraph is an express private trust. Other trusts are implied—the law presumes that the settlor intended to create a trust even though he did not expressly say so. In all of these cases, the person appointed to be trustee has a choice whether or not to accept the appointment when the trust is created. But some trusts are constructive: the law imposes a trust and obliges the legal owner of property to consider the beneficial interest of another person. A common example of this is when the seller of a house is obliged to give a proportion of the proceeds to a former spouse who once lived there with him. Directors of companies and solicitors are often in the position of a constructive trustee regarding property under their control.

 

Text C. Requirements

 

When creating an express private trust, the settlor creates rights and obligations that may survive his death. Certain conditions must therefore be met if the trust is to be valid in law. In English law, for example, there must be certainty that a trust is being created, what the trust property is, and who the beneficiaries are. When a husband left property to his widow to use "in any way she thinks best for the benefit of herself and her family," it was held that there was no certainty he had intended to create a trust, and so she was free to use the property as she wanted (Lambe vs. Barnes, 1871). On the other hand, when a Mr. Constance opened a bank account in his own name but made arrangements for his lover to draw money from it, this was certain enough evidence of her rights as a beneficiary (Paul vs. Constance, 1977). When someone's will declared a trust over "the bulk (greater part) of my estate," it was held there could I be no trust since no one could say how much property should be in the trust (Palmer vs. Simonds, 1854). A trust for the benefit of a firm's employees, former employees, and their relatives was held to be certain enough even though the number of beneficiaries might be very large (Re. Baden, 1973). One of the judges in this case suggested that a trust for the benefit of "the residents of London," would not be valid, however; although it is certain who the beneficiaries are to be, the number would be so great the trust could not be administered.

When creating an express public (charitable) trust, it is not necessary to be so certain about the beneficiaries. It is enough if the person giving the property (the donor) has shown a clear intention to benefit charity. In many countries charities can claim tax exemptions and so governments have clear rules about what may be considered a charity. In Japan, for example, over two hundred thousand new religious groups are registered as exempt from income tax having satisfied certain requirements under the civil code, such as the practice of "religious activities and possession of specific beliefs." In English law, in order to be considered a charity, an organization must work for one of four purposes: the relief of poverty, the advancement of religion, the advancement of education, or the benefit of the community. The last category is very vague. Trusts for the welfare of animals, for orphans, and for the, fire brigade, have been allowed under this category, but a trust to look after a specific animal would not be allowed. Amnesty International was disallowed because it was held to have a political element. And an organization opposed to experiments on animals was disallowed because it was held that on balance such experiments were to the benefit of the community.

2. Выпишите из текстов английские эквиваленты следующих слов и выражений: министр внутренних дел (Великобритании); связь между центральным и местным управлением; офицеры полиции не являются государственными служащими; подчиняться и уголовному, и гражданскому законам; предотвращать все правонарушения против личности и собственности субъектов Ее Королевского Величества; начинать службу в качестве констебля; назначение на должность; ежегодно определять основные цели и задачи оперативной деятельности; первоначальная подготовка сотрудников полиции; высший полицейский колледж Соединенного Королевства; главный инспектор полиции Ее Королевского Величества; совершенствовать деятельность полиции с помощью выявления и распространения положительного опыта работы.

3. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие инфинитив. Определите формы и функции инфинитива. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

4. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие причастие. Определите формы и функции причастия. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

5. Найдите и выпишите из текстов 3 предложения, содержащие герундий. Определите формы и функции герундия. Переведите предложения на русский язык.

6. Переведите письменно 7, 8, 9, 10 абзацы текста A.

7. Напишите аннотацию к тексту, используя следующие клишированные словосочетания (3-5 предложений): the precis deals with …; the abstract is devoted to …; the work is concerned with … (bears on …, gives explanation of …, is intended to demonstrate certain phenomena, is designed to provide some information about …); the subject of the paper under review is …; the author touches upon the problem of …; … is (are) described; special attention is given (paid) to …; the chief aim (main purpose) of the work is …; the main result of the work is … (that it has given a clue to …).

8. Составьте свое жизнеописание (C.V.), используя образец на стр. 29.

 


КОНТРОЛЬНАЯ РАБОТА №2

 

Вариант 5

 

Выполните следующие задания:

Прочтите текст.

Text A. LAND LAW

 

In most legal systems a distinction is made between land and other kinds of property. Sometimes land is called real estate in contrast to personal estate or immovable assets in contrast to movable assets such as furniture and vehicles. In this chapter "land" refers not only to a piece of ground, but to any buildings upon it.

All over the world people think of land as the most important form of property. A subsistence farmer in a developing country needs a secure right to use a piece of land in order to grow food for his family. A city dweller needs shelter from cold and heat and theft. Many people spend all their working lives paying installments on a house or apartment so that they will own the place in which they live when they stop work and will have something of value to pass on to their children.

Of course, it is business property—shops, factories, offices, hotels—that is the most valuable land of all. In 1993 Just one square meter of commercial land in Hong Kong was valued at around US$20. Land is not just a site for dwellings or workplaces, but a commodity which can be sold, rented out or used as security in order to borrow money which can be used to buy shares or to buy other pieces of land.

 

Text B. Land transfer

Someone who buys land needs to know exactly what rights and obligations are attached to the land. Although it is possible to deal directly with the seller, most people employ a solicitor to handle the complicated business of land transfer, known as conveyancing.In fact, even after the simplifications of 1925, which reduced the system to two kinds of legal estate and four kinds of legal interest, there still exist many kinds of “equitable” interest which the buyer and seller need to know about. For example, even if the freehold you want to buy is registered in the name of only one person, you should make sure the spouse of the freeholder does not have the right to continue living in the property after it has been sold!

When investigating the rights attached to land, solicitors used to examine title deeds—documents recording transfers of the property over many years. In Britain there is now a land registry which makes investigation of title easier because it is a central register describing the land, the landholder, and third party rights. However, not all land in Britain has yet been recorded on the register, and there are some land rights which need not be recorded there. Even if land has been registered, the solicitor still has many things to check, such as possible plans of the local council to build noisy roads near the house. Any mistakes he makes could cost the buyer a lot of money. Conveyancing is one of the areas in which solicitors sometimes get sued by clients.

 







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